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Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

quantium
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 20-08-2011

Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

I was astonished to read that fibres may be connected via overhead poles. Or did I misread something?
If some are connected that way, has anyone on this list got a fibre connected via an overhead pole and how has it performed in the winds? (ie did it break easily)
Also is there a metal sheath to the fibre that could conduct lightning?
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

It does appear that it can be distributed overhead on poles - some discussion on the thread below.
http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/fibre/4039423-does-ftth-need-ducting-to-the-house.html?page=45&sb=7...
I'd suspect that even if the Fibre (which is non conductive) is shielded or protected by a metal sheath, it would be terminated mechanically not electrically and the risk of any lightning current reaching your equipment would be small.
I stand to be corrected though !
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

It appears they are happy running them over the high voltage lines to the property as well !
http://www.beyondbroadband.coop/kb/using-overhead-distribution-lines-carry-fibre-optic-cables
beeceegee
Rising Star
Posts: 511
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 1
Registered: 27-11-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

I have fibre from a pole.
It's only a short drop though, runs alongside the copper wire (so in the event of a lightning strike the fibre would be the least of my worries). It then runs down the front of the house (strapped to the rainpipe) to the external box, and across the front to a hole in the wall in my study.
There are a couple of longer drops from the same pole; they seem to be fine in the winds so far (which are admittedly not as strong as elsewhere). The drop is tensioned at each end by a spiral metal thingy which I guess also stops it flexing at the ends.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

I know BT Openreach are looking at FTTdp.
It's quite a way off yet though, but it's an option they are looking at or the future.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
quantium
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 20-08-2011

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

Thanks for all your replies. We are looking at improved reliability rather than speed, and the fact that repairs may take longer isn't encouraging.
beeceegee
Rising Star
Posts: 511
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 1
Registered: 27-11-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

Reliability - after a rocky first few weeks (due to a fault on the exchange side of the splitter - probably at the exchange itself) have had 100% reliability for a month now. Apart from the run up the pole and the drop to the house all our fibre is underground (although elsewhere in the village I believe there is some pole to pole cabling)
Repairs - any fault on the exchange side of the splitter will take out multiple installations and should result in a fairly speedy investigation. On this side of the splitter, to the Distribution Point and thence to the manifold on the pole once all the jointing is done and tested there's not a lot to go wrong (according to the engineers anyway)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

In theory, it is a lot easier to run overhead fibre cabling than underground.
The problem for BT is that, due to health and safety and local council rules, they have to close some roads when working on overhead cabling. One engineer was telling me that every time someone orders FTTP in one area, they have to get permission from the local council to install it and the overhead work requires a main road to be closed for half a day.
quantium
Grafter
Posts: 30
Registered: 20-08-2011

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

Thankfully we don't have this particular problem because the route all the way to the exchange is over farmland.
All these rules and regulations don't seem to solve anything -- a couple of years ago thieves stole some telephone cables to sell for scrap, not over farmland but along a residential street in the home counties. I don't suppose they got council permission to close the road Smiley The residents were cut off for some weeks whilst they took their place in the queue for repair work.
gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

Our cable was put in overhead, even though our copper comes in underground (without a duct - which I'm guessing is why they did it).  Looks like they are putting ducts in to my neighbours.
As for longevity, they ran the fibre through our tree which I did wonder at the merit of, but despite being blown around, it's not affected us at all these last 9 months.
GunSmoke
beeceegee
Rising Star
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Registered: 27-11-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

Quote from: gunsmoke
As for longevity, they ran the fibre through our tree which I did wonder at the merit of, but despite being blown around, it's not affected us at all these last 9 months.
GunSmoke

I asked the engineer specifically about trees, as our camellia will be up there with the cables in a few years. He said not to worry, it will be ok, the cables are very robust. It blew a bit last night and all three cables from "our" pole are fine  Smiley
gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

this tree is an eucalyptus & the fibre cable goes between some branches.  I was planning on chopping a fair whack off the top sometime soon anyway, but now I'll have to do it without bringing the fibre down with it.
wonder how robust the fibre is when it comes to chainsaws... Wink
beeceegee
Rising Star
Posts: 511
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 1
Registered: 27-11-2012

Re: Fibres on overhead poles in windy location prone to lightning

Quote from: gunsmoke
wonder how robust the fibre is when it comes to chainsaws... Wink

nothing a dab of superglue can't fix, I'm sure  Wink
those eucalyptus grow really fast; next door had one, it grew to 30ft in just a few years, then they had to get rid of it as it was starting to lean alarmingly