Critical role of right-of-way permitting in network upgrades

By Rajesh Abbi, Rich Martin

September 29, 2017

What is the Problem?

Network operators are having to build new fiber infrastructure in order to upgrade their networks. In many cases this requires municipal and other right-of-way construction permits. This can be a very time-consuming process and can cause major project delays if not planned properly.

Key Takeaways

  • Permits play a critical role in building network infrastructure
  • Before planning any construction project involving public right-of-way or private land easements, it is essential to pay careful attention to required permits well in advance
  • Carefully research all requirements laid out by the permitting entity
  • Make sure any build plans and engineering studies are prepared/approved by a competent Professional Engineer (PE) licensed by the permitting agency
  • Consolidate multiple builds as part of a single permit application
  • Pay careful attention to the duration of the permits

Executive Summary

As the Internet Revolution continues it’s relentless march, network operators have to constantly upgrade their infrastructure to keep up with the ever increasing customer demands. While some of the network enhancements come with improved equipment technology, major upgrades increasingly require building additional infrastructure, including driving fiber deeper in the access netwrok.

Fiber construction is not an easy task as many new entrants like Google have come to learn the hard way. One of the major hurdles that is frequently overlooked till it’s too late is right-of-way construction permitting.

In this paper we discuss the critical role of right-of-way permitting, and provide some guidelines regarding optimizing this important step in network upgrades.

Key Words: Permitting, Network Upgrades, Fiber construction, right-of-way, operators