Microducts: The economical and future-proof data enhancement solution

By Bruce Tucker

Recent improvements in fiber construction have made microducts an economical option to traditional cabling products and provide a robust solution for upgrading today’s aging infrastructure.  Microducts are small conduits for housing fiber cabling in a tight, safe casing. They can be pre-installed within a larger conduit or simply pushed into existing conduits already in place. It is not necessary to install conventional cabling for each data upgrade and enhancement project. 

The Microducts Solution

Microduct conduit can be an economical solution for reducing network building, construction and reinstallation costs. Microducts and micro-cabling offer an alternative and less expensive option to rebuild, enhance and improve data pathways for increased data demand. Together, they represent a technological step-change for updating and enhancing the country’s existing and aging communications infrastructure.

  • Ideal option to expand existing fiber network and increase bandwidth for future use.
  • The smaller cables allow for smaller enclosures and can be placed in existing vault and pedestals.
  • One microduct can house up to 144 fibers.  Additional extra ducts can be left open, allowing pathways for future expansion.
  • Microducts typically range between 3 mm and 16 mm, are smaller in size and weigh significantly less than conventional cables. 

MicroCommScope’s blog CommScope Definitions: What is a Microduct? suggests broadband and cable operators evolve their network architectures to meet their subscriber’s data demands by increasing the use of fiber optics cable, deployed via Microducts, in many applications. Microducts can be used in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), fiber-to-the business (FTTB), and long-haul, backhaul, premise fiber deployments at nearly any location where traditional conduit installations occur, according to CommScope.   

Optimizing Your Microducts

According to The Fiber Optic Association’s (FOA) Reference Guide, Microcables are optimized for small size, not large fiber counts, and are aimed at installations where their small size simplifies installation and reduces cost. The FOA noted two fiber developments that make microcable construction feasible. First, the introduction of Bend-Insensitive (BI) fiber in 2007 allowed fibers to be packed into cables with much higher density. Second, BI fibers could then be coated with smaller diameter primary buffer coatings allowing more fibers to be packed in a smaller space.   

Ease of Installation of Microducts

Microduct products may be installed in direct burial applications via micro-trenching or in microduct pathways via air blowing techniques or traditional cable pulling/pushing. Microducts future-proof networks since additional fiber cables can be placed at a later time in response to demand and capacity increases. Often additional microducts are installed and left open/vacant, providing pathways for future expansion. Alternatively, higher density, higher fiber count microcables can easily be pulled through existing conduit to replace conventional cabling.  

Complete with pathway accessories, MicroPath, United Poly Systems' exclusive Microduct piping system is available for various application.  It comes in a wide range of sizes and colors, from direct bury, direct install and aerial microduct cabling, to thick wall and flat duct cabling, providing the optimal solution to your next cabling project. 

About United Poly Systems

In addition to our MicroPath product line, United Poly Systems produces quality HDPE pipe in diameters from ¾-in. to 26-in. IPS and 4-in. to 24-in. DIPS for use in many industries including telecommunications, power utility, water, electrical and oil and gas. The market for HDPE pipe continues to expand as initiatives to improve, repair and expand the country’s infrastructure are implemented.

Our off-the-shelf HDPE conduit/pipe is available in a variety of sizes, colors, dimensions and lengths, with or without stripes. We also offer fully customizable HDPE conduit options. In addition, piping can be customized with a ribbed interior (to maximize the distance cable may be pulled or jetted), pull tape, or a lubricated interior (for easier installation). 

Success at UPS can be attributed to our vast experience, extensive client relationships, state-of-the-art manufacturing and quality processes.  Our agile business model that allows UPS to quickly meet customers’ needs without the overhead expenses that are incurred by many of the larger producers in the industry.

Conveniently located in Springfield, Missouri and Albuquerque, New Mexico, United Poly Systems can provide quick delivery to a majority of the U.S. market. 


Tags: MicroPath