New York City, Verizon pilot new ways to spread fiber optic network

New construction methods are aimed at speeding up the deployment of high-speed Internet services in NYC.

U.S. carrier Verizon and New York City are teaming up to test new ways to bring ultra-fast connections to New York City residents quickly.

Verizon fiber optic network fios new york city

Verizon announced the plans this week, launching a pilot scheme with NYC's permission to more rapidly build the necessary infrastructure to support fiber-optic networks. According to Bloomberg, "micro-trenching" and "saw cutting" techniques will be used to cut shallow grooves in sidewalks to open up enough space to insert cables.

The grooves are only 2cm wide and 30cm deep in comparison to traditional methods, which create holes roughly 60cm wide and 60cm deep. Micro-trenching is aimed at lessening the impact on traffic and existing infrastructure,  as well as cutting costs. In addition, micro-trenching allows enough space for other carriers to install their own networks, which could prove a catalyst that boosts competition in the fiber-optic field.

The construction method will be used across 12 test sites before evaluation will take place to see whether the technique can be expanded city-wide.

The use of fiber-optic cables can help the U.S.'s second-largest carrier sell higher Internet speeds to a wider customer base. The service, called FiOS, has been active in New York City since 2008, but it is yet to reach every neighborhood. 

"Whether it's restoring service to storm-ravaged areas or extending it to new ones, the innovative micro-trenching pilot will allow the City to speed deployment of fiber optics," New York City Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul Merchant said.

In January, the firm announced that the FiOS television service had become available in 253 neighborhoods, and that Verizon was on track to deploy the fiber-optical network to all parts of the five boroughs of New York City by the middle of next year.

Making sure New York City has access to high-speed services appears to be a priority for the carrier. Verizon also announced this week that as part of the Verizon Financial Network, high-speed transactions are now possible directly from CME Group’s data center in Aurora to New York metro financial markets, through bypassing traditional area "data hotels." A round trip can now take as little as 14.997 milliseconds.