Optical Communications Group extends fiber to NYC's 75 Broad Street

Fiber will support voice providers affected by Hurricane Sandy, but challenges remain
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Optical Communications Group (OCG) continued to step up its Hurricane Sandy assistance efforts by extending its fiber on Tuesday to 75 Broad Street in New York City to assist voice providers residing at the facility.

This emergency effort was no easy task. Working for 46 hours straight, OCG said they were met with the expected challenges of having to extend fiber through congested manholes and streets in Manhattan into the flooded basement at 75 Broad Street.

By extending its fiber to the Broad Street facility, OCG said it was able to help restore voice services for thousands of the city's wireline customers. It estimated that it helped turn up enough services to handle 10,000 DS0 lines for service providers whose cables were destroyed during the hurricane.

A key challenge for all of the service providers in New York City following Hurricane Sandy was flooding.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ), for example, said a large portion of the copper wiring in its Broad Street cable vault and another 20-plus manholes in the area were ruined beyond repair. Flooding affected Verizon's COs in three of its New York locations: Lower Manhattan, Queens and Long Island.

According to a report in The Verge, which got to see the damage at Broad Street first hand, the paper insulation, which sucks water through the cabling through capillary action, is actually destroying the decades-old cable even in dry areas.

Christopher Levendos, Verizon's executive director of operations, told The Verge it is "far too tedious, time consuming, and not effective of a process to try and put this infrastructure back together," so the telco is rewiring those areas with fiber.

The service provider has deployed fiber in a number of the buildings located in the Water, Broad and Pearl Street areas of New York City.

Although Verizon is making progress in replacing the damaged copper with fiber, it still has to deal with replacing damaged optical and copper gear (i.e., Optical Line Terminals and DSLAMs) that deliver the services to customers.

What's more, technicians have to then route fiber into each unit in the buildings where it has connected the fiber, meaning thousands of copper-based telephone and DSL customers still don't have service in Lower Manhattan.  

For more:
- see the release
- here's The Verge's coverage

Special coverage: Hurricane Sandy's aftermath

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