Fiber on Demand
Fiber on demand is the benefit of TRAXyL’s solution for installing fiber on roads, runways, and bridges, states Blaine Riney. Riney, TRAXyL’s Business Development Manager, describes their technique as painting fiber on a surface. Installing up to 1,000 feet per hour with up to 72 fibers (3 each 24 fiber cables) allows an operator to react much faster to customer demand than traditional construction approaches.
For instance, TRAXyl suggests a timeline of 6 days from design to termination compared to 25 days for the timeline for a 1-mile, fiber construction project. Because of the thin, shallow cut, there is no need for underground surveying. There is no debris left behind, or soil or road degradation as their machine cleans as it goes. Further, Riney says that is both environmentally friendly as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Compared to micro trenching, which reaches depths of 16 to 27 inches and penetrates the road surface, the TRAXyL trench is about half an inch. The TRAXtor, their machine for cutting the surface, laying the fiber, filling, and sealing the cut, can get as close as 4 or 5 inches from a curb. It can also make the transition to the curb. The fibers, micro ducts, and handholes are off-the-shelf items.
Think About It in a New Way
Riney says they want to be part of the road life cycle maintenance process to maximize the life of the fiber. He envisions a matrix of fibers providing a level of redundancy not seen with more expensive techniques.
He suggests that the low-cost installation and time-to-market advantages outweigh the potential replacement if a given road has to be milled in the future. Riney points out that the gutter pans provide a space for placing fiber that is safe from asphalt milling.
TRAXyL is military-proven, with installations across runways transited by B-1 bombers. They are looking for distributors and installers to leverage their machines and consumables. Their crawl, walk, and roll evolution appears to be perfectly timed with the enormous public and private investment in U.S. fiber deployments.
- 00:12 – Blaine Riney talks about the fiber-on-demand concept and explains how the FiberTRAX machine etches a channel, pulls up the debris, lays the fiber, and seals the surface with a UV-treated proprietary topcoat.
- 00:54 – Some of their last-mile applications have included fiber-to-the-home, college campuses, airports, and bridges.
- 01:23 – Fiber counts can be as large as 72-count.
- 01:40 – It cures and is ready to drive on in about 60 minutes. It is resilient to snowplow blades and B1-bombers.
- 02:06 – They simply drive around potholes.
- 02:27 – Cities love this approach, according to Riney.
- 03:23 – Riney indicates that there is zero environmental impact.
- 03:55 – The time savings go beyond the actual construction.
- 04:27 – The differences with mico trenching are significant.
- 06:08 – TRAXyL’s plan to work with road maintenance cycles.
- 08:11 – They are rolling out a training and certification program for third-party installers.
- 08:57 – Their solution is a result of multiple iterations and refinements that started with TRAXyL’s founders on their hands and knees installing fiber with the goal of helping connect one of the founder’s fathers to the Internet.
ViodiTV coverage of FBA’s Fiber Connect 2023 courtesy of Calix.