Monday, August 21, 2017

Damage in the Name of Prevention

Examining the Costs of Fiber Tracing Material

by Matt Brice
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Damage Prevention Professional magazine. It is being reprinted here with permission. You can read the original printing in the digital issue of the magazine:
 Selecting armored fiber optic cable for direct burial or a tracer wire element to install with your next underground build might allow you to “check the box” that your plant can be found. However, are you creating an effective system to do so for the life of the network? Today I ask network operators to reflect on how you specify and order materials based not just on capex, but some of the hidden operating costs with toning options on the market today.

I recently compiled one mile worth of connected cost data for the several types of toning options associated with fiber builds. These figures only include materials, and they do not include any labor estimates. We will look at the implications of using cable armor versus a tracer wire element. While this article applies to telecom networks, it does include valuable cost comparisons for locating products used for all utilities.