By ERIN SANSON
Conxxus has begun to install fiber optic cables in Carlinville offering residents another choice for their internet, phone and television provider.
So far, Carlinville has been divided into four sections. Section one covers from West Main to Shipman Blacktop, to the South of ridge Drive and East towards Crumystone Road.
Section Two runs next to South Broad Street and along East First South Street until just past Rosedale Lane in Eastern Carlinville. The second section follows Route 108 south to Lake Williamson.
Section Three follows West Main Street on the North side until just before Colt Road. It then cuts across diagonally to the Macoupin County Fairgrounds and follows Route 4 into town until Prairie Farms where the line continues straight South back to East Man Street.
Section four covers the homes on the south side of east Main Street, along the same path as Section three on Route 4, cutting at a diagonal from the Plaza to Moores Cemetery Road and runs along East Nicholas Street.
According to the Conxxus construction map, only Section one should have construction at the moment, while sections two, three, and four read that there is interest in the area for the same service.
There are six phases in the Conxxus installation process. They are currently in Phases One and Two in Carlinville.
Phase One is the initial construction phase. Construction takes places throughout town and within public easements. At this time non-private utilities are located and excavated.
In Phase Two, a directional boring machine is used to install the conduit. Vaults are then placed and the fiber is spliced. Restoration work of the excavated area is done.
Phase Three can only begin once all of the vaults are placed and the ground is ready for fiber drops. At that point residents can sign up for fiber lines to connect to their homes. JULIE’s are scheduled to come to residences to mark the utilities.
In Phase Four, which is the scheduled fiber drop, fiber lines are buried from the main service terminal directly to the residents’ homes. A riser is then placed and the fiber spliced.
Phase Five is the actual home installation. An outdoor protective box must be mounted and the indoor equipment is installed.
Phase Six is for the technical to run a speed test and perform heat mapping to ensure workable signal coverage. Afterwards the technician will work with residents on the various equipment and answering any questions.
How Fiber Optics Work
Landlines work because of a relay system of metal wires connecting between two phones. Cellphones use radio waves to send and receive data between each other. Fiber Optics work because they use light to transmit data down a thin glass or plastic pipe.
Other options like DSL and cable use electrical signals to transmit data, traditionally through copper wiring.
The light bounces off the walls of the pipe to reach its destination. The pipes only reflects the light, they do not absorb any of it, allowing for the data to be transmitted across further distances while maintaining quality. Using fiber Optics, data can be transmitted at up to 70 percent the speed of light.
Advantages of Fiber Optics
Fiber optics can be advantageous over the traditional copper wire system for multiple reasons.
Fiber Optic cable is more expensive than copper wire at the beginning but requires less maintenance, saving money in the long run.
Due to how thin optical fibers are more fibers can be made to fit inot a given area allowing for more fiber optic lines to be placed and more data to come through.
Fiber Optics experience less signal degradation than copper wires and do not experience interference like an electrical signal might. Since there is no interference between light signals reception over the phone or television could be clearer.
Lower power transmitters can be used to send signals via optical fiber instead of the high voltage electrical transmitters needed for traditional methods.
Due to the lack of electricity running through the fibers there is no heat, reducing the risk of a fire and fiber optic cables are thinner and lighter in weight, taking up less space in the ground than metal wires.
Disadvantages of Fiber Optics
While there are seemingly few disadvantages to fiber optics some do still exist. One problem in fiber optics is that the wires are more susceptible to physical damage as they are thinner and lighter than metal wiring. They also carry more data at one time, meaning that an accidental slip while rewiring could disrupt service to a larger number of businesses or residences.
Fiber optic networks can also be damaged by radiation or exposure to chemicals. Should the fiber have an imperfection, if too much light hits the imperfection long amounts of cable could be destroyed in a short amount of time.
Fiber Optic service can have a low overall cost but the upfront cost can be heavy due to special equipment and technicians needed to install the cables.
More information about Conxxus fiber services can be found online at www.conxxus.com. A map to stay informed on the construcvtion in Carlinville can be found at www.conxxus.com/carlinville/.