Horse Drawn Fiber Optics Bring Broadband to Remote Areas

By Jason Fitzpatrick on July 1st, 2011

When you think of fiber optics and high speed internet the last thing you likely think of is… horses. Yet horses have been put to use rolling out fiber optics to remote rural locations.

In Vermont a Belgium draft horse named Fred, seen in the photo above being tended by his handler Claude, is a distinctly 19th century solution to a 21st century problem; how to run fiber optic cable through remote areas where trucks cannot easily pass.

The man and animal are indispensable to cable and phone-service provider FairPoint Communications because they easily can access hard-to-reach job sites along country roads, which bulky utility trucks often cannot.

“It just saves so much work – it would take probably 15 guys to do what Fred and Claude can do,” said Paul Clancy, foreman of a line crew from FairPoint. “They can pull 5,000 feet of cable with no sweat.”

You can read more about the use of draft horses to draw lines and the roll out of broadband to rural Vermont at the link below.

Vermont Uses Draft Horse to Lay Cables for Internet Access [Reuters]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/1/11
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