The F2F process involves extracting the copper inner core of ageing telecoms and power cables and replacing it with optical fibre or upgraded power cable using the original cable sheath as a duct. The technology works with cables throughout the telecoms network, from exchange to exchange, exchange to cabinet, cabinet to distribution point and distribution point to the home/property.
F2F’s extraction method involves compressing the inner copper core of a cable and extracting it to allow optical fibre or replacement power cable to be inserted into the existing sheath.
The ends of the cable are accessed at the connection points or by excavation at two other convenient points. A connector is attached to one end of the outer sheath and a biodegradable fluid based on vegetable oil is pumped under pressure between the cable sheath and the core cover. Once the fluid has reached the full length of the cable, it compresses the core, separating it from the cable sheath, and lubricates it to facilitate the extraction process. The connector is removed and a winch attached to the core which is then extracted under tension. The replacement optical fibre (or other element) can be attached to the core and drawn through the sheath as the core is extracted. Alternatively a cord or wire can be pulled through enabling the replacement to be installed at a later date.