OT: Below grade fiber interconnect points

William Allen Simpson william.allen.simpson at gmail.com
Thu Nov 14 21:03:01 UTC 2013

On 11/13/13 11:51 PM, Roy Hockett wrote:
> I am guessing due to esthetics the below ground vault was selected, we just learned of this selection and thus
> my query to this group to find other that have dealt with similar situations and if so, experience base recommendations,
> and things to be aware of.
> Thanks,
> -Roy Hockett
> Network Architect,
> ITS Communications Systems and Data Centers
> University of Michigan
> Tel: (734) 763-7325
> Fax: (734) 615-1727
> email: royboy at umich.edu
I remember seeing a below grade vault here in Michigan once.  It was
purpose built (years ago for MCI IIRC), but I don't know by whom.
Heavy steel plate door on top, looked like those on major water pipe
vaults.  Likely built to similar civil engineering standards.  But
this was fairly early in the history of laying fiber, so there are
probably newer standards.

Off the top of my head, it had a lot of things concerned with water and
humidity -- dual redundant sump pumps, dual heaters mounted 6' off the
floor, an environmental monitoring panel, an exterior antennae pole for
out-of-band reporting from the monitoring panel.  I didn't have the
opportunity to open the fairly beefy looking power panel, so I don't
know whether there was a dual feed -- but it wouldn't surprise me.

As to cleanliness, it wasn't particularly clean, but not really dirty.
(Much like any exterior shopping center access demark, assuming you've
seen those.)

I also saw a Bell South below grade fiber vault once, but wouldn't
recommend it, as it was full of water at the time....  To be fair, I'm
not sure they had a cross-connect panel in there.

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