[Tagging] Optical telecomunication cable tagging

Jean-Marc Liotier jm at liotier.org
Tue Mar 4 15:35:50 UTC 2014

On 04/03/2014 14:05, François Lacombe wrote:
> Just consider we are talking about pipelines here, "optical pipelines" 
> which are going out of any urban area most of the time.

Along railways, motorways, high-voltage lines, riverbeds, roads, sewers, 
tunnels... Pretty much every type of right-of-way is used and the 
telecom link is part of it. Rarely does the telecommunications link 
exist on its own, except as directly buried cables that exist in rural 

> Like gas & oil pipelines, we can map markers and cables too, regarding 
> long distance links.

That would satisfy the visibility requirement.

> We won't be able to map optical circuits or L2 links and that's not 
> the goal. Let's try to give a map of bare infrastructure before 
> everyone forget about it (and before everyone dig in it 'cause no one 
> can inform them of what is under their feet).

In France, if you are going to dig a hole, there is a legal process to 
follow (called DICT) to submit the dig's location to a single point of 
contact where operators answer with blueprints of their network in the 
viccinity (got a meeting about that in 30 minutes...). If you hit 
something mentioned in the blueprints, you are responsible for the 
damage - otherwise it is the operator's fault for not telling you. There 
is a lot of money involved - a legally binding answer is required and 
Openstreetmap can't provide that.

> underwater ducts get sometimes forgotten by French navigable ways 
> managers (even if they can be sustainably mapped in its GIS).

The position of many pieces of infrastructure is indeed not as precisely 
known as one may expect - for various reasons, many of them having to do 
with the costs of doing it right vs. letting someone else handle it 
later (at a greater cost - which may actually make financial and 
strategic sense). Finding them when a repair is needed is a fun sport - 
dragging hooks from a riverboat to grab cables (and trash) or beating 
around the bush to find an enclosure (that is finally found to be in the 
middle of a Gipsy camp)...

Anyway, even if you don a scuba suit and survey a VNF-managed river, 
users won't be interested because you won't provide sufficient metadata 
such as which specific cable from which operator you found.

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