Digging in yard to install fiber

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

Comments 77 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!

Frontier Fiber is built for the way you live today—and tomorrow.

If you’re still on the lookout for the right ultra-fast internet connection for streaming, gaming, working from home and running your smart home—all with enough bandwidth for everybody, find out about Frontier Fiber. Then check our Fiber Expansion page to see when it’s available at your address.

77 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.

      Michael

  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

      • Stacey says:

        Is there a maximum number of feet they will install from the road? I am 1200 feet off the road. Would there be an extra charge to install?

        • Frontier Communications says:

          Hi Stacey, thanks for the question! There is no additional charge for a fiber installation based on distance off the road but on rare occasions that distance has presented an insurmountable challenge. This is typically determined prior to the scheduled installation date when aerial vs. buried is being planned for. I hope this answers your question, apologies for not being able to be more specific. ^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

  18. Rod Latta says:

    Does Frontier have to enter my home for installation ? And if so where in the house must you go? In addition I have an underground wiring from pole to my house Does this complicate things? Thanks for your reply. RL

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Generally yes, our installation would require the technician to come in to your home to set up equipment and make sure your devices are connected and working properly. If that poses an issue that’s something we can work with you on come install day. To answer your second question, Rod, that buried wiring won’t be an issue. If your lines are currently buried we would place a new buried Fiber drop to your home to connect you to our Frontier Fiber network. ^Michael

  19. John gaskewich says:

    telephone poles are across the street. how will they bury the cable?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi John! In this type of scenario we can go over or under. If the wiring in your area attaches to yours and other homes from the pole we would likely do an aerial connection but if everything is buried to the home we would do a bore under the road. ^Michael

      • John gaskewich says:

        will digging be done if it’s raining and will they call me ahead to notify me of a change?

        • Frontier Communications says:

          Normal rainfall isn’t an issue. Winter temperatures freezing the ground is the most common weather impact that would cause delays for some parts of the country. Hope this helps, and thanks for the question, John! ^Michael

  20. Jan says:

    I am not changing to frontier but orange flags, cones etc are on my front yard. Orange and white paint signs too. Why??? Frisco Tx. Tks.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Jan, that would indicate locates were requested by someone through Texas 811. It could be for an order placed by one of your neighbors for a buried service that will traverse the easement in front of your home but is not necessarily a request to your home. ^Michael

  21. Mike says:

    I recently went with Frontier and the tech said that they will have to bury my cable to run it to the utility box. The cable is currently above ground running across mine and my neighbors driveways. The tech said that they will be able to go under the driveways without ripping anything up. Is this true?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for this question. Yes, bores can be done underneath driveways and sidewalks, this is a common step for our crews that bury line from the curbside vault to the home. ^Michael

  22. Alexander Richards says:

    I’ve had frontier come out to my house and they say that it’s too long of a run to pull fiber through my underground conduit. (About 400ft). I’d like to get a trench dug- or some sort of direct bury. Do I need to hire an independent contractor to do this, or will frontier provide me list? I’ve made several calls to customer service.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Alexander, great question. If your home is qualified for a Frontier Fiber install we will connect your home to the network with an aerial or buried drop. There is no need for you to hire an independent contractor to trench or bury a line. ^Michael

  23. Tom says:

    My neighborhood is all underground utilities, and I am two blocks from the main road with overhead lines. Are neighborhoods like this on the plan for fiber installations?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Excellent question, Tom. Our fiber build is done in the same way that our current copper infrastructure is built. So if that’s aerial a few blocks away, that area would likely be built as aerial, and if your neighborhood is all buried we would run new fiber and place it underground. ^Michael

  24. Nancy says:

    Our landscapers laying new sod accidentally cut our Frontier line and so we were out of internet. Frontier came out the next day and installed a temp line but will have to come back to bury the line. 1) Do I need to be home when this happens. 2) How much of the new sod will they have to dig into?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Nancy, that’s unfortunate about the line being damaged, hopefully we have you back up and running with a temp drop pending the new buried drop! You do not need to be home when the drop is buried. Regarding your second question, there are different methods used to route and bury the new drop but the most common kind of ‘slices’ the cable into the ground which is minimally invasive and a well maintained lawn usually heals up from it completely within a couple of weeks. ^Michael

  25. Trent says:

    After they dig for the fiber will they put everything back the way it was? I have decorative rocks that need to go back where they were

    • Frontier Communications says:

      We aim to keep all disruption to a minimum and return everything to the way it was prior to our Fiber service expansion work. If you do have any concerns after our work in your area is complete you can contact our team through the social media links below, and we will be happy to make sure that any concerns are cared for. ^Michael

  26. Wendy says:

    Please don’t publish my last name in the comment above. Thanks.

  27. Bob says:

    Hiya. the fiber lines were installed in my yard last year. The grass is growing up around the little flags that marked underground utilities.

    Can I go ahead and pull these out? I wasn’t sure if they are done working. It would make it easier to cut the grass. Thanks!

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Bob, yes you should absolutely be good to remove those flags. You would need to confirm with your state’s 811 / Call Before You Dig, but locates are generally considered valid for 10-14 days, and the work covered by them is meant to commence within that same window. ^Michael

  28. Tom Becker says:

    I want to trench to install an electric dog fence. How deep do you trench from the box to the house. I would not like o cut my internet line. Thanks

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hey Tom, thanks for reaching out to us! The buried wire depth from the hub to your home can vary. Because of that the best advice we can give is to make sure that you request locates prior to breaking ground. They’re free and required in every state to avoid striking utilities. We posted a blog article on 811/Call Before You Dig that you can check out here: https://fybr.to/3MAxmmB ^Michael

  29. Jeff says:

    In May of 2023, Frontier crews buried fiber lines in my neighborhood. There are vaults in every yard, or every other yard.

    Now, 2 months after they’ve left, Frontier still shows “not available in my area” when I check availability.

    Generally speaking, how long after construction is complete is service available?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Jeff, thanks for the comment! The best answer I can provide would be soon. In addition to the vaults, there’s a lot of network equipment in the field and in our central offices necessary to enable new Fiber and this is occasionally met with supply chain delays. Obviously we want to build and sell our Fiber as rapidly as possible, delays don’t benefit anyone! I would encourage you to visit https://fybr.to/44wlyJO where you can check your address and sign up for availability notifications. I do hope this helps and feel free to reach out on Social Media if you have any additional questions! ^Michael

  30. r gray says:

    If your neighbor request and the connection is located in next door neighbor yard, can the next door neighbor denied the cable to cross their yard.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Thanks for the question. Generally speaking the answer is no, a neighbor cannot deny another access just because a vault is on their property. The regulations vary by region, but utility access, including vaults and line paths are either in easement space or defined as utility right of way. Hope this helps! ^Michael

  31. George says:

    All of my current cable is underground from the vault on my property. Can the fibre drop be run to my home via existing underground cable access or does a new fiber line have to be run via a new dug out trench? Will Frontier have to break my concrete walkway to run the line to my garage side ?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi George, thanks for the question. There’s not really enough information here to provide a complete answer, but if you have conduit that can be used it typically will be used. The buried wire drop to the home is done in as minimally invasive of a way as possible and this includes using equipment that can bore under drives and sidewalks. Hope this helps! ^Michael

  32. Tony R says:

    Most cable companies will come to their customers homes to mark their property where a fiber optics line is buried. I am having an area of my lawn dug up to install a drain. I need a Frontier worker to show me where my cables are buried. The drainage company will not continue unless they know where the cables are located. Who do I contact for this service. I called Frontier and I was told you don’t send out workers for such a request.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Tony, that is correct, we don’t field individual customer service calls for locates. Those are a state run program, usually contacted / requested through dialing 811 or found online by searching for your state name 811 or state name + call before you dig. Hope this helps. ^Michael

  33. James Hartman says:

    Hello – I reside in a newly developed community where all utilities are underground, including conduits and pull ropes in each home for cable installation. Notably, there is a utility post owned by Frontier located in my front yard. However, I was informed by a Frontier representative that fiber-optic service will not be available in our development for several years.

    What puzzles me is that just two houses down the street, Frontier fiber service is readily available. These are older homes with above-ground utilities. Furthermore, every other home surrounding our 10-house development is equipped with Frontier fiber. Could you please clarify why our new development is an exception, despite seemingly favorable conditions for fiber installation?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi James, we’re currently expanding our Fiber infrastructure at an industry-leading pace throughout our footprint which makes yours a great question. Unfortunately, without more information I couldn’t begin to speculate. I can make a couple of suggestions, the first being to check out our Frontier Fiber expansion site here: https://fybr.to/3EFLtn0. The second would be to reach out to us through Social Media at the links below so we can gather some additional location information and investigate and be sure to message you posted on our blog! Hope this helps. ^Michael

  34. Randy Athens says:

    .My house is about 800 feet from the road. Will there be a charge to install the cable to my house?
    Thanks

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Randy, this is a great question! As long as we’ve built our FTTH network past your home this should not be an issue and there is no additional cost for the buried wire. The typical distance limit that I’m aware of is 1200ft. If you’re curious about service availability you can check here: https://fybr.to/40nGhxV ^Michael

  35. Richard B. Brown says:

    When do you decide whether to go aerial or underground?

    Our house is down from the pole at the road, thru the woods and the slope is steep in places with rocky soil. The existing Frontier copper lines to be replaced with fiber are currently aerial.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Richard, great question. In most cases we will bring fiber to your home the same way your existing copper service is brought in, so in your case it would likely remain aerial. ^Michael

  36. Cade says:

    Hello!

    There is a house that is about .5 miles from my house and they are equipped with Frontier Fiber via arial connection (I believe). I contacted Frontier and was informed that my address is serviceable ( we live in a turn off development from the main road and the main road continues past us), so I have scheduled installation. I am unsure if the Fiber runs past our housing development or not. I have underground wiring to my house as well.

    Will I be charged to have the fiber ran out through the housing development to my home? Will underground wiring be an issue?

    Thanks!

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Cade, thanks for the question! There is no fee specific to running a buried or aerial drop to your home if we’ve built our fiber to your address. Some installations do include an installation fee, but that’s just a fixed fee and it’s often waived as part of a new install promotion. ^Michael

      • Cade says:

        Cool. Followup question.

        What if fiber has not been ran through my housing development at all? Will there be a fee for getting that installed?

        • Frontier Communications says:

          There are just too many possibilities for me to answer here so I would ask that you reach out to my team on Social Media where we can gather more info. The short answer is that if we didn’t build at street or curb level in your neighborhood your home may not actually be qualified for Fiber. We would need to chat in private to get more specific. ^Michael

  37. Steven W Clark says:

    I currently have xfinity internet which comes from a pole at the corner of my backyard and is wired from the back of the house. How is frontier internet going to be connected to my house. Our current service comes up through our living room floor which is located at the front of the house, is there anything we need to do prior to connecting to frontier?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Steven, thanks for reaching out! If our services in your area are delivered through aerial lines, we will most likely bring a drop to your home from the pole and come in much the same way your existing lines from our competition does today. If we expanded our fiber network in your neighborhood underground, prior to installation day we will place a buried drop the installation tech will use. All of this will be taken care of by our installer so nothing you’ll need to do prior to connecting! Hope this helps. ^Michael

  38. Gaye says:

    I recently had fiber optic installed via aerial lines. Why did Frontier leave white flags in the ground on one side of the house?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Gaye, thanks for the question! White locate flags or markings are typical of proposed excavation paths and follow the other utilities being marked. Since your service was installed aerial, I would guess that both options were considered up to our buried wire contractor mapping out a path that was ultimately not used. ^Michael

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