Fibre optic coverage continues to grow in all parts of the world, although it does not do so at the same rate in all areas or countries. While in Spain we can boast of having one of the largest fibre-optic networks to the home in the world, other territories experience a different situation. Whether due to socioeconomic problems or the technical difficulty of the deployment, some 3.5 billion people do not have an Internet connection at the moment. This robot arrives just in time to facilitate the deployment of fibre optics by the power line, a very valid option in many countries.
Users increasingly consume more data from the Internet. On average, there is an increase of between 20% and 30% per person. This is somewhat incompatible with the old Internet connection technologies that are being asked too much in various parts of the planet. For that reason, it is imperative that we deploy fibre optic and 5G, updating the old ADSL, coaxial, 2G, 3G and even 4G networks. Be that as it may, in all cases we need a good fibre infrastructure.
Facebook Connectivity wants to help deploy fibre
Facebook Connectivity has worked with various companies and organizations in recent years to build a solution that enables them to deploy aerial fibre optics. In this case, they have designed a robot capable of safely deploying fibre optic cables through the medium voltage lines. In this case, it refers to electrical installations with a nominal voltage of between 1 and 36 kV. In fact, in Spain, medium-voltage installations are high-voltage installations of the 3rd category.
Going back to the Facebook robot, it uses different innovations to make the deployment cheaper using the current lines. As we know, the part of burying the optical fiber or taking it to the buildings is the most expensive part of the process, especially in the final part of it. For that reason, the robot takes advantage of current power lines and expect to see the first deployments with this technology in the coming years.
This can greatly benefit rural areas or remote areas of cities where it does not pay off the investment of carrying fibre optics in the traditional way. The electrical lines do reach these areas, so that part would already be covered. In the image above we see the deployment of fibre optics in Uganda (in red) and power lines (in yellow). That allows us to imagine the possibilities of technology.
Finally, it is necessary to highlight the need to have a special fibre optic cable that Facebook has designed. This has a much lower weight, almost 10 times less than those commonly used in deployments. In addition, it is resistant to heat and other factors necessary to coexist in power lines. Deploying 1km of aerial fibre optic with the robot takes about 90 minutes.