Getting Back to the Basics of Fiber Optics

Rodney Casteel (2) Rodney Casteel September 24, 2014

BasicsofFiberIf you install fiber optic infrastructure, how can you be certain that it will support future applications? As a fiber optic network operator or owner, what assurances do you have that your fiber optic infrastructure is designed and installed based on industry established best practices? As a fiber optic technician, how do you know that what you have been doing these past few years is correct? These questions, and many like them, are what lead to the development of several standards and best practices found within the network cabling industry.

The industry has an insatiable appetite for more bandwidth, faster speeds, lower latency, longer distances and better sustainability. With this appetite comes the need for more critical control over how these fiber optic infrastructures are designed and deployed. The mindset of “I have always done it this way” does not really work in this new era of higher-speed technologies. It is a new game with new rules.

At the 2014 BICSI Fall Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim, Calif., we will conduct two three-hour sessions and help attendees discover why so many fiber networks suffer failure from day one: it all goes back to the basics. I have been a BICSI member for more than 16 years and a member of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Fiber Optics Technology Consortium (FOTC) for 13 years. The stated mission of FOTC is to “represent technology leaders committed to providing the most current, reliable and vendor neutral information about fiber optics and related technologies for advancing new and better communications solutions.” In our commitment to provide this valuable information, we look for opportunities where our collective insight, knowledge and experience can best be disseminated to have the greatest positive impact.

Does doing something for a long time mean that it is being done correctly? Are you really following best practices for your fiber infrastructure? To find out the answers to these questions and more, come join the TIA FOTC as we jointly discover the answers through the industry best practices.

There will be two joint seminars covering topics such as fiber designs for parallel optics, trends, standards updates, fiber cleaning, fiber inspection and testing requirements at the BICSI conference on Sunday, September 28 at 1:30 p.m. PDT, and Monday, September 29 at 9 a.m. PDT. The other experts who will join me to conduct these seminars include: Adrian Young, Fluke Networks; Robert Reid, Panduit; Lee Kellett, AFL; and Matt Brown, JDSU.

I also invite you to attend the panel discussion “Category 8: Unraveling Fact From Fiction” on Thursday, October 2 at 9:15 a.m. PDT to hear my colleague, Masood Shariff, answer questions relating to the latest developments in the Category 8 cabling standard for 40Gbps applications.

We look forward to seeing you there.

About the Author

Rodney Casteel (2)

Rodney Casteel

Rodney is a Principal Field Application Engineer, for CommScope. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, he provides optical, copper, wireless and intelligent infrastructure design, engineering and technical support for CommScope’s Enterprise customers; as well as, high-level pre-sales technical consultation services for the CommScope sales team. In addition to his role within CommScope, Rodney is also serving his 12th term as Chair of the TIA Fiber Optics Technology Consortium where he works closely with the TIA staff and other manufacturers within the industry to develop tools and resources to assist end-users, consultants and engineers with the decision process, design phase, and deployment of fiber optic networks within the enterprise. 

Rodney joined CommScope in 2003 serving as a technical and applications specialist for copper and fiber network infrastructures. Prior to joining CommScope, he was a Master Instructor and Field Engineer for Lucent Technologies. He worked closely with Bell Labs scientists to develop products and processes for both outside plant and in-building network infrastructures. As a liaison between the labs and field teams, he also contributed to several technical books and journals. 

Rodney has been a BICSI member for 21 years and holds the designations of Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD), Network Transport Specialist (NTS), Outside Plant Specialist (OSP) and Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC).  Prior to being elected as chair of the FOTC he served three terms as vice chair of the communications subcommittee. Rodney is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and seminars and a contributor to many industry trade publications and author of industry technical papers.