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Stories from the Field: Fiber Optic Repair and Ingenuity at Danella

Fiber Optic Repair Meets Ingenuity

Published on: October 7, 2019

Categories: Danella News, Danella Pride, Stories from the Field

Fiber Optic Repair Meets Ingenuity

Port Canaveral is one of the busiest ports in the world, serving over 4 million cruise ship passengers and over 6 million tons of cargo each year.

When a pylon installation severed a fiber optic telecommunications line that ran under the port, operations were severely affected. The line was a backbone for the port, running from the south side to the north side, and it was critical for both communications and port security.

Danella Fiber Optic Supervisor, Leonel Matos, arrived on the scene around 10pm and tested the line. “I checked all the fibers, and they were all bad.” Leonel said.

“There was no question, the line had been completely severed.”

The optimal solution to this problem would be to run a new line. But that would involve boring under the port, a very costly and time-consuming project that would likely take weeks if not months to complete.

The temporary solution would be to set up a microwave communications system for the port, but microwave systems can be affected by weather – including the thunderstorms that are so common in Florida. Plus, the microwave system would take days to get set-up, tested and implemented – and the busy port didn’t have that kind of time. They had to stay in business, so they required a faster solution.

That’s when Leonel made a discovery. “I found an old cable in the same location that had been abandoned.” Leonel said, “I checked the fibers and confirmed they were still good. So we decided to give it a shot.”

Danella’s crew brought plenty of ingenuity to the job site, working into the night, splicing into the old cable on the south side of the port, and then again on the north side. “The customer was really happy that we found a potential solution.” Leonel recalled, “They were encouraging us and bringing us food.”

By the next morning, the work was completed and communication to the north side of the port was completely restored. The outage was expected to last for days, but service was fully restored in less than 12 hours.

Months later, a new line was bored under the port to provide the optimal solution to the initial disruption of service. But the ingenious fix put into place by Leonel and his team worked until that new line was installed.

This experience is a great example of the way Danella is always focused on the customer’s needs. Crews always seek the solution that best serves the customer – even if they have to get creative.

Instead of just accepting the situation as it initially appeared, Leonel and his crew used ingenuity to look for another solution. “That old line was just sitting there.” Leonel said, “Once we confirmed that it has been abandoned, we got permission to try to use it. We didn’t give up, and we got a little lucky. I’m just happy we were able to restore service for the customer so quickly.”

Port Canaveral