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Standard User ft247
(learned) Mon 01-Mar-21 19:45:43
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Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


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I'm in the lucky position that both Openreach FTTP and Community Fibre are building in my area. It has been hard to tell who is doing what work, but over recent weeks it looks like Community Fibre are coming first.

There isn't a great deal of information out there on their deployments, especially in PIA/overhead areas so I thought I'd bring together what I have found out. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

The pole-top enclosures in a neighbouring area (built previously) look like HellermanTyton 'Aerial Fibre Nodes'. In contrast to the Corning Optisheath that Openreach use, these have a door and can contain splices and splitters on lower trays, with customer connections on the top tray. They are available in both SC and LC, PC and APC - I haven't seen one open to know what type CF use. Allowing 24 connections per enclosure, they're a much better choice than Optisheath (12 port max) if you have to pay Openreach for each item and cable on the pole.

From the pole, drop fibre spans to the eaves of houses then down to an external connection/splice point where it joins to a fibre entering the property. These are black and larger than the Openreach CSPs. I think they look like HellermanTyton 'Customer Connection Enclosures'. Like the AFNs, these can accommodate different connector flavours or splices - heathrow said a splice was used on his install.

In my area most poles have just had a single 7/3.7mm microduct (it looks like Emtelle aerial type) run from footway box up under the existing protective capping. I'm not sure if the underground tube bundle has been installed yet, but a team of two spent less than 15 minutes at each pole on that task. I'd be impressed if a tube had been extracted from a bundle, joined and sealed in that time.

Community Fibre, not having an exchange network, site their OLTs in powered cabinets. Those recently installed in this area are light grey in colour and about half the width of a typical Openreach PCP. There are smaller cabinets sited with them, perhaps for electrical connection/metering. Also showing up have been large (3 lid) footway chambers, both near the cabinets but also deeper into the network, presumably housing splitters.

I know XGS-PON is in use, but I don't know what the split ratios are. In theory, I think 24f bundles could be blown to each pole, but it would also be possible to blow fewer fibres that deep and use splitters at the pole. That would reduce the number of splices needed at each pole... but there are a lot of other considerations, so who knows.

They have stated they cover ~4000 premises per cabinet, which could be 32 ports on 1:128 splits (which seems to be the maximum split ratio on Adtran kit).

Any pointers to further information welcome! "Community Fibre" as a search term mostly turns up Openreach CFPs, I wonder who had the name first.
Standard User ft247
(learned) Tue 02-Mar-21 14:49:20
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
Here's a picture of one of the cabinet pairs that has appeared recently: https://ibb.co/R6v77H8

Seems the locals have wasted no time in vomiting on one.
Standard User Pheasant
(experienced) Tue 02-Mar-21 18:38:06
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
Spoilt for choice!

On the basis that the service is symmetric, capable of packages in excess of 1Gbps and the prices are competitive, I would choose CF over an Openreach provided service.

If it’s utterly terrible you can always get Openreach provided FTTP connected.

My Broadband Speed Test


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Standard User Fastman3
(member) Tue 02-Mar-21 18:56:34
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
community fibre partnership is openreach co funded programme and it programme has been around since around 2012 ish and it became community fibre partnership in about 2016 ish -

community fibre is a a seperate Network builder normally urban
Standard User heathrow
(regular) Tue 02-Mar-21 19:20:26
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
Interesting. I have no idea where my CF cabinet is.
Standard User ft247
(learned) Tue 02-Mar-21 22:51:21
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: heathrow] [link to this post]
 
In very rough terms, 4000 subscribers in typical high-density Victorian terraced housing fill about 1 square kilometre. The leafier your suburb the higher that number!

Some of Openreach's handover exchanges are ~5km as the crow flies from the FTTP premises they serve. From what I've seen so far, Community Fibre operate a more distributed model with cabinets in or adjacent to the areas they serve.

My gut feeling is that cabinets in SDU areas will be within a 1km radius of the premises they serve, probably more like 700m. That's just a guess for now, I haven't come across many of them yet.
Standard User hoopla
(committed) Wed 03-Mar-21 10:56:19
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: Fastman3] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Fastman3:
community fibre partnership is openreach co funded programme and it programme has been around since around 2012 ish and it became community fibre partnership in about 2016 ish -

community fibre is a a seperate Network builder normally urban
Are they the cabinets that are marked with the name of the council partnership on them? There's one 200 metres from my house, in the centre of the village. smile
My line is connected to a cabinet 1200 metres away frown
Despite paying for a new line, I'm stuck with the old one frown frown
Standard User ft247
(learned) Wed 10-Mar-21 18:36:52
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
Further discoveries:

In an adjacent area where CF's deployment is complete, I came across an open pole-top enclosure. It appears to contain 16x LC APC outlets on the customer connection level.

A significant number of poles have more than one CF enclosure attached. Speculation - maybe their standard deployment is to use one active fibre per AFN with a 1:16 split located in the AFN, and a further 1:8 splitter at an underground node. This reduces the splice count at each pole, but might make for inefficiency in OLT port usage. When I get some time I'll look at the number of properties typically served per AFN.

In the current deployment area I came across some discarded microduct bundle pieces - colours and sizes consistent with Emtelle MHT175 5/3.5mm. This can accommodate a 24-fibre unit, which is excessive if splitters are located in AFNs. Either I'm wrong about the 1:16 splits in AFNs, or they have sized the microducts to allow a PtP infrastructure in future.
Standard User Pheasant
(experienced) Wed 10-Mar-21 19:23:04
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: ft247] [link to this post]
 
I just noticed a pretty large triple footway chamber for with CF branding has been installed about a 10 minute walk from my place in N1. I’d say it’s been there less than a fortnight. CF have no other immediate presence nearby to my knowledge. The closest single connection on TBB maps is probably 1/2 a mile away.

https://postimg.cc/xcZfVBzL

https://postimg.cc/n9tFgmjg

Bizarrely or coincidentally there is an Openreach FTTC cabinet about 5 metres away which has just had the foundation exposed with a sole yellow fibre cable poking out through a 54mm get duct with some fast setting readymix poured in....I’ll get a photo tomorrow.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User ft247
(learned) Wed 10-Mar-21 20:12:05
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Re: Community Fibre / PIA overhead deployment methods


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pheasant:
a pretty large triple footway chamber with CF branding has been installed about a 10 minute walk from my place in N1. I’d say it’s been there less than a fortnight.


The triple lid chamber is what has been appearing in my area (SW16). Most are on Streatham High Road, the most major road in the area. I have seen four chambers spaced between 200 and 350m from each other, with every second being sited with a new cabinet.

Looking over towards the Furzedown/Tooting area which they built previously, CF chambers are smaller, only a double lid type but more numerous, spacing 120-300m.

As far as timelines go, the first chambers appeared here before Christmas if I remember right. Sporadic duct unblocking over January and February, microduct up poles a week or two ago, first signs of underground microduct bundle installation today. Many planned roadworks over the coming weeks - I'd say it's two months out if all goes well.
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