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PPC blog

Tom Carpenter

Recent Posts

Which last drop fiber installation method is best for you?

Posted by Tom Carpenter

In our series of blogs based on PPC’s Complete Guide to Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) Deployment eBook, we’ve outlined the options for operators, when it comes to:

The 5 last drop fiber installation methods

Moving on, operators then have to choose the installation method for the last drop of their FTTP network. Based on our experience, here are the pros and cons of the main techniques, along with some more detailed analysis:

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home, Industrial premises

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Fiber networks for communities - 6 things city planners need to know

Posted by Tom Carpenter

Superfast fiber broadband has the potential to transform cities. By providing the ability to connect to the internet at high speed, citizens, businesses and the wider community all benefit through greater choice and faster access to services.

Education and lifelong learning can be extended, while healthcare can be digitized, improving quality of life for patients. Government services can be moved online; increasing efficiency while making it easier for citizens to interact with municipal government.

In an increasingly competitive market, the availability of superfast broadband can play a big part in where residents choose to live and businesses decide to set up.

Municipalities recognize this, and are planning and investing to reap the benefits of building a fiber network in their communities. A great example of this is the City of Loma Linda in California, which has built its own high capacity fiber network to underpin its growth. This has helped improve its large healthcare industry (it has five major hospitals with up to 100,000 patients visiting the city every day for treatment), attract new businesses to the municipality and provide a platform for more efficient local government.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install, Fiber to the home

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Fiber protection – in the toughest of conditions

Posted by Tom Carpenter

In business, everyone expects high quality products and services, meaning that praise from customers is pretty rare. So, when our US partner Core Telecom forwarded me this email from Rich Jones of Metasoft Inc. I have to say it made my day.

Normally in our blogs, we focus on sharing our knowledge and expertise with the industry, rather than talking about ourselves or our products. However, I felt compelled to share this email, so I hope you forgive me this one exception:

Hello Rene,

All is well. Much has happened with regards to the Tuff Duct and Miniflex fiber at the site where it was installed.

Topics: Design and Install, Industrial premises

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Half year report - the 2014 global FTTH and pushable fiber market

Posted by Tom Carpenter

As we approach the halfway mark of 2014, I thought it worthwhile to share my views on the trends we are seeing in the FTTH and pushable fiber market globally.

Firstly, the market is growing compared to 2013, a view which is backed up by several industry market research papers. For example CRU's report found that global fiber installations are up 13% for the first quarter of the year. I can’t comment on whether this is happening across the board. However what I do know is that our shipments of Miniflex fiber cable and our pushable QuikPush range are up significantly everywhere we sell globally.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Pushable Fiber, Market trends

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Filling the pipes – how content is driving the need for FTTH

Posted by Tom Carpenter

Amidst all the high speed network rollouts that are happening across the world, there’s an ongoing discussion about the relative balance between copper and fibre in next generation networks.

Obviously installing Fiber to the Home (FTTH)/Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) networks is more expensive in the short term, compared to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), where copper is used for the last stretch between the cabinet and the building itself.

In an age of austerity many operators and governments have chosen to go down the FTTC route. In Australia, for example, the incoming coalition government has decided to scale back its planned $44 billion National Broadband Network (NBN), moving from FTTH to FTTC for connections to existing premises.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Fiber to the home

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Fiber and Father Christmas

Posted by Tom Carpenter

We live in a technological age, where superfast communications are essential to both companies and consumers. And that’s especially true if you’re the most seasonal businessman of them all – Father Christmas.

With all those letters to read, children to monitor and presents to make (and deliver), Father Christmas has got a lot do in a very short space of time, and a lot of data and information to cope with.

Topics: Fiber to the premises

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Superfast Cornwall and the benefits of broadband

Posted by Tom Carpenter

The deployment of high speed fibre broadband has the ability to regenerate whole regions, boosting business competitiveness and creating jobs. Essentially it removes any issues of distance, so companies in more remote areas can work closely with customers or partners around the world, and allows greater productivity through better communications. Rather than losing businesses and staff to other regions, areas actually attract new investment and skills, as people move to benefit from broadband and the opportunities it brings.

The current superfast fibre rollout in Cornwall is the perfect example of what can be achieved with broadband. Funded by the EU, BT and Cornwall Council, and managed by Cornwall Development Company, Superfast Cornwall is building a brand new fibre-based superfast broadband network across the county. This will use a mix of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and other technologies, such as microwave, satellite and wireless to reach the 95% of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The target completion date is the end of 2014 and the network has already passed 206,000 houses and business (82% of the county). This makes it the best connected rural region in Europe, and one of the most well-connected areas in Britain, despite its remote location in the far south west of England.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Fiber to the home, Market trends

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The state of broadband Britain – the global picture

Posted by Tom Carpenter

In a previous post we discussed the options consumers and businesses have when it comes to high speed broadband in the UK. In this follow on piece, we’ll take a look at the UK’s position compared to other countries around the world – and future plans in this area.

Countries around the world see the positive impact that high speed broadband can have on their economies – making companies more productive, enabling services such as telemedicine and e-learning and underpinning innovation. So there is a global drive to increase the rollout of high speed networks

Topics: Market trends, Fiber innovations

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Mobile and Optical Fiber - the need to work together

Posted by Tom Carpenter

Over half of us now have a smartphone and we’re using mobile devices for more and more data intensive applications. It is predicted that by 2014, more people will access the web through mobile devices than PCs.

Little wonder that Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 78% between 2011 and 2016. That means they will generate over 10 exabytes of data every month. 4G technologies such as LTE and WiMAX will increase this even more – with sustained data rates of 100 Mbps (downlink) and 50 Mbps (uplink) already available on some handsets. Compare this to the 3G specification of 144 kbps in a moving vehicle, 384 kbps while walking and 2 Mbps inside and you get an idea of the scale of the approaching tsunami of data.

Coping with this information overload will be a challenge for existing mobile networks as they need to scale up their infrastructure. A 2G base station generates 1.3 Mbps of traffic, but an LTE version requires 80 Mbps capacity – 60 times more. Of course the vast majority of this traffic isn’t wireless at all – once it reaches the nearest cell it uses mobile backhaul, being transferred to fixed line networks to optimise performance and efficiency. This reduces the need to use expensive and scarce spectrum for anything but the smallest distances.

Topics: Fiber innovations

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The ROI of pushable

Posted by Tom Carpenter

Deploying a fibre optic network can be an expensive business. Installing a new backbone network is a part of this, but delivering fibre from the kerbside to individual buildings is a substantial proportion of the cost. While each connection may not be very long (up to 200 metres) it is often the most complex part of an install as it needs to bend round obstacles between the manhole or cabinet and the premises themselves.

Add in the disruption to the neighbourhood of digging trenches and the need to gain entry to a building to install customer equipment and the difficulty increases even more. Now multiply this by the thousands of buildings that large carriers are looking to connect and you can see how costs increase dramatically. In many cases the last 200 metres are the most expensive of all network deployments.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install, Costs/ROI

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