Bringing our services to a community is a resource-intensive project that requires careful research and planning. From start to finish there are 4 main phases of our process, each with its own sub-steps and processes.
- Research and Exploration.
We spend a lot of time in this phase, developing a construction plan for the communities we are researching and working with local authorities on permitting and other issues.
We use the data gathered to create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and obstacles.
This is the step you see the most. Once our plans are complete, our crews get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber.
- Sign up and Installation.
Once our construction is almost complete, we will release our order form for your region, and you can choose the services you want for your home or business. This will initiate the installation process which has its own steps.
A Preliminary Site Survey is Conducted
Race field engineers survey homes throughout a project area (for example Occidental or Phelan), house by house and make an initial determination as to whether a home is an aerial or underground installation.
The Steps to bringing you Fiber:
Step 1: Designing the network. At this stage, we determine the path and size of fiber cables in our network as well as identifying the size and location of connection points (where homes and businesses will hook up to). This is a long process and can take anywhere from 6-12 months to complete depending on the area size.
Step 2: Pole licensing and ordering materials. Utility poles are owned by telephone and power companies. Third party users like RACE must apply and pay a fee to attach. This is also the time we go ahead and order the materials needed for the project.
Step 3: Make-ready. This is one of the most time-consuming and expensive parts of the process accounting for up to 40% of the cost. The make-ready process consists of making room for the new lines on poles, which could involve moving cable TV up, the phone company down, or both. If the pole is too small or too full, it may need to be replaced. Replacing poles is expensive due to the involved process of setting the new pole and transferring all of the phone, TV, and power lines.
Step 4: Hang strand on utility poles. Fiber optic cables need to be supported by a steel cable, or “strand.” Installers in bucket trucks will drill a hole through the pole and install a bolt that attaches the steel strand to the pole. Then they hang the strand on the pole.
Step 5: Lash fiber cable to strand. The fiber-optic cables are attached to the strand by being lashed on with wire. This is done using a cable lasher which is pulled along the length of the fiber cable and strand.
Step 6. Add splice and connection points. Splice cases and slack loops are added at various points along the network. The splice case is where each section of the fiber optic cable is joined together, while the slack loop provides some extra fiber cable to facilitate restoration of service in the event the cable is damaged.
Step 7. Splice fiber segments. To join lengths of fiber together, a technician heats up the ends of the fiber strands and fuses them together to form a single strand.
We Call Customers that have submitted an inquiry
This information is handed over to our communications team who will reach out to homeowners who have inquired about Race services.
To Submit an inquiry, go to https://www.race.com/inquiry/ .
Step 8: Install drop cables. Once the network backbone is constructed, small fiber cables are connected to the backbone and the customer’s building. These drops can be aerial or in a conduit, depending upon how the customer’s current utilities reach their home.
Step 9: Install electronics and light your network. Specialized electronics are needed at both ends of the fiber-optic cable to “light” the fiber and provide a usable Internet connection. This includes Optical Network Terminal (“ONT”) at the customer’s home or office. ONT’s typically provide multiple places to connect Internet devices and phones. Once the devices are placed, engineers program and activate the service so that it can be connected to your computer or Wi-Fi router.