Fiber Cable Make-Ready


A large electric utility with several cable and phone providers in its service territory was experiencing difficulty keeping pace with many multi-year fiber expansion projects. The state regulatory commission had imposed new deadlines for performing make ready design and construction work and their internal staff could not keep up with the demanding schedule. They turned to Wagner Technical Services because of our expertise in power distribution and our experience working on previous cable make ready projects. This is an ongoing project.


After receiving a request for fiber make ready design work, we first make a preliminary survey of the area to collect existing pole clearance data and photographs of the line, using state of the art measurement equipment. Acting as the electric utility’s representative, we then ride the line with the other cable TV and/or phone representatives to determine whether existing facilities can be relocated to make room for the new cable or if the pole must be replaced. Considerations in this determination include the utility’s standards for operating clearances, National Electric Safety Code (NESC) minimum clearances, pole condition, and worst case sag conditions. Since we are very familiar with the utility’s standards and practices, very little time is needed from their personnel to oversee this work.

Once all parties are in agreement, Wagner Technical prepares work orders to the utility’s standards using our in-house NextGrid Line Designer work management system. Work order data is then uploaded into the utility’s work management system. Drawings are prepared. Invoices are also prepared, where necessary, based on the joint use agreement between the various utilities. Once the design is complete, the utility can use their in-house crews or contract crews to perform the work.


The utility continues to successfully complete fiber expansion projects on time with minimal impact on its internal staff.