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PPC blog

Taking a toolbox approach to FTTH deployments

Posted by Simon Roberts

Interest is rapidly growing across the African continent into new fiber to the home (FTTH) ‘last drop’ techniques that turn ‘homes passed’ into ‘homes covered’.

That was the message I took away from the recent FTTH Council Africa Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. The well-attended event, hosted in the imposing Turbine Hall, was full of presentations and discussions about overcoming implementation challenges and delivering the benefits of fiber to the home networks.

Africa is part way through a transformation when it comes to broadband connectivity. Submarine cables deliver huge capacity to multiple locations around the continent’s coast, but the vast majority of the population is not yet connected. Internet use has grown by a staggering 5320% since 2000 (6 times greater than the rest of the world), but just 21% of the population is online. This is less than half the global average of 43%. Clearly there is work to do, but there is a huge amount being done to bridge this gap.

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

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Mobily speeds up FTTH implementations with pushable fiber

Posted by Simon Roberts

Operators around the world are in the midst of major roll-outs of Fiber to the Home/Fiber to the Premises (FTTH/P) networks.

Ensuring these deployments are both fast and cost-effective is critical to their success, with operators and installers looking for ways of increasing efficiency and reducing unnecessary expense during the network deployment process.

A good example of a company successfully meeting this challenge is Mobily, the second operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mobily’s implementation challenge

Mobily is currently connecting around 2,000 new fiber customers a month. FTTH implementations are carried out by external contractors, using products approved by Mobily. PPC's low risk and cost effective Miniflex fiber optic cable is one of those solutions.

Detecon Al-Saudia is an approved supplier to Mobily and currently undertakes approximately 500 installations per month in the Western region which covers the city of Jeddah.

Mobily typically has a ‘last mile’ connection of between 30-100m, bringing 2-Core fiber optic G652D into the house/premises. One fiber is field spliced with an LC connector, while the second dark fiber is coiled for redundancy.

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

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5 important steps to reducing FTTX roll out costs

Posted by Joe Byrne

Superfast broadband brings highly desirable benefits across the board, but complexities in the last drop can often introduce unwelcome expense and hamper progress.

In a previous post I looked at the roll out of FTTH in Africa and how high costs, in the short term at least, concentrate access within a narrow group that can afford to pay for installations. And, of course, the major prize and the bigger picture will be found in bringing access to much wider markets.

So the question remains; how can network designers reduce their FTTX roll out costs and bring those benefits home for a much wider demographic?

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

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Cheapest isn't always best when it comes to fiber cable

Posted by Simon Roberts

Recently I visited Thailand on business, providing me with a vivid reminder of my back packing days twenty years ago. Then my adventure was raw, fresh and exciting and I was greeted in Bangkok with eager street vendors trying to sell me cheaper counterfeit goods using the slogan “Same, same but different.” Essentially the quality of these products backs up the traditional English phrase that “you get what you pay for.” 

Over the years both of these sayings have stuck with me. However the combination of human nature and a desire to balance budgets, mean I continue to strive for a bargain. 

Topics: Design and Install, Costs/ROI

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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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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

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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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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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