Google Fiber, a cutting-edge broadband technology, is lightning fast.
How fast? If you use today’s internet standard in the United States, it would take five minutes to download 100 songs. The same 100 songs with Google Fiber? Three seconds. But, while its internet speed is rapid, the installation process is anything but.
A complicated process is one of the biggest reasons why Google Fiber is currently only being built in select cities. One of those cities, Nashville, Tenn., is currently at the tail end of year one of a proposed three-year build-out.
According to The Tennessean, the construction process includes installing 18 fiber huts that transmit signals to 20,000 homes each and attaching fiber to more than 100,000 utility poles. In total, 3,200 miles of fiber will be laid throughout the city’s limits.
With the flurry of activity around the Nashville area, local dealership, Ditch Witch of Tennessee, has been busy. A strong strategy from the get-go makes them the first stop for Google Fiber contractors.
That strategy is providing a turnkey package, consisting of five separate units: a Ditch Witch drill; a Ditch Witch vacuum excavator; a Ditch Witch mud system on a trailer; a Kubota excavator; and Chicago Pneumatic (CP) breaker.
“It is a lengthy process to lay the fiber, but the job is consistently the same throughout,” said Ray Romano, owner of Ditch Witch of Tennessee. “This is why our turnkey package has been so successful — it is everything they need in one package, which ultimately creates fewer headaches for these contractors.”
The unheralded player in the turnkey package? The CP breakers.
Proven to be handy in critical circumstances throughout the Google Fiber project, the dealership carries the CP RX4, RX6 and RX8 breakers in their lineup.
The situation contractors continue to face is beneath the surface. During a bore, thick mud and rock create sticking issues for the drill rod and can get lost amongst the rubble.
The solution? CP breakers aid in the recovery of the tooling. The breakers hammer anywhere from 6 to 10 ft below the surface to loosen up the particles in the pit.
To date, the dealership has rented out over a dozen CP breakers to contractors on the Google Fiber project, and, according to Romano, have saved contractors a lot of money.
“The contractors on the project love the CP breakers, and they have been very reliable and cost-effective,” said Romano. “It is a huge undertaking in implementing the Google Fiber, but it really is a big deal for the city and many here are excited to receive the service.”
Neighborhood by neighborhood, contractors in Nashville will continue to splice and lay fiber, likely for another two years. But, innovative solutions, like the turnkey package, could potentially streamline the process in the years to come.
For now, Google Fiber contractors have their hands full drilling through miles of surface in each select city. As the network expands to new cities, the sheer speed of the next generation of internet will set fire to what we know today.
It seems worth the wait.