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What size conduit for fibre to be pulled?

Tuning in

Finally after over a year of being excited at the prospect of fibre being installed in our area and months after the boxes were lifted on the poles we now have an install date - the 24th October - yay...

However, where the cable needs to run too is not soft dig all the way from the pole.  So in order to make the install as smooth as posible, im planning on installing ducting to the house for the engineer to use.

What size ducting would be suitable?  I believe the cable itself is around 10/12mm, and therefore a 40mm duct should be plenty, however does anyone know if Virgin have any specific requirements that I should be aware of before I go ahead and install this.

Ive attached a quick sketch of the route i envisage the cable taking - total distance somewhere around 50m.  Any issues?

virgin cable proposed route.jpg


Alessandro Volta

If the VM fibre connections in your area are coming from a telephone pole, I would have thought this would be an overhead connection from the pole to your house.

Have any neighbouring properties been connected to VM via the pole? If there are, can you get an idea of the installation method that was used?

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

I have used the plastic mains water pipe for conduit in the past.  It's pretty heavy duty and more that suitable for a cable run IMHO.  It's also big enough to get a strong rope through to use as the pull rope, from memory around 50mm dia?

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I'm likely to be the first, as its been me conversing with virgin to advise that their checker was wrong and they had installed the service to poles months ago.  I'd rather get rid of the overhead line to the property of I can.  Partly because it runs straight through a tree which has the possibility of damaging the cable during winds, and mostly because it goes to completely the wrong point of the house.  Currently this means housing the modem for bt in one room and running 30m of cat6 back to the comms room.  I'd rather have the termination point for the fibre in the same place as primary routers etc.

Alessandro Volta

I think you have set yourself quite a challenge to try to coordinate this proposal with VM (if it is actually possible within the confines of how VM is allowed to use the Openreach poles!)

You can get an idea of their installation methods from the new build handbook

which shows a 54mm duct to an individual property (page 12)

I'd recommend using the correct underground telecoms duct for the task with the correct smooth wall inside to allow the cable to be easily pulled through.

I would also recommend doing nothing whatsoever without some very clear documentation and agreement from VM. I have a dim recollection of a past topic on here where someone installed ducting themselves on a private road, with the expectation VM would use it to install, only for VM to eventually give up on the idea and not bother!

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

Are you saying there are no existing Openreach connections to your set of houses at all?

Are there no existing Openreach duct covers on the pavement in front of them or cables coming up through grey trunking adjacent to the front doors?. If VM are using Openreach poles they also have access to any Openreach underground infrastructure that services properties not serviced by poles.

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Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

Virgin don't own the pole and I presume you don't own the land that the pole is on so I can't see your idea working.  They have put equipment on a pole to feed you overhead 

Alessandro Volta

I won't like to guess how the installation will be done without more information. If the pole is close to the house and there are no obstacles, then VM will probably install the fibre direct to the house in the air. If the pole is further away from the house or there are obstacles in the way, then VM will probably dig a trench from the pole to the house and bury the fibre. In both cases the fibre will go to an omni box on the exterior wall.

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The pole is actually amongst the hedge that is on the boundary of our property (see picture above).  Currently the bt line is strung across from this pole to the front of our property., it doesnt cross anyone elses land.  The route shown on the picture above where I propose taking the conduit is all on our land.

No, the properties around are serviced by overhead cables.  What I would like to do is have the property serviced via a duct (as shownon the drawing above).  Then I can have the overhead cable removed as its a bit unsigthly where it is.  I was wondering firstly if VM would happily use a duct on our land to pull the cable through, and if so what size they would need it to be.