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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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Key factors to consider with aerial fiber deployments

Posted by Shaun Trezise


Over 80% of FTTH rollouts rely on aerial fiber deployments in some form. So, why should you choose aerial over buried implementations and what do you need to factor into your planning if the project is going to be a success? This blog provides an introduction to the topic, along with the questions you need to ask.

When it comes to new networks, planners are looking to balance speed of deployment and the cost and skills required with subscription take-up rates. Networks need to be reliable, but also have to be easy to update as demand changes and new technologies become available. This is obviously equally true of both aerial and buried deployments.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install

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How pushable fiber solves the last drop challenge in an FTTx rollout

Posted by Dan Jenkins

The number of Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) deployments is increasing rapidly across the globe in response to growing marketplace demand for high speed access. However, operators are finding that the last drop – the connection between the cabinet to the individual home or building – poses the largest challenge.

Each last drop connection presents its own set of issues, like varying landscape, customer inconvenience, or expense. Because they were developed for use in other parts of the telecoms network, traditional methods have numerous disadvantages when it comes to these final connections.

Pushable fiber, on the other hand, has been designed specifically to address the challenges of the last drop and its usage is growing rapidly.

Topics: Fiber to the 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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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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Solving last mile complexity in Fiber to the Premises deployments

Posted by Rich Contreras

Planning the last 1,000 feet of fiber deployments can resemble a logic puzzle. How do you get a connection from the main network to the premises in a cost-effective way, taking the minimal time, while still protecting fiber, and without disrupting the local environment?

Multiply this by the number of premises in a FTTx rollout and you can easily see how costs and time snowball, making it a complex exercise to plan and implement. This is why the last mile is normally the most expensive and time consuming part of any overall fiber rollout. Cables and ducts have to be strong, flexible, lightweight, and simple to implement if costs and time are to be kept down.

Meeting the challenges

The environment is normally the biggest factor when deploying FTTP solutions, with topology, soil type and existing buildings and roads all impacting how easy it is to deploy to business and consumer premises. Overcoming these obstacles is vital to cost-effectively turning plans into reality.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install

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Fiber to the campus - overcoming fiber optic installation challenges

Posted by Shaun Trezise

Modern higher education is increasingly underpinned by technology. Whatever the subject, teaching, research and administration all rely on the fast transmission of data to students, professors and staff.

And with intense competition for the best students and researchers, a slow network can mean the brightest minds go elsewhere.

High speed fiber networks are therefore crucial parts of the infrastructure of university and college campuses across the world.

The challenges of campus networking

Rolling out a fiber network across a university campus is complex and potentially costly for four key reasons:

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

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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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Fiber to the Premises Deployment - comparing PON and P2P architectures

Posted by Shaun Trezise

The socio-economic benefits of fiber are beyond question. Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) can boost economic development, spark innovation and improve the way people live and work.

For network operators looking to deploy FTTP there are multiple factors that need to be taken into account when planning an installation. These include:

  • Topography
  • Regulation
  • Technical choices
  • Implementation cost
  • The need to future-proof investment

Every deployment is different. Therefore to help network operators make the right choices for their implementation we’ve created the Complete Guide to Fiber to the Premises Deployment eBook. Which is available as a free download here. Over the next few months we’ll summarise some of the key points of the guide in a series of blog posts, beginning with fiber architectures.

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

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