Fiber-optic network for Telia with micro-trenching technology
Empower built Open Fiber fiber-optic connections for Telia in the Länsi-Pakila district of Helsinki. In this project, Empower and Telia piloted the micro-trenching method, which is faster and more environmentally friendly than the traditional excavation method and also causes less disturbance in the site’s surroundings.
In this turnkey project, Empower was responsible for site planning, customer communications, micro-trenching, fiber blowing, household terminal installation, customer guidance and documentation. What was new about the project was that excavation was not carried out with a traditional excavator but with micro-trenching, a technique that was first introduced in Finland nearly 10 years ago. Now the methods have evolved and the technology has become a feasible option to traditional methods.
In micro-trenching, excavation is carried out with a special machine, with diamond blades cutting a groove that is slightly over 2 cm wide and roughly 40 cm deep. From the beginning of the cutting to the spreading of bitumen, the excavation phase lasts for approximately 24 hours and, in the end, all you can see is a stripe in the paving that blends in well with the environment and does not prevent movement in the area during the project.
Telia is satisfied with the well-executed pilot project and the fast delivery of fibre-optic connections. The local residents were also delighted with the project’s speed and lack of disturbance.
– As technology has evolved, we wanted to gain more experience in micro-trenching. The method causes less disturbance to the residents in the surrounding area as the worksite requires less space and the schedule is shorter compared to using traditional methods. The method also causes less harm to the environment as the groove that is cut is smaller, says Jukka Huhtanen, Head of Network Deployment at Telia. Empower’s customer-oriented approach and smooth cooperation are commended.
– In the pilot project, we cooperated in testing a technique that is not yet in as extensive commercial use in Finland as traditional methods. Empower arranged several work demonstrations and we could increase the awareness of this method significantly, Jukka Huhtanen goes on to say.
The analysis of the pilot results will be completed in spring 2018 once the snow has melted and it can be ensured that the roads where the method has been used have remained in good condition.