What are the different fibre broadband install methods?

Fibre can be installed via several different methods, including surface-mounted (along fence for example), underground ducting, aerial cable overhead, or buried cable.

When installing fibre, Chorus (or other regional fibre installer) will use the most appropriate method available.

Often the existing method that is used to get copper phone and internet services to your premises will be used to connect fibre to your property as well.

For example, if your existing phone and internet services are provided via overhead aerial cable, this will usually be the preferred method to install your fibre also.

Regardless of the fibre install method used, the fibre will be connected to a small box called an ETP (External Termination Point) attached to the outside of your premises.

From the ETP the fibre connects through into the inside of your premises, and will be connected to your fibre ONT.

Let’s take a look at the various fibre install methods available:

Aerial Cable (Overhead)

Typically this is the go-to method of fibre installation when your existing copper phone and internet services are connected to your premises via aerial overhead cable.

Fibre can be run overhead in several different ways, which include in addition to your copper line, replacing the copper line with your new fibre cable, or replacing the existing with what is known as a hybrid cable. This type actually houses both fibre and copper inside, and may be the preferred option if your premises is keeping a copper based service such as a monitored alarm.

Surface mounted (on fence etc)

One of the most common install types, this is often a very quick and easy option to get fibre installed at your place.

The technician will look to attach it in a hidden location, under a fence rail for example. It might also be attached to a retaining wall or other edging around your property – as long as it is in a location that is sturdy, and where the cable isn’t likely to sustain accidental damage.

The fibre cable is housed inside a ruggedized outer casing, which should keep it safe from weather/animals and any normal wear and tear out in the elements and near your garden.

Underground Ducting

If your existing phone and internet services run through an underground duct, the technician will assess whether that is able to be accessed relatively easily. They’ll then be able to gain access to either end of this pipe duct and feed the fibre through in order to reach your premises from the street.

Buried cable in a shallow trench

This is not normally an option if you have asphalt or concrete / paving surfaces, however if you’ve primarily got lawn or garden between the street and your premises then the technician may be able to dig a shallow trench by hand.

The fibre cable can then be buried in this shallow trench to again reach your ETP on your premises, where it is run inside to your ONT.

They will try to reinstate all surfaces, reusing the original turf chunks for instance, and adding grass-seed if necessary, to restore the surfaces.

Buried cable under concrete etc

If your property is largely covered in concrete or other similar surface, and other install methods are not possible, then there may be a couple of other methods considered.

These are drilling or digging a trench.

When drilling, they’ll basically dig a hole either side of a concrete path, and drill/thrust a hole a tunnel through to the other hole.

The cable can then be pulled through, and the two holes filled in.

When digging, a trench will be cut into the concrete surface. The fibre cable can then be laid in the trench, and the trench filled back in with concrete, or whatever the material is made of. Naturally getting this matching perfectly with the original is often going to be difficult.