<img src="http://www.trace-2000.com/16543.png" style="display:none;">

PPC blog

FTTH in Africa is NOT just for the elite!

Posted by Joe Byrne

The recent article in The Engineer ‘is Fiber to the Home (FTTH) in Africa just for the elite?’ – got me thinking of the progression I have seen in Africa since 2006 and my experience of internet accessibility in the continent. I also looked at the advantages that high speed, widely available (and in this I mean price as well as physical availability), internet connections will bring to Africa.

The benefits of FTTH to everyone

Firstly, it is worth looking at the benefits. Obviously faster broadband enables people to receive services such as IPTV, widening their entertainment choices, while also allowing them to download data and information faster than before. However it goes further, empowering them. It makes it easier to work from home and communicate nationally and internationally using voice and video at no extra cost through VoIP services such as Skype, enabling people to start and expand their own businesses. They can sign up for content rich educational courses, particularly those including video lectures and real-time tutorials, learning vital skills to improve their lives. And government services, from healthcare to registering for benefits, can be applied for and accessed online, reducing the bureaucracy and increasing efficiency for both citizens and civil servants.  

Topics: Fiber to the home, Costs/ROI

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

Solving the FTTH rollout problem in multiple dwelling units

Posted by Shaun Trezise

Recently PPC was asked to investigate solutions to the problem of a FTTH rollout with no space for microduct. The customer faced the challenge of deploying fiber to 10 high-rise apartment blocks, each containing 180 dwellings, within 2 years. Sounds easy, but factor into the equation that there is no option to add infrastructure and the fiber must be installed through the pre-existing, pre-populated PVC conduits hidden in the voids and screeds. Also add in that no machinery or cable blowing equipment is allowed on site. Then you really have a problem.

Unfortunately for network designers and installation engineers across the world, this scenario is all too common. A lack of foresight when future proofing network infrastructure has resulted in a critical need for fiber cable that can be retrofitted into existing conduit and ducting, often when this conduit is already populated with cables.

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home

Read More

Security conscious organisations see the light with clear fiber cables

Posted by Colin Dennison

Previously ensuring physical fibre security has been difficult. All this has changed with the launch of PPC’s Miniflex clear fibre cables which allow quick, efficient, instant checking of the cable route to ensure all is well. The cable is based on a simple idea – being clear, it lets staff see, at a glance, if there has been any attempt to tamper with the fibre inside. Checking is quick and doesn’t require specialist equipment or training, meaning any member of office staff can monitor security, with no disruption to operations. Already deployed around the world, it delivers a new level of physical security to fibre networks.

Topics: Design and Install

Read More

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

Read More

Opening up Africa with fiber

Posted by Simon Roberts

Currently one of the fastest growing markets for fibre is in Africa, with huge communications infrastructure rollouts underway across the continent. Organisations such as the FTTH Council Africa are increasingly active in pushing the benefits of fibre networks, while new players such as Google are entering the market. And the impact will be tremendous – consultants McKinsey predicts that the internet will add $300 billion to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product by 2025.

There are two major trends driving fibre in Africa. Firstly, rollouts are building on new subsea cables that link the continent to the rest of the world. High speed networks are being extended from coastal landing sites into landlocked countries, delivering the benefits of fast internet access to an even greater number of people.
Secondly, companies are using the latest fibre technology for these networks. As many countries have limited existing data network infrastructure, deployments can be built totally from fibre, extending to the home or premises, without needing to incorporate legacy copper cables. Essentially this means that African businesses and consumers can benefit from the speed and capacity of FTTH/FTTP as soon as implementation is completed.

Topics: Fiber innovations

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More