Assessment of Current State of Guidelines, Codes, and Legislation for Deployment of Fibre Optic Cable in Canada

  • Author / Creator
  • Fibre optic technology has become the primary network infrastructure and a communication medium, which provides higher bandwidth capacity for current and next-generation technologies. While the demand for new technology and services increases, fibre optics technology brings the promise of a flexible, scalable, full-service network platform with potentially unlimited capacity. Over the years the Canadian fibre deployment continued, increasing the availability of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) Internet services from 35.1% to 44.0% in 2018 (CRTC, 2019). Sustaining this growth hinges on efficient infrastructure deployment and well-organized end-to-end management. The Canadian fibre optic network and transmission system has challenges such as inconsistency in codification, installation difficulties, initial deployment cost and a fragmented right-of-way framework. With multiple stakeholders — including large corporate players and government agencies — involved in reaching the desired goal of digital transformation, a robust policy framework for development of optical fibre network infrastructure that also governs deployment is needed.
    Local municipal governments across Canada are well-positioned to influence this digital transformation, including efficient and sustainable deployment of fibre optic cable within their jurisdictions, through accelerating planned programs and, most importantly, codification. A detailed analysis of the challenges related to the deployment of fibre optic cable is required with the aim of understanding the deployment risks including costs overruns associated with management of the right-of-way and utility relocation. The data collected from the literature review related to deployment of fibre optic cable using trenchless technologies was gathered and reviewed against multiple facets and across various industry verticals. This review was primarily focused on available municipal bylaws and guidelines, industry best practices, and completed projects targeting municipalities, provincial and/or state departments, utility providers, contractors, design consultants, and equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Based on the data screening and analysis, a questionnaire was generated and administered as a pilot version of an online survey to a close group of professionals. This industry-specific survey was conducted to understand the current state of guidelines, codes, and legislation for deployment of fibre optic cable. The core of the survey focused on the available guidelines in securing proper right-of-way permits. Further, the survey was designed to determine the type of deployment method and associated interface with existing underground utilities (such as buried cables and pipes). In addition, one section of the survey included questions about high-level capital expenditure components and the variation between urban and rural projects. The key objectives of this work are discussed in correlation with the findings from the survey, industry best practices and existing literature. Finally, suggestions are made to address the digital divide prevalent in the Canadian digital landscape.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.