Home Support Centre Fibre installation Fibre installation methods

Fibre installation methods

We use a variety of methods to install fibre and will choose the best option for each property. This does mean that typically no two fibre installs are the same so we agree the install plan with you before starting work.

We have a number of different ways that we can install fibre from the street to your property. If your existing copper phone line is delivered via an aerial cable or an underground duct it is likely that your fibre cable will be installed the same way. However we do have other install options if this is not feasible.

Discussing the different installation methods that can be used to complete your fibre connections is part of the Agree process, where our technician will meet you at your property for an hour to agree an installation plan before work begins.

We need to install a fibre cable from your street to your property and we want your fibre install to have as little impact on your property as possible.

We run the fibre cable to the external termination point (ETP) which is attached to the side of the building:

  • The ETP is the box attached to the outside of your property where the external fibre cable from your street connects to your internal home wiring. This often sits alongside other utilities such as gas. If you already have an ETP for your copper services, it's likely we'll install a new one in the same place.

Aerial cable
If your copper phone and broadband services are delivered via an aerial cable, we'll install our fibre cable the same way. If your property has an aerial cable for power, then we may be able to install our fibre cable underneath the power cable.

There are a number of ways our cable may be installed:

  • Put up our fibre cable in addition to your current copper cable
  • Remove your existing copper cable and replace it with our fibre cable
  • Replace your existing cable with a hybrid cable containing both fibre and copper. This is used if you need to keep your copper for a voice service or monitored alarm.

Underground pipe
If your copper phone and broadband services are currently connected via an existing underground pipe to your property and it's usable, we'll dig at each end of the pipe and pull our fibre cable through.

Mounted on a fence, driveway edge, or retaining wall
If there's a suitable surface such as a driveway edge, footpath, curbing, retaining wall or structurally sound fence from your street to your property, we can mount our fibre cable to that surface, minimising the digging needed for your install.

We aim to hide the cable by mounting it at the base of the fence or under the fence rail. As fibre cable is very light, it won't cause any weight-bearing issues on a fence. It can be unscrewed and remounted if you're replacing the fence and can also be painted to conceal it.

Sometimes we'll surface mount our fibre cable inside a pipe where there's a risk of impact or more protection needed such as for a school or where there's multiple fibre cables needed like in a rights of way.

Buried cable in a grass verge or garden
If the route from your street to your property is a soft surface like grass, dirt or garden, we can bury our fibre cable. We dig a shallow trench by hand with a spade or saw and lay our fibre cable in the trench.

The trench doesn't need to be in a straight line and can curve around trees and paths. We choose a location away from high impact areas where it's unlikely to be dug up.

We restore any surface we've disturbed with the same material and include grass seed in grassy areas. We do try to keep the turf and replace after we've finished.

Buried cable under a driveway or path
If there is a hard surface such as concrete from your street to your property then we can use machinery to drill or dig a trench and bury our fibre cable.

  • Drilling - we drill (or thrust a rod) under the hard surface to create a trench to pull our fibre cable through. We limit digging to a temporary hole at each end of where we want to install our fibre cable.
  • Trenching – we have a couple of different trenching methods using machinery to either make a wide cut right through the hard surface or a narrow cut in the top of the hard surface to lay the fibre cable. We aim for the most direct route and take into account other utilities and ground features.

Availability of each drilling and trenching option is dependent on your location, condition and type of hard surface and where other underground utilities on your property are located.

We restore "like for like" i.e. concrete for concrete, but it's difficult to match colouring, texture and the pattern of concrete and asphalt.

Want to change from aerial to underground?

If your current phone and broadband connection is currently provided aerially i.e. via overhead powerlines in your street, there are a couple of options if you want to have fibre installed underground. You can ask your broadband service provider to place an Overhead to Underground (OHUG) order for Chorus to do the work. The other is more a DIY option where you dig a trench with guidance from our technician on where to dig to ensure it complies with network connection requirements. Either way, there will still be a cost associated with this work.

Your fibre order will be placed on hold whilst this undergrounding work is carried out. Once it’s completed, our technician will return to complete the install.

If you have any questions or concerns about restoration work, please contact us on 0800 MY FIBRE (0800 693 4273) or get in touch via our email us form.