Fiber to Meadows Dry Farm
Bringing fiber to rural America comes with its own set of challenges compared to connecting customers in cities. The obvious challenge is the great distances that often must be covered between each rural customer, and bringing fiber to each individual farm is a huge, often very time-consuming, project in its own right. The other challenge is finding ways to finance these construction projects, since the large upfront construction cost cannot usually be recovered from monthly customer service payments alone under regular business models. This project to bring fiber to Meadows Dry Farm in rural Idaho took months of planning and over two weeks of actual construction work. But for us working in rural broadband, the reward is seeing the difference a fiber connection makes to the quality of life for farmers and other rural residents living in often very remote locations in this great country. For the first time ever, the Meadows have a real internet connection that will allow them to stream video without caps or data overages, so they can connect to their family online all around the world.
Overblowing more fiber through the existing main transport duct proved to be the biggest challenge of this project. The fiber would not flow more than a few hundred feet at a time. Here Lucas and Matt dig up the conduit in order to free a stuck fiber end.
Starting the fiber work through the farmhouse yard. This warning tape goes into the trench with all fiber conduit to help prevent future utility techs from accidentally cutting the fiber.
Matt Farr prepares to blow new fiber that will connect the Meadows into the fiber conduit along the Rockland Highway.
Lucas McHargue, construction manager for Direct Communications, blowing fiber to the Meadows.
Digging another hole to splice into the conduit.
Lucas plowing fiber across the Meadows yard. Believe it or not, this large tractor will leave almost no trace once the work is complete.
A view from the farmhouse–fiber crews working along the highway.
Conduit buried through the lawn. This will be tapped down again so almost no trace of the work will be visible.
Plowing duct for fiber along the driveway down towards the highway.
Lucas prepares for the yard drop
Fiber conduit stubbed out next to the house.
The fiber plow at work.