New York City Micro-Trenching Project (Broadband Innovation)

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Innovative initiative speeds deployment of fiber optic cabling with minimal traffic and environmental impact.

micro_trenching_construction_300x300New York is the first large U.S. city to pilot micro-trenching to rapidly deploy fiber optic cable. This initiative, announced on April 2, is part of the City’s comprehensive effort to expand broadband connectivity and bolster the City’s growing tech sector. The program demonstrates and tests the effectiveness of installing small conduits within the edges of City sidewalks to house fiber optic cabling, which can be used to deliver voice, Internet, and cable television service. The process is faster than traditional methods of laying cable and because the trenches are so small, construction is less intrusive.

Micro-trenching is the process of installing small conduits within the edges of the sidewalk to house fiber optic cabling. A quick, low-impact deployment method, fiber optic cabling is inserted into a small slot-cut trench without damaging or disrupting existing infrastructure. The City has entered into a one year agreement with Verizon to install conduits and fiber in pre-approved locations. Telecommunications providers interested in utilizing excess capacity should email:


  • Expands and improves the City’s fiber optic broadband access.
  • Quick deployment with minimal disruption to street and roadway traffic.
  • Minimal interference with public utility infrastructure, and cost effective.
  • Excess capacity provided by the installed systems – at least four pathways on low-density residential blocks and six pathways in other areas – will be available for use by City agencies and other communications industry providers at no cost for the duration of the pilot program.

Quick Facts

  • The pilot ends in November 2013 and is subject to reasonable terms and conditions required by Verizon.
  • If use of these conduits is allowed to continue after the pilot is completed, users will be required to pay an annual occupancy fee to Verizon. This fee will be proposed by Verizon and is subject to City approval.
  • If continued use is not approved, Verizon will assist users of the conduit transition to traditional conduits.
  • []Request access to conduits through the micro-trenching pilot program[/url]

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