Broadband providers in Southern California may have a cheaper option instead of digging new trenches in order to deliver services via fiber-optic cable.
Regulators in the state have approved the placement of fiber optics in natural-gas pipelines operated by San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. The conduits will be placed by Sempra Fiber Links, an affiliated technology company. According to Sempra president Mike Clover, his company's technology allows the placement of polyethylene conduit in active gas mains. Fiber is then threaded through the conduit.
The fiber-in-gas technology will be marketed as a last-mile solution.
Clover noted that Sempra is a technology company, and not a broadband provider. The company is seeking business relationships with vendors or municipalities.
Sempra has already installed its technology in the municipal gas mains in Long Beach, Calif., to house an institutional network there, he said.