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The race to 5G

The Race to 5G: how ECC helps to get customers their desired internet speed

In the latest episode of Planet Underground, Electric Conduit Construction gives an in-depth look at the process and difficulties that come along with installing the latest 5G high-speed internet for the people of Chicago. Everyone wants faster service and ECC is working quickly to expand wireless networks to give customers the best of the best: 5G coverage. However, the work that goes into building out this infrastructure is often very difficult, and safety is of the utmost importance.


During this 30-minute video, foreman Ryan Hensley and project manager Michael Flaherty discuss the boring, trenching and potholing that must take place prior to the underground fiber installation. Because there are a lot of different utility lines going into the residential parts of the city, Hensley and his team must be mindful of where and when they dig to get the 5G infrastructure installed quickly and safely.

Locators are first on the scene to mark potential hazard spots, including water lines, power lines and gas lines. Running into these utilities could be disastrous, and the locators are there to prevent that from happening wherever they can. After the site is located, workers must break through the rubble, asphalt, and dirt before running the fiber lines that will ultimately give faster internet and cell phone service throughout the area.

Episode 10 of Planet Underground TV also talks about the various components of safety that come into play when dealing with digging around existing utilities and placing new ones into the ground. Safety director Jeff Larson gives credit to the somewhat unsung heroes of a safe dig site: the flaggers. He mentions how people seem to think flaggers just “stand around” on the sites, when, they are providing a necessary function to keep not only the crews safe, but the pedestrians around the area as well. This is, to a certain extent, a double-edged sword, because you want to protect those on-lookers but can sometimes be at the mercy of them. ECC will take all necessary precautions to direct traffic, but that won’t stop people from being people.

Safety, locating, and high-speed service are the focus of Episode 10: The Race to 5G. While everyone wants faster internet instantaneously, the crews at ECC will always take the safety of themselves and those around them into the strongest consideration before making their first dig. Each step of this process is done as quickly and carefully as possible to get customers faster services and to get everyone on the crews home safely.

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