City of Loma Linda, CA shrinks fiber deployment costs via pushable technology, micro-trenching

June 10, 2014
Californian municipality says it reduced FTTP deployment costs by up to 76%.

m2fx, known for producing its patented Miniflex fiber cables, says it has been able to lower last-mile deployment costs for the City of Loma Linda, California's municipality-wide fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network by between 64-76% -- from $50 to just $12-$18 per foot -- via the use of pushable fiber technology and micro-trenching.

This has enabled the city-wide network roll-out within budget and with significantly reduced installation time, says the company, benefiting its 21,000 residents and reinforcing its reputation as a major healthcare center. Loma Linda has five hospitals and a healthcare-focused graduate university with 15,000 medical, dental, and allied healthcare students. Up to 100,000 people per day visit the city to be treated, and it is the regional center for veterans, trauma and children’s care, covering a fifth of California.

Cost-effectively deploying last mile connections was reportedly a major issue for the city, with the traditional method of combining trenching and blown fiber proving too expensive to support. By switching to m2fx's fiber network methodology, adopting the company's patented Miniflex pushable fiber cable and ruggedized TuffDuct micro ducts, in combination with micro trenching, the city said it was able to dramatically bring down the cost and time for deployment.

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"Installations have been de-skilled, with the majority of deployments now completed by municipal staff -- with the landscaping and irrigation teams laying duct and the city electrician pulling or pushing fiber to the final destination from the nearest manhole," said a spokesperson for m2fx. "Time is further reduced by the use of pre-connectorized fiber cables and m2fx distribution patches."

The City of Loma Linda says the new fiber network has delivered major municipal benefits, boosting its competitiveness and attracting new investment. Medical facilities are now able to share data in real-time, enabling remote diagnostics and faster medical care, while new businesses have moved to the city thanks to the power of the network. Finally, the city has been able to digitize services, removing paper and increasing efficiency, while improving security through an integrated CCTV camera network.

“Our fiber network is at the heart of Loma Linda’s growth, attracting new businesses and increasing municipal efficiency,” concludes 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.”

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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 Loma Linda, which will not only be connected to the network, but will have m2fx’s indoor fiber protection products specified for internal use.

“Increasingly municipalities across the United States are looking to attract investment, jobs, and residents by deploying state of the art fiber networks,” concludes 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.”

Download m2fx's full case study on its Loma Linda fiber network deployment.

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