PPC blog

Comparing 3 in-building fiber cable installation methods

Posted by Krista Thresh

A crucial step that every installer will negotiate during fiber cable installation in an apartment block or multi-story office building is to decide on the most appropriate way of getting the fiber cable from the basement of the building to each floor.

In new-build apartment blocks and commercial buildings, this process can often be fairly straightforward - and especially so if the architect has designed the building with fiber in mind and has included a microduct from the basement to each of the floors.

For the network operator the key step is deciding on the best method of getting the cable to each floor - whether that’s by blowing, pushing or pulling the fiber cable. Here we explore the pros and cons of each approach.

Topics: Fiber, Premises

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Delivering fiber successfully to MDUs and office blocks

Posted by Dave Daly

The advantages of fiber optic cable over copper wire are well understood. Fiber can transfer more data, in less time, over longer distances than copper. It does not degrade like copper, requires little maintenance and loses only a fraction of its signal strength over 100 meters.

Today, there is a growing demand for fiber, as consumers expect faster Internet speeds. This demand is largely being fuelled by video and music streaming services and over the top (OTT) bundles. Additionally, businesses also require faster broadband, to grow and scale their organisations in a digital and global world.

In this post, we will explore how fiber is successfully delivered to multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and commercial buildings.  

Topics: Fiber, Outside Plant, Premises

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What is coaxial cable and how is it used?

Posted by Krista Thresh

Coaxial cable is commonly used by cable operators, telephone companies, and internet providers around the world to convey data, video, and voice communications to customers. It has also been used extensively within homes.

It has been around for a long time as a technology (since the early 20th century) and has many singular advantages for reliable, accurate transmission.

It also has limitations that will cause it to be replaced in some cases by fiber optic cable, category cable or, sometimes, by wireless signals.

The key to the coaxial cable's success has been its shielded design, which allows the cable's copper core to transmit data quickly, without succumbing to interference or damage from environment factors.

The three most common cable sizes are RG-6, RG-11 and RG-59:

Topics: Fiber, Coaxial

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Pioneering the 4th Utility – Fiber to the Home

Posted by Dave Daly

In this post, we explore how you can future proof and differentiate a property through delivering a fiber solution, while also increasing customer satisfaction.

The Challenge of Delivering Fiber to Multiple Dwelling Units

Over half of the world's population lives in units of 100+. In cities this figure can be even higher. This concentration and variety creates a challenge for operators looking to install fiber to the home (FTTH) connections. Essentially, multiple dwelling units (MDUs) are like snowflakes - no two are the same, meaning that each one has to be handled as a separate, complex civil engineering project.

Adding to this complexity, the vast majority of these buildings were constructed before fiber networks were even thought of, meaning they aren't designed to accommodate standard fiber connections. 83% of US MDUs were built before 2000, and over half (52%) before 1980. So there is often no obvious way to route fiber to individual apartments.

Topics: Fiber, Premises, Industry

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Simplicity of Installation is the Key to Product Selection for FTTH

Posted by Dave Daly

If you are trying to decide on a product to include in your network design or installation and you have a choice between several products that meet your technical specifications  is price the only factor that will help you to make your decision?

While it can be tempting to prioritize price, it's also important to think ahead and look to your business' future. Therefore, an important factor to consider during your product selection for FTTH is the simplicity of your installation.

Simplicity

When it comes to fiber installation, it is commonly understood that you need specialized expertise (installing, splicing), and specialized equipment (splicers, blowers, trenching, etc.). The cost of these things is well known and considered to be part of doing business, and is often the decisive factor in how or if an FTTH installation goes forward.

Topics: Fiber, Industry

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Installing In-Building Fiber Broadband: First Stage and Connectors

Posted by Dave Daly

These days, operators are faced with an increasing requirement to deploy in-building fiber broadband networks. The rising demand from consumers for superfast broadband services, coupled with the growing urbanization of the marketplace, means that many operators need to focus on installation efficiencies and effectiveness.

Bringing fiber into the building

The first installation step is to get fiber cable into a multi-dwelling premise. It has to be routed from the point of presence (the outside distribution box in the example diagram below) into the building through the wall and plugged into a further distribution box or distribution frame in the basement or a comms room.

Topics: Fiber, Premises

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Overcoming Hidden Costs in the Broadband Network's Last 200 Feet

Posted by Rick Haube

Many people involved in broadband network deployments appreciate that there could be "hidden" costs down the line because less expensive products have been chosen upfront, for use in the critical transmission path close to the subscribers. The real issue is how to balance slightly higher capital costs for quality components and training, against true savings in operational costs. 

Substandard components are apt to need replacement sooner than those of higher quality - not to mention the costs resulting from the poorer performance profiles of low-quality products.

But what of the hidden costs associated with a poorly or improperly trained workforce? These costs appear in the form of more service calls and repeat service calls.

Topics: Fiber, Coaxial

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Do you know how far you can bend your microduct and fiber?

Posted by Dave Daly

There is a limit to the bending ratio or tight diameter in a microduct or fiber cable - after which, the fiber starts to exhibit failure. The failure can be a slight increase in insertion loss or a "kink" in the fiber that creates a catastrophic effect.  

One of the challenges of installing fiber in the last drop of an FTTH network is knowing the overall distance and the amount of 90 degree angles you can have in the path you will be using. Distance and 90 degree turns create additional friction and add to the cumulative friction.

Topics: Fiber, Premises

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Think You're Ready for the FTTx Drop Installation?

Posted by Dave Daly

Take our quiz to find out.

When it comes to actually implementing an FTTx network, there are many details to pay attention to.

Choices have to be made based on landscape topography – there is a big difference between an FTTx drop installation in rural and urban landscapes. Regulatory issues need to be addressed. Technical factors must also be carefully weighed – techniques like cable blowing and pulling only work in certain situations.

It is also critical that customers are not inconvenienced at any point during an FTTx implementation. No customer wants their property to be at the center of a major civil engineering project..

Then there is the matter of cost.

Lastly, it's important to consider whether the solution needs to be future-proof. Some cable can be ripped and replaced. But there are other options, such as direct unducted cable, which, once installed, cannot easily be removed or replaced.

These are just some of the many decisions that have to be made before beginning an FTTx implementation.

Do you think you are ready? Take the quiz below to find out.

Topics: Fiber, Outside Plant, Premises

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Building Residential Fiber Networks Faster at a Lower Cost

Posted by Dave Daly

The broadband FTTH market is in its infancy in North America and very little attention has been paid to the last 150’ drop necessary to bring a low fiber count connection into customers’ homes. Currently a broadband operator’s fast ROI lies in business and multi-dwelling unit (MDU) applications. To date, the ROI model for single family units (SFU) doesn’t measure up.

Topics: Fiber, Industry

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