I don’t have much experience with directional drilling yet, but I can talk 
about my aerial experience. We currently construct GPON aerial fiber builds in 
some neighborhoods that sound similar to the one you describe. There are 
several important factors that will impact your build cost with the most 
volatile one being make ready. I’m getting better at predicting where make 
ready costs will make a build more expensive so I can better determine 
feasibility. In our area, I have three vendors to deal with; the power utility, 
the incumbent phone company and the cable provider. We have two pole owners and 
their poles sometimes are randomly mixed together. The power utility and phone 
company own those poles. We have to prepare engineering drawings with our 
applications for the pole attachments. Each of these applications is limited to 
99 poles because that’s the limit set by the ILEC. The engineering drawings run 
me a little over 1K per app from a regional engineering firm. They map the 
poles, take stick measurements, and prepare the apps. The ILEC charges us $5400 
per app as an application fee. The power company doesn’t charge anything, but 
their renal fees are four times higher. Make ready varies in cost. To make room 
on the poles, the pole owners will relocate lines and lights and anything else 
at a per hour cost. We’ve paid to replace a couple of poles and that gets 
expensive. I redesigned a run to avoid having to replace a single pole and in 
the future I may go underground to avoid bad poles. One benefit of make ready 
is that our power company takes that opportunity to cut back all trees along 
those routes. It makes our construction easier/faster and, at least for a few 
years, reduces the chance that branches will be falling across our lines. 

The other construction cost factor will revolve around how you design and 
deploy your network. Several other small fiber builders I know will deploy 
preterminated optitap cases instead of fusion splicing each drop. When you do 
that, all possible drops from that case are spliced during installation and 
that will up your initial construction costs. I opted to splice in each drop at 
the time of installation, which reduced the number of splices done during 
network construction. It takes us 2 -3 hours per install because we have to 
splice at the case and again at the home, but that cost is an ongoing one that 
I didn’t have to pay upfront. If we’d gone with an optitap system I think our 
installs would take half the time. We really save where we’ve deployed drop 
cases and they are underutilized. We can deploy a network designed for 80% take 
and not bear a significantly greater cost than designing for 40% take rates. 
But, we’re “constructing” part of our network each day (and that’s important 
for depreciation too). 

With our design and the uneven cost of make ready, we build at roughly $9/ft. 
That number also includes some design consultant costs. We use a couple of 
subcontractors for network construction and we do the installations ourselves. 
We’ve found the best subcontractors are motivated when paid by the foot for 
messenger cable and lashing installation and by the splice and per case 
install. As a side note, I’ve found that “lower income” residents statistically 
are more likely to buy our higher end (full gigabit) packages. YMMV.         

Clint Wiley
Hagerstown Fiber Internet

> On Mar 6, 2018, at 1:44 AM, TJ Trout <t...@voltbb.com> wrote:
> I'm looking at venturing into fiber, I've done enough research and bugged 
> most of you on the list that I think I have enough knowledge to get going 
> (and be dangerous).
> I'm looking at two options for our area,
> 1. Service newer subdivisions of houses that are currently served by cable 
> and dsl with speeds up to 1G in certain areas, average is about 50mbps, this 
> would be an all directional drill job underground. 
> What is a good cost per ft, or cost per house passed for drilling, conduit 
> and fiber?
> 2. Service the older side of town that has mostly overhead utilities by 
> signing an attachment agreement with the local power company, much lower 
> deployment cost and generally a more 'under served' area but also a lower 
> income area, using almost 100% pole attachments.
> What is a good cost per ft or house passed (these are all small 1000-2000ft2 
> homes with small parcels) for cable, and pole attachment fee's, lashing, etc?
> I'm looking at PON but may go AE depending on some factors....
> Anyone bored enough to throw some advice my way?
> Thank you!
> TJ Trout

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