Fiber Thursday – CommScope’s effort to re-post popular blogs from the last year
that have to do with all things fiber. Do they still hold true? Do you see any
changes? We’d love to have a conversation. Post your comments and questions
below. This blog was originally posted
on February 16, 2017.
optics was invented in the 1970s and its potential to
revolutionize telecommunications was recognized early. Its initial applications
were in long distance networks such as international submarine cable, national
and regional backbones.
as costs came down, fiber moved into metro and access networks, data centers,
IT server rooms and office cabling. Fiber is also used to backhaul other access
networks. For the multiple system operator market, fiber is being deployed in
three types of networks: HFC, PON and FTTx.
Hybrid fiber-coaxial is
an architecture that includes a combination of fiber and coaxial cabling to
distribute video, data and voice content to/from the headend and the subscribers.
Typically, the signals are transported from the headend through a hub, to
within the last mile via fiber optic cable ending in an HFC node. While HFC
networks remain popular and widely used, operators continue to deploy more
fiber into their networks. One way of doing that is by deploying PON.
A Passive Optical Network (PON)
can be deployed by various network operators who want to deliver advanced
voice, video and data services to their users / subscribers using fiber.
Passive means no active electronics, batteries or power supplies are used in
the outside plant. This translates into lower failure rates and maintenance
costs, and a more reliable network, particularly in areas prone to flooding and
harsh conditions. PON differs from other fiber offerings because it bridges the
gap from HFC network to a converted Ethernet/IP platform. PON is the most
popular of the methods used to provide fiber to a host of other FTTx locations.
a generational technological shift in much the same way that copper networks
did a century ago. Its benefits are not disputed, rather the question is how to
drive costs down even more to increase coverage. Civil works and construction
costs for laying fiber underground or up on poles account for two-thirds
or more of the total cost of deploying FTTx. Similar to other
infrastructure projects, up-front costs are high and require careful planning.
Maintenance and operating costs are lower than for other fixed access networks,
so this compensates for the initial outlay of capital and helps the network
achieve a reasonable payback period.
CLICK TO TWEET: There's no limit to what fiber can do. But here are three ways to use it.
greenfield (i.e., a new real estate development) sites, fiber and FTTx is the
preferred choice. Investing in the latest technology, which has a proven track
record, is clearly preferable to sinking money into technologies with limited
upgrade potential. It is also the preferred choice for business and enterprise
customers, where the upfront costs can be more easily justified.
the industry evolves, competition is intensifying with more service providers
building FTTx networks and positioning their higher-speed services as a key
differentiator over other access network providers. Cities and municipalities
have also joined the “fiber offering”, bringing alternate sources of funding
and new business models. Ubiquitous broadband access represents a competitive
advantage for the local community and economy, attracting businesses and
you want to learn more about HFC, PON, FTTx and other broadband options, then I
recommend the CommScope Infrastructure Academy’s SP1000
Infrastructure Solutions for Broadband Applications course. It the
right course for those who to improve their knowledge and working practices of