Blowing in the Wind

Walking the dog around South Molton the other day I spotted a BT Openreach contractor working on the new super fast broadband cabinet in Poltimore Road.

It transpires he was blowing fibre through the duct from the cabinet to the node where it meets the other fibre optic cables.

I later saw another engineer working in a manhole at the junction of Station Road and East Street. This engineer had just connected up the other end of the fibre that I’d earlier seen being blown from the cabinet in Poltimore Road. He was now working on the fibre that had been blown from the cabinet in Hugh Squire Avenue.

‘Blowing’ is a technique invented by BT that uses compressed air to literally blow the fibre along the duct.  Before then, all cable, including fibre, was typically pulled through the duct.

Blowing, rather than pulling, means that longer lengths of cable can be installed, a winch rope doesn’t need to used, bends and undulations in the duct are less of an issue, and equipment is only needed at one end of the route. So its quicker, easier and cheaper.

What it all means is that within a week or two another large swathe of South Molton will be able to get superfast broadband.