Loma Linda, CA deploys citywide FTTP network with m2fx pushable fiber cable

Pushable fiber-optic cable technology developer m2fx Ltd. says its products have helped the City of Loma Linda, CA, to significantly reduce the installation time and cost of its city-wide fiber to the premises (FTTP) network.

Pushable fiber-optic cable technology developer m2fx Ltd. says its products have helped the City of Loma Linda, CA, to significantly reduce the installation time and cost of its city-wide fiber to the premises (FTTP) network.

m2fx calculates that the city has been able to lower deployment costs on the last mile of its new fiber-optic network by between 64% and 76%, from $50 to $12-$18 per foot, by employing pushable fiber cable technology and micro trenching.

The savings have enabled the California municipality to roll out the city-wide fiber network within budget and to tight timescales, m2fx asserts, benefiting the 21,000 residents and reinforcing its reputation as a healthcare center. The city has five major hospitals and a healthcare-focused graduate university with 15,000 medical, dental, and allied healthcare students. Up to 100,000 people visit the city every day to be treated and it is the regional center for veterans, trauma and children’s care, providing services to one-fifth of California.

Cost-effectively deploying last mile connections was a major issue for the city, with the traditional methods of trenching and blown fiber proving too expensive, m2fx says. By switching to m2fx’s patented Miniflex pushable fiber cable and TuffDuct micro ducts, in combination with micro trenching, the city was able to dramatically reduce the cost and time for deployment, the vendor asserts.

Installations have been “deskilled,” with most deployments now completed by municipal staff, the landscaping and irrigation team laying duct, and the city electrician pulling or pushing fiber to the final destination from the nearest manhole. Time is further reduced by the use of pre-connectorized fiber cables and m2fx distribution patches.

“Our fiber network is at the heart of Loma Linda’s growth, attracting new businesses and increasing municipal efficiency,” said Konrad Bolowich, assistant city manager/director of IS, City of Loma Linda. “m2fx has been a really strong and responsive partner, working with us to help bring down installation costs – without their pushable fiber and micro trenching our deployment would simply have been impossible economically.”

The City of Loma Linda, covering 7.5 square miles in the San Bernadino Valley in southern California, is a community of 21,000 people. It is run by a full-service municipal government, providing facilities including police and fire protection as well as water, sewer and refuse utility services. W. James Hettrick, at the time director of information services for the city, won the FTTXcellence Award in 2005 for the city’s support of FTTH (see "Loma Linda’s FTTP ­initiative earns award").

“Increasingly municipalities across the United States are looking to attract investment, jobs, and residents by deploying state of the art fiber networks,” said Larry Malone, president, Americas, m2fx. “As the success of the City of Loma Linda demonstrates, high-speed broadband boosts competitiveness and brings enormous benefits. Lowering installation costs is a vital part of the business case behind any municipal fiber network, and the combination of micro trenching and our pushable fiber has enabled the City of Loma Linda to reduce expenditure and deployment time to fit its budget.”

Since deployment began all business premises and over 1,600 houses have been connected to the fiber network with a substantial percentage using m2fx Miniflex cable and duct. Buildings are being added on an ongoing basis, with 800 new homes scheduled to be constructed over the next three years. Additionally, a new 350,000 square foot Veteran’s Administration medical clinic is now being built in the city, and will not only be connected to the network, but will have local network connections based on m2fx’s indoor fiber protection products specified for internal use.

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