Connectivity is the most important key to development of a region; be it road, rail, waterway, air, power or telecom. Connectivity ensures that an otherwise distant region is part and parcel of the mainland. It helps in overall economic development and social integration of the region. Therefore Robust telecom and broadband connectivity and provision of quality telecom services is an avowed national priority, For a telecom network, transmission media plays a critical role in connecting one place to another. Any two cities can be connected on any of the telecom transmission media like Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) (underground or OPGW), Microwave or Satellite various types of telecom transmission media connectivity
In hilly areas laying OFC in the ground is difficult, time consuming and prone to damage due to frequent landslides etc. Therefore, using the aerial route by employing OPGW technology is preferable. An OPGW cable contains a tubular structure with one or more optical fibers in it, surrounded by layers of steel and aluminum wire i.e. it is a composite wire which serves as a conventional overhead ground wire, with the added benefit of providing high-capacity and reliable fiber optic communication. The optical fiber itself is an insulator and is immune to power transmission line and lightning induction, external electrical noise and cross talk. Typically OPGW cables contain single-mode optical fibers with low transmission loss, allowing long distance transmission at high speeds.
Installation of OPGW requires some pre-planning because it is impractical to splice an OPGW cable in mid-span; the lengths of cable purchased must be coordinated with the spans between towers to prevent waste. Where fibers must be joined between lengths, a weatherproof splice box is installed on a tower; a similar box is used to transition from the OPGW to an outside plant fiber-only cable to connect the fibers to terminal equipment. The OPGW cable is run between the tops of high voltage Electricity pylons. The conductive part of the cable serves to bond adjacent towers to earth ground and shields the high voltage conductors from lightning strikes. OPGW technique has many advantages. It has over 40 year’s life expectancy when installed and maintained properly. It is less susceptible to outages relative to other cable types and eliminates clearance and ROW (Right of way: land acquisition, regulatory and environmental clearances) issues since it occupies the static wire position on a transmission line.
The reason OPGW is more important – To provide next generation network services like Leasing Bandwidth, Internet Access lines , MPLS VPN Networks, Ethernet private leased lines ,Video conferencing ,Data centers etc, it is highly Essential to Construct Our own Optical Fiber Network through the Transmission and Distribution Network, and Installation of Mediation equipments for providing connectivity.
PGCIL (Power Grid Corporation of India limited) has OPGW cable connectivity with all the State capitals including Gangtok. The OPGW cables of PGCIL run on their high voltage power transmission lines, If unused fibre from the OPGW network of PGCIL is made available to telecom companies, the latter would be able to provide connectivity to all State capitals through an alternate path.
A grade cables, Utile are some of the manufacturers of OPGW cables