Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2014

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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66 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2014 TECHNOLOGY landscaping post installation.) Another signifcant beneft of using microduct and pushable fber solutions concerns repair and maintenance. With traditional direct-bury fber applications, a break in a line would require a technician to visit the site, dig out the entire length of broken fber and then return to retrench and rebury a new segment. With microduct and pushable fber, repairing a broken line is much less intrusive. A technician pulls fber from the damaged segment, locates the break by measuring the damaged fber segment or by locating where the signal from the tone wire indicates damage, digs up the duct only at the location of the break, repairs the duct with a snap-on coupler, reburies the duct and pushes in a new fber segment. A quicker and less costly procedure and much easier on the ol' turf! MULTIPORT SERVICE TERMINALS AND HARDENED CONNECTORS Microduct and pushable fber make installation faster and less disruptive, but they don't address the common complaints about conspicuous access points, whether cabinets or pedestals, on customer property. Tese enclosures take up space and are generally not aesthetically pleasing, especially as the efects of weathering take hold. Unfortunately, access points are a necessary evil. How can deployers make them less visible without sacrifcing function? One solution is to place the access point below grade and thus eliminate it from view. Tat sounds simple enough, but any device used for below- grade applications has to meet some stif design challenges. A multiport service terminal chosen for such a purpose must be sealed sufciently to be waterproof against prolonged immersions; it must be impervious to chemicals such as road salt, lawn chemicals and cleaning solutions; and it must protect equipment against dust, insects and other hazards normal to outside applications. Tis protection cannot be limited to the terminal vessel itself but must be extended via hardened connector housings to ensure that any drop cable assembly connections connected plug-and-play to the terminal are likewise made impervious to water and other contaminants. Luckily, such units do exist with footprints no larger than common sprinkler system junction boxes (which I misplace in my yard all the time!). Tey can be used in a variety of network applications and can be made practically invisible to customers if required. In summary, microducts, pushable fber and multiport service terminals, used separately or together, give network designers and installers more options to meet space requirements, save time in installation and repair (thus reducing costs), add durability and fexibility to networks and reduce visual impacts to customer landscapes in the short and long term. Now, if we could only fnd a way to make large- count cabinets smaller and place them below grade! v Brian Larson is a director of product management for Clearfeld. Brian has an extensive background in quality systems, having audited manufacturing systems around the world, including in India, Japan, and China. He can be contacted at www. New types of hardened multiport terminals can be located below ground to avoid placing unsightly equipment on customer lawns. BBC_May14.indd 66 5/29/14 9:19 AM

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