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

PPC blog

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

Los Angeles and Fiber – bringing down deployment costs

Posted by Larry Malone


The news that Los Angeles is planning a gigabit fiber network to connect every business and home within the city limits is a further demonstration of the vital importance of high speed broadband in today’s society.

LA has announced that next month it will issue a request for proposals. The city is looking for a vendor to build the entire infrastructure themselves (without public subsidy), and then offer free internet access at between 2-5 Mbps to all, charging a fee for higher connection rates of up to 1 gigabit per second. The same fiber network would also power Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas. It would cover an area of nearly 500 square miles with 3.5 million residents.

Municipalities across the US are increasingly looking at rolling out fiber networks, as they realize the positive impact it has on the local economy, in attracting new citizens and businesses and in enabling the digital delivery of public services. As well as the success of Google Fiber’s deployments in Kansas City many urban areas have invested in either commissioning or building out their own networks. Some, like Santa Monica, have adopted a piecemeal approach, installing new fiber or conduit every time they dig up the streets, while others, such as Chattanooga in Tennessee have gone for a single, city-wide deployment. In the case of Chattanooga, EPB, the community owned electricity utility installed and runs the network, charging customers for broadband access and other services.

Topics: Market trends, Fiber innovations

Read More

Focusing on the father of fibre optics

Posted by Dave Stockton

This week sees the 80th birthday of Sir Charles Kuen Kao, the pioneering electrical engineer who has been described as the Father of Fibre Optics and Godfather of Broadband. Joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009 for ‘groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication’, his work is seen as integral to the widespread use of fibre optics today.

Born in China, he moved to the then British territory of Hong Kong in 1948 and then came to the UK, where he carried out much of his research at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL) in Essex.

Topics: Fiber innovations

Read More

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

Read More

Fiber goes into battle

Posted by Dave Stockton

Today’s military strength is built around having the best technology, rather than simply brute force. From aircraft, battlefield vehicles and naval vessels to the kit used by soldiers, advanced equipment is central to the modern armed services.

Sharing and delivering growing amounts of information is at the heart of these high tech machines. Evolving from simple radio communications, systems now have to collect data from sensors and cameras around the vehicle in real time, share it locally, send it back to base and allow remote operation in the case of drones. And all of this in inhospitable terrain, and potentially under enemy fire. Repairing equipment in the field often isn’t an option so it has to be rugged and reliable, and capable of lasting for long periods of service.

Topics: Design and Install

Read More

PPC launches new Plenum PV range of pushable fiber products

Posted by Shaun Trezise

New York, 30 September 2013: PPC, the inventors and producers of the world-leading range of patented Miniflex™ fiber cables, today launched its new Plenum PV range of fiber cables and microducts. The innovative new Miniflex Plenum PV range enables the safe deployment of fiber optic cables within the airway/plenum spaces of buildings, providing a tough, lightweight, flexible and easy to install solution. This brings down the time and cost of fiber deployments by speeding up installations in buildings of all sizes,while meeting the strict safety criteria governing plenum deployments.

Engineered from toughened polymer to meet the tight specifications and exacting demands of the environment, the compact Plenum PV products all meet US National Electrical Code (NEC) specifications, and have received UL product certification after extensive testing on their low smoke and low fire hazard capabilities.

Topics: Fiber innovations

Read More

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

Read More