It is estimated that around 70% of the cost of building a new FTTH (Fibre To The Home) network is linked to plant engineering activities, obviously based on the various types of demographic areas. In addition to the financial costs, it is now unthinkable to ignore the environmental and social costs. In order to contain these costs, it is extremely important to focus on the digging methods and on the optimisation of the already existing underground infrastructures.
Sirti has invested in this area for many years and has already cemented important methodologies and best practice, such as non-invasive digging techniques and low environmental impact subsoil surveys.
Non-invasive digging techniques
Innovative digging technologies now exist, which Sirti successfully employs to considerably reduce infrastructural costs. The One-Day-Dig solution, for example, thanks to the coordinated efforts of technologies developed ad hoc, will allow completion times to be reduced, quickly making the roadway fit for use again and minimising the impact on the community. In quantitative terms, this entails a 90% reduction in the environmental impact (less invasive digging) and an 80% decrease in the social impact (sites that open and close on the same day);
One Day Dig
Sirti’s innovative solution revolutionises traditional digging and TLC infrastructure laying techniques; it is particularly suitable for the construction of ultra-broadband networks with FTTX technology.
OneDayDig was recognised by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) – a UN agency for the standardisation of telecommunication technology – as an example of best practice for constructing TLC infrastructures.
The OneDayDig technique can accomplish the following in a single step:
- Subsoil surveying
- Small-scale digging, suctioning out the materials
- Laying cables
- Finishing the road surface
- Georeferenced documentation of the infrastructure
The process is carried out as a single step, making it possible to increase worksite productivity by a factor of up to 10 compared to traditional worksites; this drastically reduces the time it takes to carry out the operation and consequent disruption to the public.
Since the digging is reduced to a minimum, the volume of materials to get rid of is significantly reduced, with a consequent reduction of the environmental impact.
Since the material is suctioned out while the section is being dug, there is almost no dust produced, unlike traditional worksites.
Low environmental impact subsoil survey methods
With similar system benefits, Sirti engineered and developed a proprietary solution (a real-time 3D georadar survey), essential for achieving the objective of creating and maintaining an inventory of underground infrastructures, in particular, cable ducts, and simplifying their maintenance. An interesting application of this technology is the possibility of mapping the subsoil without having to dig, by running simple scans and with no need to occupy the roadway for any reason.
One of the most critical areas for the development of the FTTH network is the metropolitan area and, in particular, the area relating to the cabling of existing buildings, the so-called “brownfield”. The difficulty lies both in the limited availability of infrastructures for telecommunications (especially in the more dated buildings), and in the difficulties in obtaining permits (particularly “visible” installations). In this context, it is crucial to identify solutions which allow existing buildings to be cabled with a minimum environmental impact (on the building) and low works completion costs.
Sirti has developed innovative techniques for these purposes, which make it possible to install “internal optical cabling” by using pre-existing mounting columns, from the building foundations to the connections to the floors and the cable outlets in the property units. For buildings without mounting columns or with mounting columns no longer usable, Sirti provides its own “external optical cabling” solution on the building face.