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PPC blog

Fiber Connectors - what's the difference?

Posted by Shaun Trezise

Given the variety of splice options available to fiber network planners today identifying the best connector for FTTH can be overwhelming. Consequently often not much thought is given to connector selection with choice driven by cost, availability or what’s been used before. However each connector has its own unique design and therefore, pros and cons. Over time or depending on project size this can have a dramatic impact on deployment speeds and costs.

So what are the differences and what do they mean to your implementation? This table of common connectors gives an overview of strengths and weaknesses, with more detail in the accompanying descriptions:

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

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What applications will fill up gigabit Fiber to the Home Connections?

Posted by Joe Byrne

The introduction in the United States of gigabit Fiber to the Home (FTTH) connectivity made me wonder what this extra speed could be used for. After all, many people survive perfectly happily with 30 Mbps (or smaller) connections and I recently downgraded my own home service from 120 Mbps to 60 Mbps without really seeing any difference in performance.

So how would I use the 17x increase in capacity that is available from a 1 gigabit connection? Is it just an expensive white elephant that no-one will actually need? The short answer is that it will be required – connection speeds that are adequate now will quickly become a bottleneck if they cannot cope with future needs.

Consequently I’ve got my crystal ball out and come up with five applications that I think will drive the need for this fiber connection speed – do add your own in the comments section.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Market trends

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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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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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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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Making rural fiber deployments cost effective

Posted by Rich Contreras

High speed fiber broadband networks enable businesses to be more productive, open up new services to citizens, students and patients as well as letting households do more with their leisure time, wherever they are located.

Rural fiber deployment - the benefits

The positive impact of fiber networks can make a particular difference in living standards in rural areas: 

  • Better connections mean that people and businesses don’t need to migrate to bigger cities to live and work, and local economies are boosted by incomers who move into the area or tourists that visit.
  • Fiber is also important as cellphone coverage in rural areas can be patchy, due to the cost of installing towers and masts across sparsely populated countryside.
  • Students can access college or high school courses over the internet, cutting out disruption caused by snow days.
  • Traditional rural businesses, such as farmers, also benefit. They can access the latest commodities prices and decide when and where to send their crops or livestock to get the best price.
  • Tourism also benefits as visitors increasingly expect to be able to instantly post photos and video of unspoilt national parks on social media from their tablets, smartphones and computers.

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home

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Equipment, labor costs and customer experience in FTTP deployments

Posted by Shaun Trezise

In previous blogs based on our Complete Guide to Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) Deployment eBook, we’ve talked about the planning needed if your FTTP installation is to be a success, as well as the impact of the landscape on choosing between an aerial or buried deployment. In this post, we’ll look at some of the factors impacting cost, and how they relate to the customer experience of FTTP deployments.

The impact of labor costs

As well landscape and terrain, labor expense is another important consideration. Some cable installation processes require specialist equipment and manpower. Take cable blowing, for example. Large cable blowing machines can cost in the region of $16,860 and weigh several hundred kilograms. Gasoline-powered compressors cost at least $8,430 to purchase. It often takes hours to transport these machines, set them up and close down the site. And that’s just for one premise! The entire process has to be repeated every time a customer in that locality requests a fiber connection.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install

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Is FTTC enough for the UK’s future superfast broadband needs?

Posted by Joe Byrne

Currently operators in countries around the world are investing heavily in rolling out fiber broadband to subscribers, either directly with Fiber to the Home (FTTH) or through halfway houses such as Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC), as in the UK. This is increasing subscriber speeds, with the US average connection speed hitting 10.5 Mbps in Q1 2014, according to research from Akamai. Globally, the average speed is 3.9 Mbps, with South Korea heading the table with 23.6 Mbps.

Topics: Data/Statistics, Market trends

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How fiber protection is enabling next-generation automotive systems

Posted by Colin Dennison

Today’s cars are full of the latest electronic toys, making them a moving office and entertainment center all in one.

We have CD players, iPod ports, Bluetooth connections to our smartphones, Sat Nav with instant traffic feedback, front/rear view cameras, sensors, radar distance control to the car in front and voice activated controls, to name just a few. And this trend is increasing – cars are really becoming connected, mobile computing platforms that happen to have a steering wheel.

The growth of automotive electronics

However how many of us actually think about what’s there and what makes it work? We probably take it for granted, as these electronics are now an integral part of what makes our driving experience so engaging and safe. So what powers these systems and where are they located?

Topics: Market trends, vertical markets

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How Comcast is achieving fiber protection in inside plant environments

Posted by Dan Patuto

Extending high speed fiber access through inside plant installations within buildings is often difficult, expensive and time consuming.

Often installations have to fit within very small spaces, such as congested ducts, and take up as little real estate as possible so as not to interfere with working areas. The environment is dynamic - floor plans change and new equipment is installed, so deployments need to be flexible and easy to upgrade, and if necessary re-route.

Fiber has to be protected with cables and ducts that are tough enough to withstand wear and tear from a whole range of enemies, such as accidental knocks from rogue technicians/installers, as well as needing to be small and easy to install. Protecting business critical data and communications that travel over fiber cables is a priority, but this requirement can be in conflict with the need to save space.

Topics: Design and Install, Industrial premises

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