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CityNet opens fiber-through-sewer school

Wed, 05/30/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

For all those who think school stinks, CityNet Telecommunications Inc. opened its first and likely only In-Sewer Broadband Deployment Training Center today. The center trains the company's employees to install its in-sewer fiber optic systems.

Intent on teaching the down-and-dirty details of installing fiber optic networks in sewer systems, the company and its partner, CableRunner North America LLC, invested a "significant" amount of money in the 6,000-square-foot, remodeled warehouse and its two programs, spokesman Lee Allentuck says. The robotic system alone ran a good $750,000, he notes.

The two-pronged program consists of four-week training for large, human-accessible sewer pipes and courses on operating the sewer robots CityNet buys from Ka-Te Systems AG in Zurich. The company uses robots to install fiber in small, inaccessible sewer pipes. One class has already completed the four-week course, Allentuck says.

Designed for training engineers and technicians, the center will include a showroom, conference and projection facilities, and a training area complete with a working representation of a city street. Students will use actual manholes and underground sewer pipes, with two pipe systems "showcased," the company reports. One is a 36-inch human-accessible pip for training crews on the CableRunner systems and an 8-inch inaccessible pipe for training on CityNet's robots.

CityNet will waste no time in recruitment — grads will be hired at CityNet deployment sites worldwide. They emerge with certification in both technologies and safety, Allentuck says.

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