Broadband Communities

OCT 2018

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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O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 3 5 like a 14/10mm microduct is a better fit. Both microducts provide the same level of physical protection, but the larger diameter allows the use of a preterminated multiple-fiber push-on (MPO) fiber connector. e choice of fiber is based on three considerations: the need to store slack; the distance between aggregation points; and route considerations, such as bends, pull points and obstacles. For example, Clearfield's FieldShield StrongFiber installed on a drop wheel and cradle assembly is one choice that covers most residential needs. Duct comes preinstalled with a pull string in it already. When it comes time to deploy the fiber, a technician simply ties the fiber on the pull string and brings the fiber to the customer's unit. Because the drop wheel is a reel design, all the slack can be stored on the reel itself, allowing a neat installation and protecting the fiber. e need for splicing is eliminated because the fiber is connectorized on both ends. As the fibers are connectorized in a controlled factory environment, the technician error factor is virtually eliminated. For the 5G elements, a similar approach is needed – but with some differences, such as higher fiber counts. When multiple fiber connections are needed, two methods can work. e traditional method was to fan out and connectorize the fiber cable. is created a problem, especially in brownfield deployments, because of the physical size. Twelve fibers, fanned out and connectorized, make a bundle about 1¼ inches in diameter. at means the designer needs to find a pathway through the building that these large bundles can fit through. Often, multiple cables are needed. So, over time, this space requirement grows immensely. A better way is to use a pushable MPO assembly. is 12-fiber, preconnectorized solution is about as big around as an adult's little finger and fits inside a 14/10mm microduct. After the fiber is pulled to the equipment destination, the MPO simply plugs into the equipment itself (if it is MPO equipped) or into a fan-out assembly that matches the equipment needs. e real charm is that the designer or installer can choose the fan-out type based on specific equipment needs. TERMINATING THE NETWORKS Terminating different technologies in the same space has always been a point of contention. However, the need to have fiber available for 5G in the MDU/ MTU environment causes providers to look at this issue differently. e key is to use a device or frame that will accept a fiber cable that may have different technologies terminating each buffer tube or even each fiber. at's where a scalable, cassette- based frame or panel assembly can help. For example, Clearfield's FieldSmart panels using the Clearview Cassette allow for using a different technology for each buffer tube. Each cassette can be configured to a different technology, such as PON, active Ethernet or NGPON2, though all cassettes are housed in a common chassis or frame. For the designer, this means space savings, fast installs, fiber protection and the elimination of most splices. at's a tall order – but today, it is certainly doable. With the advent of robust microducts, preterminated fibers in single and multiple counts with small footprints, and scalable points of connectivity, those "worst of times" don't seem so bad. v Kevin Morgan is chair-elect of the Fiber Broadband Association and chief marketing officer of Clearfield, Inc., a supplier specialist in fiber management and connectivity platforms for communication service providers. Contact him at kmorgan@clfd.net. Clearfield drop wheels simplify fiber management in an MDU. A cassette-based frame is useful for terminating two networks (FTTU and 5G) in the same frame. The cassettes can be housed together even if they are configured to different technologies.

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