Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2013

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 Cost-Conscious Connectivity A resurgence in FTTH deployments has providers thinking anew about cost-efective solutions for drop cable installation. By Seshatre Natarajan / 3M Communication Markets Division W ith ever-increasing customer demand for high-bandwidth services and new players entering the market, many communications service providers are reconsidering deployment of fber outside plant for the last mile to customer premises. Fiber drop cabling– the last stretch of fber plant from a network access point to a subscriber's home – continues to be the most expensive part of a network to install. Tat's the reason so many providers have stopped fber short at the node, curb or building and retained the existing copper plant that leads to subscriber premises. Yet fber last-mile completion can play a critical role in providing high-bandwidth, reliable service. Te resurgence in fber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment has providers seeking solutions that are both cost-efective and easily and quickly deployed. A number of considerations go into designing and implementing networks that are proftable and provide sufcient capacity and service reliability for the long term. Not the least of those considerations is outside-plant last-mile connectivity. After all, a network is only as good as its connections. Plug-and-play drop cable connectivity solutions can have an enormous efect on network reliability and cost and on customer satisfaction. Before deploying fber to subscribers, providers should explore some common issues and solutions associated with fber connectivity in FTTH networks. 98 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com CRAfT-fRIENDly INSTAllATIONS Making installation as simple as possible ranks high among considerations for communications service providers deploying FTTH networks, from both cost and quality standpoints. Providers typically use contracted labor to deploy their fber networks and therefore have minimal interest in investing heavily in technician training. However, ongoing service quality is highly dependent upon the performance of these technicians in the feld. As a result, many providers opt for plugand-play connectivity solutions to simplify installations of fber at network access points (NAPs). Many fber apparatus suppliers bill their products as plug-and-play, but these products vary widely in their degrees of craftfriendliness and ease of installation. A NAP terminal serves as a connection point between distribution fber cable and the drop fber cables fed to end customers (single-family units, apartments, buildings and so forth). Te fber cables may be routed underground or aerially and are accessible through a NAP in a handhole or a pole-mount or pedestal-mount enclosure. Typically, a single-terminal enclosure contains connections that serve between four and 24 individual subscriber lines. Terminal enclosures for housing fber connections are typically constructed of hard, ruggedized plastic designed to withstand weather and resist impact and tampering. Terefore, many terminals require disassembly when a technician is splicing fber strands, adding drops or performing maintenance. Te | August/september 2013

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