Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2019

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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TECHNOLOGY | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 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 | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 9 Three Myths of Fiber Cleaning Here's what's not a myth: Keeping ber clean is critical to the long-term reliability of a network. By Jay Tourigny / MicroCare Corporation T he world's need for greater connectivity continues to grow. e demand is voracious and limitless. Broadband connectivity has become a crucial link in nearly every aspect of people's lives, including their jobs, medical care, entertainment and security. is increased need for fast, unlimited service drives many network designers to rely on sophisticated •ber optic networks to meet current and future bandwidth requirements. Along with the need for greater capacity and higher speeds comes the need for absolute reliability so networks can provide consistent and uninterrupted service. For modern optical networks to perform at their peak, •ber must be properly installed and maintained. is includes ensuring that all connections and splices are kept perfectly clean to avoid potential problems, such as insertion loss (weakened signal), back-re€ection (signal diverted back to its source) or complete system shutdown. Maintaining the •ber network, especially the connections, is crucial to overall network reliability. Despite the importance of cleanliness, some in the •ber industry are reluctant to recognize the need for thorough •ber cleaning as a critical factor in network performance. Some installation technicians and their managers are disinclined to spend resources, including time and money, to inspect and clean •ber connections. Some seasoned technicians who have long histories of working on older, slower networks are not convinced that modern, high-speed networks need more attention and care than older networks. ey maintain that their legacy practices are still adequate, and they often do not have the time, tools or budget to clean •ber. We refer to these long-held opinions as the "three myths of •ber cleaning." MYTH 1: THERE IS NOTHING TO CLEAN. When it comes to installing or maintaining •ber networks, there is always a need to clean. A major threat to an e‰cient, reliable •ber optic network is contamination of the •ber optic connector end faces and splices, also called optical interconnects. ey are very vulnerable to a host of microcontaminants that can wreak havoc on optical signals. To ensure system performance and reliability, these contaminants must be removed from both sides of each end face every time a •ber is installed, tested or recon•gured. Any contamination in the contact zone of mated end faces may interrupt the optical End face contamination can include dust and oils.

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