Micro Trenching: Bringing Fiber to the City


It’s wonderful how optic fiber changes telecommunication for the better. Everyone loves its fast data connection and transferring, its connection stability, and of course, its expansion features. And with micro trenching, big and small cities can provide these services to people. Learn what it is with this user-friendly guide.

Table of Contents

1. Micro trenching – Understanding the basics

Micro trenching is one of the simplest and easiest ways to bring fiber to the city. The process is pretty basic and almost non-invasive when it comes to the amount of pavement lifted during installation. After all, operators only need to dig a superficial and narrow 2-6 cm wide by 20-40 cm deep trench. This allows to speed up the installation process while reducing the overall equipment, material, and manpower cost.

Operators use a machine to make the process smooth and easy to carry along. Besides, when done the right way, there’s no need to handle the optical loss. In addition, using micro ducts represents future fiber deployment without having to dig and close again. 

Compared to other fiber trenching methods, micro trenching takes the lead in a long list of aspects. It takes up to a ⅕ of the time and up to a ⅓ of the overall cost.

2. 5 Benefits micro trenching bring to cities

Micro trenching has more ups than downs, making it crucial to exalt the goods and present them to you.

It costs less

Overall costs of micro trenching are significantly low. As it works in narrow spaces, it uses less construction equipment, fewer materials, and less manpower to do the job. The initial cost is low, as it only needs one trencher to dig the trench on the side of the road. Its installation cost is also low due to using fewer materials than other methods. And finally, so is its restoration cost. It keeps the work area clean and uses a grout compound to fill the trench when finished.

It fights environmental limitations

When it comes to installing optic fiber infrastructure, having enough space to hover with machines is mandatory. However, micro trenching is perfect for crowded or environmentally limited areas, as the work area is narrow and shallow.

It’s less disruptive and less invasive

Micro trenching is the go-to optic fiber installation method in big or small cities. Operators do micro trenching in crowded areas without stopping surrounding activities or digging big and deep holes to work on.

It avoids existing utility infrastructure

As micro trenching uses shallow, narrow trenches, it avoids other already existent utilities. This allows operators to work without cutting, breaking, or damaging other important service infrastructure on the ground.

It keeps the job site clean

All micro trenchers have a vacuum that allows the machine to suck all the dust and soil. This keeps the work area clean at all times.

3. Where to use Micro trenching

As space is limited, Micro trenching works best in urban areas, especially on sidewalks, alleys, cross-road cuts, and curb cuts. And operators usually use it when installing FTTH, smart cities, DAS antenna, and so on.

4. Micro trenching process

Micro trenching is nothing to make overnight because it takes lots of planning and budgeting to do it correctly. In another word, it involves lots of consideration to make the most of the time, money, and workers needed to do the job.

Planning the deployment

Planning micro trenching’s optic fiber deployment takes between fifty and fifty-five days. On the contrary, traditional methods take more than 160 days of pure planning to reach completion. This multiplies the total cost of the project. Planning the project allows operators to determine and estimate the route, width, depth, and even restoration method. In addition, it gives people time to handle permits and materials requirements that municipalities need.

Trenching the way

It’s now time to take out the big, heavy machinery. If you own a trencher, you must surely know how to operate it. If not, partner with some trustworthy trenchers to make the work for you. The indent should be narrow and shallow enough to avoid disrupting existing utilities in the area. In addition, when working with a trencher, the area keeps clean and tidy. It’s all thanks to the vacuum and trailer the machine has to gather all the debris.

Cleaning the pathway

Micro trenching

Before placing the microducts inside, it’s important to clean the trench and place a layer of sand at the bottom. This will prevent rocks and other sharp objects from the brake or damage the ducts over time. In addition, if the plan includes turns on the way, it’s best to make gradual diagonal cuts. This will avoid breaking the ducts and damaging the fiber on sharp, closed corners.

Restoration the pavement

Micro trenching

It’s now time for closing the trench and restoring the surface. Operators often place a layer of sand above the microduct to work as an isolator for hot materials. Usually, operators use asphalt, concrete mix, or thermosetting resin to restore the area. Take into consideration that the materials should handle the weight of passing cars, people, and other things as well.

Placing the fiber inside

Once micro ducts are in place, it’s time to insert the fiber. This is a crucial part of the process. Operators usually push or air-jet the fiber through the conduit, ensuring there will be no tangling and pulling involved.


Micro trenching’s makes everything easier to help operators and governments to bring fiber to the city. It’s cheaper, easier to install, and faster to restore. Are you looking for more help on optic fiber and coaxial cables? We are here to provide all kinds of cable assemblies for you.