Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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26 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 FIBER DEPLOYMENT manufacturer to supply the hybrid cable within a tight time frame can be an obstacle. In this case, the construction schedule was further tightened just before the cable was due to be installed. is put added pressure on VT Group to find a workable solution. Reale found that none of Amtrak's traditional cable suppliers could meet the turnaround requirements. Having worked with OCC on many projects in the past, he contacted the company and found that it was flexible enough in its operations to ensure the materials could be manufactured prior to the official purchase order so everything could arrive ahead of schedule. "e turnaround requirement was our biggest challenge," Reale says. "OCC was able to do it; in fact, they delivered the cable about 10 days early, allowing us to get ahead of the construction schedule." e finished product is a single strand of bend-insensitive, single- mode fiber that will provide unlimited bandwidth, plus two 18-gauge copper wires to carry electrical power to each work area outlet. e 18-gauge copper is slightly larger than is required today, but it was designed so that no matter what happens in the future, the conductors will be able to handle it. "If telecom technology keeps advancing at the rate it has, and we need to power something that exceeds the current Class 2 standard, this design will support it," Reale explains. Because of the inherent drop in voltage that occurs over copper wire, Reale's team also incorporated digital electricity to enhance transmission performance. is emerging technology combines DC power and data into packets that are transmitted and received in a manner somewhat analogous to the way information packets are conveyed over networks. "Digital electricity allows us to push power out to much longer distances without having to plan for the normal voltage drop – and without having massive copper wire size," says Reale. "We incorporate this technology into our designs when centralized power is a must and on projects when the facility's design doesn't support traditional cable lengths – such as rail stations, airports and sports venues." SAVING VALUABLE SPACE ough Amtrak's new headquarters is expansive, every inch of space was designated for operational use. One result of using a passive optical network was gaining a considerable amount of space that would have been utilized for telecommunications rooms. "Traditionally with a four-floor space like this, we design eight 10-by- 12-foot telecommunications closets, built out with racks, cabinets and other equipment," Reale explains. "Each closet requires a UPS battery backup, plus additional cooling because of the addition of concentrated heat within the space. Putting that all together involves a lot of setup costs and a lot of recurring costs. "Instead, just one telecommunications closet with two racks will support all the users, significantly reducing the footprint," Reale continues. "Real estate prices in Washington, D.C., make this a very expensive space, so any additional square footage that we can give back for operational use is immense in the long term. So, rather than taking up 1,000 square feet for telecommunications closets, this system is taking up just 100 square feet. And the rest of the system utilizes much smaller pathways and light loads to distribute connectivity throughout the entire facility." To eliminate the additional telecommunications rooms, VT Group designed and built customized zone enclosures that mount above the ceiling and act as infrastructure distribution nodes. GPON technology has been available for more than a decade and is used heavily by the large telecommunications carriers, but many stakeholders are just beginning to become familiar with its benefits in an enterprise local area network. "It has really only received meaningful attention recently," says OCC's Long. "However, it is the right long-term solution for many of today's companies, and more designers and users are seeing the ROI and other gains that can be realized by adopting it." e first phase of the Amtrak headquarters project was successfully completed in July 2017, and construction is scheduled to be finalized in September. v Ed Sullivan, based in Hermosa Beach, California, is a writer specializing in high- tech, health care, finance and real estate. For more information about the optical fiber solution, see A customized zone enclosure mounted above the ceiling acts as a distribution node.

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