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PPC blog

Showing fiber cable solutions in action

Posted by Joe Byrne

In our information-driven world, fiber cable is a critical component of today’s high performance networks. Protecting this fiber is crucial, whether it is the last drop of Fiber to the Home (FTTH) broadband networks, within buildings, inside datacenters, in cars or in specialist applications.

However, when it comes to choosing the right fiber cable solution for your deployment it can be difficult. On the page, each one can look the same so, to help network planners and installers, we’ve created a series of videos. These showcase the complete range of solutions available from PPC; they demonstrate what makes our products different and how they assist in bringing down cost and time, while meeting rigorous quality standards.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Fiber innovations

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2014 end of year global fiber report and FTTH predictions for 2015

Posted by Tom Carpenter

Following on from my half year report back in June 2014, I thought it is worthwhile to share my views on what has been happening across the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) market, with a particular focus on last drop connections, as well as looking at what I believe 2015 has in store.

The positive news is that growth appeared to continue throughout the second half of 2014. CRU’s bi-monthly report on the fiber cable market stated that the high level of fiber demand seen at the start of the year remained solid through to the 3rd Quarter of the year. CRU forecast that more than 300 million km of bare fiber will be shipped during the year. For me, this is a staggering quantity – equivalent to the diameter of our planet’s orbit around the Sun or enough fiber to circle the Earth 24,000 times.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Data/Statistics

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All I want for Christmas is superfast broadband

Posted by Shaun Trezise


If you live in a 
rural location, superfast broadband roll-outs can take a long time to reach you - but if you're still waiting to be connected to fiber, spare a thought for Father Christmas. You can’t get much more isolated than the North Pole - the nearest cabinet is hundreds of miles away, and sub-zero conditions make installation a logistical nightmare.

Santa’s email explosion

Like a lot of rural dwellers, Santa Claus needs fiber broadband. Analysts estimate that the number of emails sent to Mr Claus' workshop at the North Pole now exceeds the number of traditional letters he receives. Following the internet traffic boom in the early 00s, combined with ever increasing postal charges, boys and girls both naughty and nice now prefer to email Santa than to put pen to paper.

Topics: Fiber to the home

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Back to the future for Australian superfast broadband

Posted by Jonathan Este


There were raised eyebrows among digital natives in Australia recently when Netflix announced it would open for business in Australia in March 2015. How, it was widely asked, would people access the service given that Netflix’s recommended bandwidth for 4k streaming is 25Mbps, and only 15.4% of Australian households manage speeds of more than 10Mbps?

Australia presently ranks at number 12 in the world, according to a report by the International Telecommunication Union - the Information and Communication Technology Development Index (IDI), which rates 166 countries according to their level of access to, use of and skills in using information and communication technology.

But according to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report, Australia has fallen off the pace, dropping five places to number 49 in its rankings which assess the number of households with speeds above 4Mbps – only just over half at present.

Topics: Fiber to the home

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The best practice guide to installing buried microduct

Posted by Dan Jenkins

When it comes to Fiber to the Home (FTTH) installations, microduct is a common choice to protect optical fiber due to its size. This blog post offers best practice advice on installing buried microduct, to help deliver faster, more effective deployments.

Methods of installation

There are four ways of installing direct buried microduct:

  1. In the ground by machine or hand excavating
  2. In a micro or slot-cut trench
  3. Using a mole plow
  4. Inside an existing large diameter duct

For each of these, you should take a number of key steps ahead of installation. Firstly, always cut the microduct with a manufacturer-supplied tube cutter; secondly, before installation, make sure that the sealing plug is in place at the ends of the microduct to prevent dirt and water entering the duct; and lastly, make sure the draw cord is trapped in place by the sealing plug.

With these steps taken, let's now consider best practices for each of the four installation methods in turn:

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home

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Gigabit networks - what are the future options for copper and fiber?

Posted by Dave Stockton

It is one of life’s ironies that the equipment used to establish ultra-fast communication links, the telecommunications fixed network, has lived up to its name and remained fixed for several decades. The traditional metallic conductor-based ‘tree and branch’ architecture forms the basis of most telcos main networks. It has gradually evolved and provided more capacity, from basic 64 kbit/s telephony through dial-up ‘broadband’ to genuine broadband via wholly copper links (ADSL and ADSL2).

These systems nearly always use copper conductor cables that have remained largely unchanged for over 30 years. VDSL (also known as Fiber to the Cabinet) however started a change that used optical fiber to a deep cabinet (i.e. one near a customer group) to step up capacity, from the approximately 20 Mb/s ADSL limit to a figure nearer 100 Mb/s.

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

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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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Six fiber deployment nightmares – and how they were solved

Posted by Rich Contreras

Every fiber network installation is unique, with its own set of challenges to be overcome. Whether it is a topographical problem that needs to be factored into planning or an issue that comes up while on-site, everyone that has been involved with fiber deployments has their own particular war stories which have been solved with a combination of ingenuity, experience and technology. Here is a selection of our own favorites – in the case of our experiences we’ve changed names to protect everyone involved.

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home, Industrial premises

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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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