The Town of Estes Park did not have broadband, but a survey done by Colorado State University showed that the residents preferred to buy high speed internet from the Estes Park Power and Light company instead of from a traditional telecom company, primarily because of the established reputation for response time during power outages.
Lockhart said they spent a year investigating various options looking for a way to install a network, while saving on cost and man hours. Traditionally, strand and lash techniques are used to mount aerial cables. “A cable company will put a steel guide wire, or support wire, in place and then come back and install fiber optic cables, and then come back with a machine that connects the fiber to the steel pole – that’s three things you have to do,” Lockhart said. “It’s a cheap product to buy, but the man hours add up.”
Lockhart estimated that the traditional cost of installation with a contractor would have cost $18 per foot, but his in-house costs were closer to about $7 per foot. “If we can save $3 or $4 million on man hours, that’s a big deal. It’s not just installing; it’s maintaining. We are saving in the long term also.” Easier maintenance provides immediate and future cost-savings.
Some customers prefer the traditional strand and lash technique because of the equipment and resources already in place, which also works for FuturePath Figure-8 Self-Support Aerial.
Safety is always a priority. When linemen are working at the poles, the fewer things they have to climb over, the better. Lockhart said, “Another great thing about Dura-Line’s FuturePath Figure-8 Self-Support Aerial product is that it cleans up the pole. Our crew only have to climb over one thing instead of six or seven things. It really helps our line crew.”