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PPC blog

Twisting the light away

Posted by David Stockton

It is sometimes difficult to comprehend the explosive growth in data transmission rates over the last thirty years. We’ve moved from 56k dial up modems in the 1990s to a US government target to deliver speeds of 1 Gb/s to every home in the near future. This increase in capacity is necessary due to the explosion in the range and size of content being delivered across broadband networks – from video on demand and IPTV to real time collaboration and education tools. And of course millions of cute kitten videos.

Optical fibre is the only known transmission mechanism able to provide the capacity needed. However as demands increase the amount of traffic the backbone network will have to handle will consequently rise dramatically, onto a petabit and exabit scale. If all 20 million homes in the UK had a 1 Gb/s Fibre to the home (FTTH) connection you will require a core backbone network that has petabit level capacity. US and pan-European networks will need to work at exabit speeds one day.

Topics: Fiber innovations

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Driving to the future

Posted by Martin Gossling

Cars have evolved rapidly over the last decade, moving from the analogue to the digital world. Technology such as video and audio entertainment systems, mobile communication, satellite navigation, voice operated controls and safety systems such as parking sensors and cameras rely on the high speed sharing of data around the vehicle.

Essentially cars are now mobile computers, with drivers and passengers expecting access to the internet and advanced services as they travel. Standards such as MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) are defining the communications architectures for today’s and tomorrow’s cars.

Topics: Fiber innovations

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Delivering fiber to multiple dwellings

Posted by Martin Gossling

Buildings come in all shapes and sizes, from single houses to massive tower blocks or hotels with potentially hundreds of different apartments or rooms. Growing demand for faster connection speeds means that operators need to be able to deploy fibre networks to every flat in a Multiple Dwelling Unit (MDU) quickly, cost-effectively and with minimal disruption to householders. Further complicating matters, tenants in individual flats may sign up for fibre, rather than the whole block, potentially pushing up costs and installation complexity.

We’re seeing a huge increase in FTTP deployments to MDUs across the world, from the US to the Middle East and Europe. There are a huge range of different types of installations from a simple two rooms across by two floors high all the way up to tall but thin skyscrapers and wide but low residential buildings.

Topics: MDU

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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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PPC heads to the Red Planet

Posted by Martin Gossling

PPC’s products are designed to protect optical fibre in the toughest surroundings. And while conditions on Earth can be difficult, venture into space and things get a whole lot tougher – once you’ve launched, you can’t repair anything that goes wrong. So we’re delighted that our Miniflex protective tube is going to be part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ExoMars mission, investigating if life ever existed on the Red Planet.

The 2018 ExoMars mission will land a European rover and a Russian surface platform on Mars, with the rover then travelling autonomously across the planet, for an estimated six months, drilling to collect samples which it will then analyse using its advanced, on-board instruments. It will be first mission to combine the capability to move across the surface with the ability to study Mars at depth.

The 200kg rover will establish the physical and chemical properties of Martian samples, mainly from the subsurface. These underground samples, drilled from a depth of up to 2 metres, are more likely to include biomarkers that show potential life, since the Martian atmosphere offers little protection from radiation on the surface.

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber innovations

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Building Broadband Britain

Posted by Martin Gossling

Like many countries around the world, the UK government understands that superfast broadband is crucial to competing in the global economy.

Whether it is in helping businesses work more efficiently, providing access to rich content or enabling citizens to shop, learn and interact with public services the benefits are enormous.

The government has pledged to deliver superfast broadband to at least 90% of premises in the UK and to provide universal access to standard broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install

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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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Achieving ISO 14001 certification

Posted by Paul Ekpenyong

Operating in harmony with the environment around us is fundamental to the longer term future of the planet. Organisations are therefore increasingly looking to monitor and manage the impact of their activities on the world.

To ensure that environmental management is comprehensive and effective the international ISO 14001 standard has been created, building on the well-recognised ISO 9001 certification. It audits the environmental management systems and practices of companies to ensure they are robust and minimise risk.

Topics: Regulatory/Policy

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PPC – cabling the world

Posted by Martin Gossling

More and more industries rely on the power of optical fibre to transmit ever increasing amounts of information. Whether it is delivering superfast broadband to the premises, linking electronic systems within aircraft, routing data in real time around datacentres or connecting safety and infotainment systems inside cars, protecting this fibre is vital. However it can’t be at the expense of flexibility, weight or ease of installation.

At PPC we’re dedicated to protecting optical fibre. As the inventors and producers of the world-leading range of patented Miniflex™ fibre cables we make hard plastic flexible through our grooved design process, ensuring the highest level of protection.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the major milestones we’ve already reached:

  • Manufactured more than 20 million metres (67 million feet) of duct and Miniflex cable, which has been installed around the world. That’s enough to stretch from London to New Zealand (with a little spare). Given our rate of growth we expect to double this amount within the next two years.

Topics: Market trends, Fiber innovations

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City of Loma Linda deploys high speed fiber network with PPC

Posted by Shaun Trezise

New York and London, 10 June 2014, PPC, the inventors and producers of the world-leading range of patented Miniflex™ fiber cables, today announced that the City of Loma Linda in California has significantly reduced the installation time and cost of its high speed, municipality-wide fiber network by using its advanced products.

The Californian city has been able to lower deployment costs on the last mile of its Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) network by between 64-76%, from $50 to just $12-$18 per foot through pushable technology and micro trenching.

This has enabled it to roll-out the city-wide network within budget and tight timescales, benefiting the 21,000 residents and reinforcing its reputation as a healthcare center. The City has five major hospitals and a healthcare focused graduate university with 15,000 medical, dental, and allied healthcare students. Up to 100,000 people visit the city every day to be treated and it is the regional center for veterans, trauma and children’s care, covering a fifth of California.

Topics: Pushable Fiber

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