Construction of the FairlawnGig® Network is Underway!
The FairlawnGig Network Construction Process
The FairlawnGig fiber network will pass every residence and business in Fairlawn and the Akron/Bath/Fairlawn JEDD. Most of the network will be buried underground in the right-of-way adjacent to each street. There will be more than 57 miles of fiber optic cable buried throughout Fairlawn to complete the network.
The FairlawnGig service area has been divided into twelve neighborhoods. This is illustrated on our service area map. Each neighborhood will be built out completely and then connected to a core fiber ring that runs through the entire city.
There are several steps to the construction process and it will take some time to complete. We are going as fast as possible, but this work must be done safely and accurately. We have separate crews doing construction in three different neighborhoods.
Locating and Marking Existing Utilities
Marking the existing utilities is the first step of FairlawnGig network construction in your neighborhood. There may be other utility infrastructure buried in the right-of-way. It is important to understand the location of any existing utilities such as gas line, water lines, or cable TV before digging in the right-of-way. The paint on the sidewalk or in the right of way, and the little flags are used to indicate where the other infrastructure is located. These markings help our construction crews avoid disturbing or damaging other utilities.
Construction crews will begin work after each area has been marked by a utility locating service.
Directional Boring and Conduit Installation
Though most of the FairlawnGig network will be buried underground, we will not be digging open trenches or opening up many city streets in order to build the network. The primary construction method used is directional boring. Construction crews will dig a smaller hole in the right-of-way, drill down to the proper level, and then drill horizontally to connect to another smaller hole in the right-of-way several hundred feet down the street. Directional boring allows the construction crews to drill under driveways and streets without disturbing the roadway.
Flexible plastic pipe, conduit, is used to fill the hole and create space for the fiber cable. Extra conduit is installed to allow for future expansion and repair.
Pulling the Fiber Cable
Once the conduit is installed, construction crews will pull the fiber optic cable through the conduit. Many different sized cables are used. The core ring consists of fiber cable with 576 separate strands of fiber. Out in the neighborhoods smaller and smaller bundles of fiber are split off and used to distribute the network. 24-strand cable may run down your street and ultimately two strands may be used to connect to your home.
Each time the fiber is cut, these individual strands of fiber must be spliced together to maintain continuity, or they must be terminated and connected to a fiber switch.
Network Test and Verification
The FairlawnGig Data Center is already operational and includes state-of-the-art switching, routing and fiber transmission electronics. In each of the twelve neighborhoods, there is a small cabinet that houses electronics for splitting out and splicing the network into smaller fiber bundles for the local access network; and repeating and regenerating signals on the fiber cable. This is called a local convergence point cabinet or LCP cabinet.
The fiber connection between the data center and the neighborhood LCP cabinet must be continuous. Individual ports on the data center switches need to be connected to specific ports on the neighborhood LCP. Testing is done to verify that every endpoint in the neighborhood is connected to the proper port on the data center switch and can receive a fiber signal of appropriate strength. FairlawnGig will monitor the network continuously, and during this testing stage will verify that it is possible to monitor and manage each port in the neighborhood individually.
Once this testing and verification is complete, FairlawnGig service can begin in the neighborhood.
Connecting Homes and Businesses
The FairlawnGig network will run down the street past every home or business in Fairlawn. For those who want FairlawnGig service, we need to connect your location to the network. In residential areas there will usually be a connection point for every four houses. Our construction crews will bury a cable in your yard and connect it to a small box on the outside of your house. This is a single cable buried in your yard, similar to cable TV coming from the street into your house or an electric dog fence.
Those homes and businesses who connect to the electrical utility from overhead poles will also get FairlawnGig service from overhead. The FairlawnGig cable will follow the same path as the electric utility cable and connect to a small box on the outside of your building.
FairlawnGig needs a Right of Entry agreement in order to do this work on your house or business. That is one of the reasons we are accepting sign-ups now, before construction is complete. Once we have a Right of Entry for your property, we can schedule the outside part of your install while the construction crews are in the area.
After construction is complete, the City of Fairlawn Service Department will restore any areas that were disturbed during the construction process to their previous beauty.