How Standards Meet Innovation

ALRUTZ_M_jpg (002) Mark Alrutz September 5, 2017

Rapid_FiberI recently had a wonderful “plug and play” experience. I grew up in an era where music was enjoyed through large speakers (and yes, from vinyl records). I have never been a fan of earbuds; however, I recently purchased a Bluetooth-enabled speaker.

Here was my experience: I pressed the power button. The device announced, “power on,” then, “device paired!” My phone immediately began streaming music to the new speaker.

CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope explains what a Bluetooth speaker & Rapid Fiber Distribution Terminal have in common.

How can this be? No drivers to download, no apps to buy, no terms and conditions to accept, no trips to the store to purchase a different interface. It was a beautiful example of what can happen when industry standard interfaces meet innovation. It got me to think: can we apply plug-and-play concepts to the challenges of connecting subscribers? Using my speaker example, let’s start with industry standards and add a dash of innovation.

The multi-dwelling unit (MDU) or vertical living space is an ever-growing challenge for connecting subscribers to optical networks. Large buildings with several apartments require many connections and splices to be made, either in cluttered closets throughout the building or in crowded basement spaces. Riser conduits can become overwhelmed, and splicing costs can drive up cost per subscriber.

Splicing and craft skill requirements can be reduced using industry standard interfaces, like pre-terminated subscriber connectors, but large bundles of simplex cables and excess cable length can still overwhelm closets and risers. It’s better to use smaller multi-fiber cables with connectors in the riser, and simplex subscriber connectors and cables in the horizontal.

How do we manage excess cable length that plagues pre-terminated solutions? Enter the Rapid Fiber Distribution Terminal (RDT), the innovative terminal that includes a slack storage reel. Ready for true plug and play? Simply mount the RDT in a utility closet, pull the pre-installed multifiber cable to the distribution box or hub and plug it in. Pull pre-terminated simplex cables to each apartment, and plug then into the RDT. All slack cable is stored, and there is no splicing required.

That’s right. No splicing required. No slack cable to manage. Cue the music.

About the Author

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Mark Alrutz

Mark Alrutz is the vice president of global service providers in the FAE organization for CommScope. He is responsible for technical solution sales, applications engineering, pre- and post-sales technical support, and customer training. Mr. Alrutz received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and master of science degree  in management from Georgia Tech. He has been an active SCTE member since 1996. He also participates on the SCTE Interface Practices Subcommittee and the Energy 2020 program. Mr. Alrutz holds numerous U.S. patents and has been published in several industry trade magazines.