Something Small Turns into Something Big

In a big city like New York, it’s a “micro” idea that’s making news these days.

Verizon reached an agreement with the City of New York to conduct a pilot program of “microtrenching,” which enables fiber optic cables to be installed in a way that’s less disruptive to the city’s streets and sidewalks.

Installing underground wires - such as fiber – in New York is quite the process. It involves large excavations, backhoes and dump trucks, air and noise pollution, and it has a significant impact on our carbon footprint. And who isn’t familiar with the annoying "ka-thunk, ka-thunk" sound of driving over steel plates covering large holes in the road while work is in progress?

All of that is changing with our new approach to trenching, or excavating the ground, that makes it easier and more efficient to lay fiber. It involves a much thinner wire and less equipment. It takes a third of the time to install fiber, with less disruption to the environment.

“The technology now allows us to do big things – like laying fiber into a streetbed, or bringing fiber into a building – in a small way,” said Chris Levendos, Verizon executive director for National Operations. “And in a city the size of New York that means better pedestrian and traffic flow in our streets and sidewalks, a cleaner and quicker process, and faster access for our customers.”

In one of the first uses, we conducted microtrenching to introduce interactive touch-screen technology to New York City phone booths in a way that’s never been done before. Take a look at this video to see and hear just how it’s done.