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Building A Fiber Network On Block Island

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Download an illustration of the Standard Drop Configuration for a Single Family Home

Building fiber-to-the-premises networks is a complex, multi-phase process involving many parties, including:

  • Individual property owners
  • The Town of New Shoreham
  • Sertex Broadband Solutions, the company building and operating the network
  • Crocker Communications, the Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Electric and telecommunications companies that own utility poles
  • Permitting agencies like the state Department of Environmental Management, the Coastal Resource Management Council, and the Department of Transportation.

Coordination with all these parties is a normal part of the construction process. There are four general phases involved in network construction. We do our best to make work within these phases happen concurrently wherever possible to keep projects moving forward on schedule.

Phase 1 – Design, Engineering, Permitting, and Make Ready
This may be the longest phase of network development, when critical work is happening behind the scenes. Trust that our team is working hard preparing for installation of the fiber network.

Make ready is a process outside the control of Sertex or the Town, and can take weeks to months to complete. During make ready, Sertex contacts the owners of each and every utility pole to coordinate licensing approval. The owners (Verizon and Block Island Power Company) then individually inspect every pole and make room for the new fiber cable installation. If there’s not enough room, some poles may need to be replaced. Once each utility’s make ready work is done, a permit is issued and aerial fiber installation can begin.

Phase 2 – Underground Conduit Construction
While local utilities coordinate make ready tasks, Sertex is working at properties around the island to prepare for future fiber drop installations. For aerial installations, fiber cable follows the path of existing electrical and telecommunications utilities, and no decisions are required from the property owners. For underground installations, we meet with property owners to identify the preferred underground path fiber cabling will take through each property. Once the route is agreed upon and Dig Safe has marked the location of existing underground utilities, our crews dig a path from the pole to your premises and install conduit. Conduit is a tubing channel that will ultimately house your property’s fiber cable drop.

Phase 3 – Fiber Construction
Once pole licenses are granted by local utilities, Sertex crews begin stranding fiber cable onto utility poles, connecting the aerial portion of the network, and testing the network. Once external permits are secured, underground construction on roads can begin. Aerial and underground fiber drops to properties are also installed during this phase. Fiber drops run from the pole to the exterior of your premises.

Phase 4 – ISP Subscription and Service Installation
Those wanting to subscribe for high speed Internet and/or telephone service select the plan of their choice. (Preliminary options are available on the BroadbandBI website, and final plans and pricing will be set prior to service subscription.) Once a property owner signs up for service, a Sertex representative reaches out to schedule an appointment to install in-home electronics and software and to light up the fiber connection.

Fiber Drop Installations

A final fiber connection (known as a “drop”) will run from the backbone to each premises, and equipment will enable end user devices to connect using cables or wirelessly to the network. Once a property has registered and submitted a request for service, a representative from the Sertex customer service team will contact you to discuss your fiber drop installation. Commercial and multitenant units will require a pre-installation survey by one of our technicians before the actual installation.

Download an illustration of the Standard Drop Configuration for a Single Family Home

Download PDF

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