Digging in yard to install fiber

Does a Crew Have To Dig in My Yard To Install Fiber?

Comments 30 comments

Not every fiber installation means digging in your yard. There are two different ways that fiber service is wired to your home: underground and aerial. Depending on where you live and how the provider is bringing fiber directly to your home determines the type of installation you’ll have.

Let’s look at how this happens and details on each deployment method.

The fiber planning process

You, the homeowner, don’t have the choice about whether the fiber drop to your home is buried underground or strung by wire from a pole. That decision was made many months before by your local community council, working closely with the fiber provider chosen to do the implementation.

The provider took months to analyze your neighborhood or community and factor in your soil, your infrastructure, your roads, your geography and the location of other utility connections to determine a construction plan for bringing in fiber implementation. After that plan was approved by the local authorities, another more detailed engineering plan was created.

And that’s when these experts weighed the options to build the right implementation plan for your neighborhood. So if some houses near you have aerial installations while some have buried installations, it’s all built into the plan.

Underground installation: the last mile

When your installation is underground a crew chosen by your fiber provider will dig a small trench on your property to bury the line that comes from the street. Before they do this, they’ll mark and protect any other buried utility lines in your yard by working with 811 Call Before You Dig. Those are the little white and yellow flags you might see in yards when people are doing anything from digging for a new deck or planting new trees.

Once the line is brought onto your premises, a technician will install a service box—an Optical Network Terminal—either inside or outside your home. From that connection, the technician will connect the data line to your new router. You’ll have Wi-Fi—and you’ll be running on fast fiber!

Aerial installation: the last mile

An aerial installation will come from a wire strung on a utility pole. Typically, the local power company owns the top of the pole for their lines, and the phone and internet providers own a secondary location.

From a nearby designated utility pole, technicians will follow the prescribed plan to use the pole to string a line right to the outside of your home. From there, they’ll run the wire directly to an Optical Network Terminal—either inside or outside your home. From that connection, the technician will connect the data line to your new router. You’ll have Wi-Fi—and you’ll be running on fast fiber!

Is the installation all done at once?

For some buried installations, the provider may not be able to complete your outside installation in one visit. In that case, a temporary connection will probably be set up so that you’ll have fiber service. They’ll return to bury and complete the process. Check with your provider to find out the particulars of your home’s fiber installation.

Buried or aerial, the results are worth it

Sure, you’ve been anticipating your fiber for a long time—perhaps for six months or more. But your patience will pay off, as once it comes to your home, you’ll have faster internet speed, multiplayer gaming without lag, smoother video calls and enough bandwidth, so everybody in your household can be online doing everything they like to do there all at once.

So, sit tight and you’ll get through the install. Your best life with fiber is on its way!

30 responses to “Does a Crew Have To Dig in My Yard To Install Fiber?”

  1. Frontier Communications says:

    Not at all, William. If your home is receiving a new fiber install for the first time and a buried drop needs placed, that’s included with the installation.

  2. Rigo Sanabria says:

    How do I make a request to bury my fiber line to the home?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Rigo, you shouldn’t need to request the drop connecting your home be buried, it’s part of the installation process. Most often it occurs before your installation but sometimes we connect with a temp and have to bury after. If that’s an issue we’re happy to help, just reach out to us on Social Media at m.me/FrontierCorp or Twitter.com/AskFrontier. You can also contact us by live chat for phone https://www.frontier.com/contact-us.


  3. Frontier Communications says:

    Hi Fred. I think you’re asking how we would bring the fiber into your home’s interior because the exterior is concrete? With any installation we have bring the service into the home, so some manner of hole to ingress from the exterior to the interior would be required. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. ^Michael

  4. Mark says:

    Can I choose where the fiber comes into my home? Ideally I would want it to go right next to were the cable TV coax cable is currently coming into my home.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      It’s not a common request but we can certainly work with you prior to install. I would suggest once you place an order to contact us on social media with a PM on Facebook (m.me/FrontierCorp) or a DM on Twitter (twitter.com/AskFrontier) and we can assist. Typically the fiber is run to the same location that other utilities connect to your home to use a common ingress location. ^Michael

  5. Anton says:

    I am installing conduit from the street to my new home for the power company. What is the conduit requirements for Frontier? Size and Location?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Anton, if you have advance knowledge of where our termination point is any conduit with a pull string placed that can support a line approximately 1/2 inch in diameter would work, but there is usually no need to do this for a fiber drop as they’re done as direct bury or aerial when an order for service is placed. Assuming the line is buried it would go from the in ground vault to the home. ^Michael

  6. Scott says:

    When the crew dig in my yard to install fiber, do I have to pay for that too ?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hey Scott, I think you mean the buried drop for the installation? If that’s correct then no, you’re not charged for the buried drop work. ^Michael

  7. Jonathan says:

    All of my existing utility lines (including my current Frontier landline) are run down the utility pole at the end of my driveway into a conduit that goes underground under my driveway into my home. Is it possible for Frontier to pull fiber through in that conduit vs. having to string aerial? I buried the other wires to avoid having unsightly aerial lines.

    I live in Riverside, CT, in case that has a bearing on the answer.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Jonathan, great question! As long as the conduit has the space and is unobstructed or has a pull string it should work. Another requirement for fiber is the bend radius is not too extreme. Our installer would have to verify that at the time of install. If you’ve ever seen the things that look like tennis rackets or snow shoes on aerial lines, those things have fiber wrapped around them looping back and are in place to keep a safe bend radius on the optical cable. ^Michael

  8. Sarah Poafpybitty says:

    Do you have to require a land deed just to dig on a property for fiber optics?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hello Sarah, this is an interesting question. I’m not aware of any need to require a land deed for a fiber installation. Generally speaking, our build is contained to areas that are in utility easement or right of way areas when touching private property. That applies to both buried and aerial lines. When we’re doing the installation from the terminal to the home we’ll get utility locates if the lines are buried but then we only require homeowner consent for the remaining work. Thanks for the question and if you have more don’t hesitate to ask! ^Michael

  9. Bob says:

    I was wondering the hole diameter required for the fiber cable end to pass through a hole. I was going to have the hole ready so they can acess the first floor from the basement.

  10. Frontier Communications says:

    Hello Bob! Good question. The diameter of the fiber itself is less than that of a human hair, pretty remarkable! Leaving that exposed would be much too fragile, though! The entire cable is under 1/2 of an inch in diameter and many are less than 1/4 of an inch in diameter, but I would be hesitant to advise pre-drilling any holes for an installation as they may not be necessary. The fiber line goes to an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) which is commonly installed on the outside of a home or inside in a garage or basement space. We wouldn’t typically run the fiber between floors in a home. A more likely scenario would be running or using existing Ethernet or Coaxial wiring from the Optical Terminal to the location of the primary internet router. These cables are fully capable of carrying speeds in excess of our fastest fiber in the short distances within a home for local network building. ^Michael

  11. Matthew Medina says:

    Why did they put a box in the ground on my property. I do not have Fiber and don’t want. They are running fiber thru my neighborhood now.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Matthew, that box is probably a vault that was necessary for the route our fiber network is taking through the utility easements or right-of-way in your neighborhood. We try to keep the impact to a minimum because we understand that perhaps not everyone in a neighborhood will want the service. At the same time, we are expanding to provide this service due to its increasing demand and popularity as the superior home internet technology over cable and wireless. ^Michael

  12. Chris says:

    So let’s assume that the fiber is buried and a rodent chews through the fiber optic cable. Who is responsible for the cost to replace that fiber optic cable? Frontier, or the customer? What does Frontier do to help prevent this from happening?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Chris, good question, and an interesting one at that! I’ve been working with fiber since the late 90s and supporting the original fiber build of Frontier’s predecessor in Texas since 2004. In all of that time I haven’t heard of any instance of buried fiber being the victim of rodent damage, so I can start by saying it’s extraordinarily unlikely to happen! In the event that damage did occur as a result of rodents we would repair that damage at no charge. It’s typically only the act of digging without the required 811 locates and not cautiously hand digging near locates that results in line damage repairs that may be billable. Hope this helps! ^Michael

  13. Eric says:

    My neighborhood has underground utilities, but all the other streets around me are above ground wires. Does this mean my neighborhood won’t see fiber? Also, how can I find out if my neighborhood is in scope for fiber? Thanks!

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hello Eric, apologies for the late reply! We’re unable to provide any advanced information on our fiber build at this time, but I can advise you that whether an area is aerial or buried, we can and do expand our build both ways. Several weeks before the service is available you’ll see our crews hanging aerial or burying underground fiber lines and vaults in preparation. ^Michael

  14. Trever Lee Barker says:

    Are there any differences between a fiber that is UG VS Aerial installation?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Relating to its signal carrying capacity the only difference between Aerial and Underground fiber would be the elevation. Beyond that the non-signal carrying part of the line’s structure would be unique to its use case. Direct buried lines are made to be resistant to the elemental factors present when being directly buried, aerial lines have a load bearing structure / cable, etc. ^Michael

  15. Jodie says:

    I live in a cul de sac with only 3 houses, mine is on the end. Installers installed a drop box with cable to both my neighbors houses but not mine, does this mean that I will not get service?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Jodie! Great question! Chances are you could be served by either of those vaults but more than likely we’ve already planned a specific one of them to serve your home. If they’re across from one another there is probably a bore between them, but it’s difficult to say. Once the build is 100% ready we’ll definitely let everyone on the street eligible for Frontier Fiber know. If you think it’s ready, please check in with us on Social Media and we’ll be happy to look up your address! ^Michael

  16. Marianne says:

    My landline service via copper appears to have been cut off so it seems I am being forced to switch to fiber; otherwise, I will be forced to pay for service whereas in the past there was no charge for outside issues. I do not want a trench dug in my yard which is rocky anyway. I would hope I have a choice in underground vs aerial installation. Is there a choice in that?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Marianne, this is not usually a choice but is based on how the lines to your home are currently connected. If your home has aerial lines then our fiber would also be aerial. The opposite would also be true if your area has all buried utilities, including our fiber optic build. Hope this helps answer your question! You can reach out to us on Social Media, linked below, when you’re ready switch over! ^Michael

  17. Jim says:

    I have 2 poles down my driveway. The all utilities are underground from the pole all the way to the house. this is at least 800 ft. Can you run the fiber optic through the conduit?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Jim, yes fiber can be run through 800ft of conduit. In order to further verify service availability we can check for you over our Social Media channels linked below. ^Michael

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