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PPC blog

Larry Malone

Recent Posts

2015 and key trends in the US fiber market

Posted by Larry Malone

In a previous blog post, my colleague, Tom Carpenter gave his views on the global Fiber to the Home (FTTH) market, and discussed the ongoing "net neutrality" debate.

In this post, I’m going to delve down a level and look at the trends that the m2fx US team is seeing in the FTTH broadband market and beyond, as 2015 unfolds. Putting net neutrality aside, there are three areas I’d pinpoint:

1. Fiber to the Building (or Premise) continues to grow

The market demand for fiber broadband is there, and carriers are looking at how they can address it most cost-effectively. Consumers and businesses are keen to embrace faster speeds – Akamai’s recent State of the Internet report found that the US had an average connection speed of 11.5 Mbps, behind the likes of Finland, Switzerland and South Korea.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Market trends

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Making municipal FTTH deployments economic

Posted by Larry Malone

Fiber networks are a key driver of economic growth and consequently are becoming critical to cities and communities across the world. High speed FTTH and FTTP networks encourage new businesses to an area, make it an attractive place to live and also enable greater efficiency and new services from government.

To access these benefits, many municipalities across the United States are rolling out their own fiber networks in order to ensure they remain competitive in a tough environment. But achieving this cost-effectively can be a struggle. How can cities make deployments quicker, easier and less expensive?

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Fiber to the home, Costs/ROI

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Coping with cable congestion - with pushable fiber and PPC Microduct

Posted by Larry Malone

Cost-effectively rolling out new cellular infrastructure is critical for carriers looking to compete in increasingly demanding markets. Technologies such as 4G are crucial to providing the robust, high bandwidth data networks that subscribers want, but deploying them, particularly in complex urban areas, can be difficult. Existing infrastructure, such as around cellular towers, has been built up over years and cannot be removed or replaced. This can make it hard to add new equipment, leading to a headache for both network planners and installers.

Planning a 4G cell tower rollout

To solve this problem a tier 1 US cellular operator used the unique strengths of PPC’s Miniflex microduct and fiber cable to connect a key cell tower to 4G and its existing backhaul network.

Located on the roof of a ten floor hotel, in a busy urban area, the existing internal riser was full of cable, meaning the telco’s options were limited – it could install a whole new riser system (too expensive) or expose the new fiber on the side of the building (likely to be vetoed by the hotel owners).

Topics: Design and Install

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Speeding FTTP deployments with Dura-Line and Miniflex Pushable Fiber

Posted by Larry Malone
With its products used in thousands of fiber deployments across the globe, Dura-Line is one of the world’s leading suppliers of conduit duct. Installers know and rely on Dura-Line when it comes to ease of deployment, effectiveness and reliability.

Given its market leading position, we wanted to test how the combination of PPC's patented Miniflex fiber cable and Dura-Line’s duct performed together. To do this we worked with Dura-Line and a major local telephone company in the US on out a joint Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) installation to a strip mall in Louisiana. The aim was to measure the compatibility of the two products and to see if the combination improved deployment performance for the installation crew.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install

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Restoring fibre connections quickly and cost effectively

Posted by Larry Malone

Optical fibre is very fragile – hence the need to protect it with tough jacketing, wherever it is deployed. However successful an installation is, connections can still be cut or disrupted – whether by bad weather, building work or even damage from animals. Storms and hurricanes are a particular problem in many states, causing disruption to vital communications that can impact the local economy as well as making it difficult to get to touch with those affected.

Restoring service quickly is a priority for telcos for three key reasons:

  1. DutyLocal Exchange Carriers (LECs) are seen to have a public duty to provide customers with service, meaning they need to repair damage quickly and efficiently, both for their own customers and those of carriers that they resell to.
  2. Customer service. Slow restoration of service, particularly at times of crisis has an adverse impact on a carrier’s brand. In competitive markets perceived delays can increase customer churn.
  3. Financial. Obviously customers will not pay for services they cannot receive, so the longer an outage continues the more it hits a carrier’s revenues. With increasingly complex packages (including triple and quad play services), the financial impact of not providing services can potentially escalate very quickly.

Topics: Fiber innovations

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Los Angeles and Fiber – bringing down deployment costs

Posted by Larry Malone


The news that Los Angeles is planning a gigabit fiber network to connect every business and home within the city limits is a further demonstration of the vital importance of high speed broadband in today’s society.

LA has announced that next month it will issue a request for proposals. The city is looking for a vendor to build the entire infrastructure themselves (without public subsidy), and then offer free internet access at between 2-5 Mbps to all, charging a fee for higher connection rates of up to 1 gigabit per second. The same fiber network would also power Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas. It would cover an area of nearly 500 square miles with 3.5 million residents.

Municipalities across the US are increasingly looking at rolling out fiber networks, as they realize the positive impact it has on the local economy, in attracting new citizens and businesses and in enabling the digital delivery of public services. As well as the success of Google Fiber’s deployments in Kansas City many urban areas have invested in either commissioning or building out their own networks. Some, like Santa Monica, have adopted a piecemeal approach, installing new fiber or conduit every time they dig up the streets, while others, such as Chattanooga in Tennessee have gone for a single, city-wide deployment. In the case of Chattanooga, EPB, the community owned electricity utility installed and runs the network, charging customers for broadband access and other services.

Topics: Market trends, Fiber innovations

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Linking industry to information through optical fiber

Posted by Larry Malone

When many people think of factories, they think of low technology, manual processes and hundreds of staff working on production lines. Nowadays nothing could be further from the truth – with the growth in automation and the use of smart machines factories are now full of the latest technology, with human involvement kept to a minimum.

First generation factory automation saw individual machines programmed and controlled locally, but as technology has matured machines are increasingly linked together to create a seamless process. A new part can be designed and its dimensions automatically delivered to the machine that will create it, without the need for human involvement. Monitoring can be carried out through remote sensors with the results automatically flagged to supervisors.

Topics: Fiber innovations

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Connecting up a legend

Posted by Larry Malone

The Queen Mary is an iconic ocean liner that was a byword for luxurious travel for over thirty years, transporting celebrities and royalty across the Atlantic at then record speed. Now a floating hotel, attraction and venue she dominates the waterside in Long Beach California, where she has been moored since 1967.

Since her maiden voyage in 1936 the Queen Mary has always been at the forefront of technology. In 2012 fiber connectivity was installed to the liner and the surrounding retail sites to provide faster communications for hotel guests, on-board restaurants and retail units.

Topics: Design and Install, Costs/ROI

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