by the Fans of Light Speed
Ever wonder what all that Eagle County trenching and digging along I-70 Westbound is all about?
The Short Answer: Technology, as in Fiber Optics.
CDOT has gotten much smarter about the value of their I-70 “right-a-way” and is trenching in Fiber Optic “conduit” and Optic cable strands that will allow for their currently “dark fiber” to be leased to big Telecommunications companies needing a West Bound (usually redundant) Fiber Optic cable run.
Locally in Eagle County, Colorado – Comcast is a major subscriber to leased Fiber Optic Cable. All the technology services offered by Comcast – come into Eagle County via Fiber. HDTV, Streaming on demand Movies, Voice over IP phones, Internet, Streaming Audio, and in some cases – Optic Fiber to some Cell Towers is all working in Eagle County today (from Comcast) because of the Optic Fiber underground in Eagle County today.
Comcast’s biggest Node in Eagle County is known as a “head-end” in their business and is located in Avon on Metcalf Road. Fiber in and Fiber out of that head-end (photo –right) is what feeds your particular (local) Cable TV node in your neighborhood. It is hoped that some day soon Comcast will lease additional “dark fiber” from CDOT and have an additional/redundant Fiber Optic cable run “west” along I-70 in addition to their current Fiber that runs to Denver and (splits at Dowd Junction) to Colorado Springs as well.
With so much of what Eagle County consumers and businesses do on the Internet today – it’s easy to imagine why some Fiber Optic redundancy westbound is a very good idea.
From the ECT’s top photo – it’s a kind of an underground Fiber utility box that has an additional length of Optic Fiber cable “coiled up”. These boxes are located about 300-400 feet apart along I-70 – so that (should there ever be a Fiber Cut) the maintenance team has the additional Fiber Optic (cable slack) to pull additional fiber out of that spare coil and complete the repair of the cut cable.
More and More these days – Fiber Optics is being used to feed Cell Phone towers (like below) to reduce the number of old fashion copper cables that old Cell Phone sites use to use. With one Cell Tower servicing multiple companies (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint. et al) along with all their high speed data into today’s SmartPhones – it’s easy to see why Fiber Optics is the preferred choice for their infrastructure in the years to come.
Anybody want to guess the Eagle County – location of this Cell Tower below?