Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2015

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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62 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 FIBER DEPLOYMENT Texas Agency Saves With Fiber LAN A state agency found that replacing its copper Ethernet LAN with a passive optical LAN reduced costs for equipment, real estate, power and maintenance – and, of course, provided more bandwidth. By Ryland Marek / 3M Communication Markets Division W ith the ever-rising use of Internet- based apps, videoconferencing and wireless LANs, the demand for enterprise broadband shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. To keep up with this growth, IT departments need solutions that ofer better network performance. In government agencies, IT departments need more enterprise broadband from fewer parts that use less energy in more compact spaces at a competitive price. Impossible? Te Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) found a way. Te state agency became one of the frst in central Texas to consolidate and better organize its information technology by choosing to install a passive optical local area network instead of a traditional, copper-based network. Passive optical LANs are cost-efective, fber- to-the-desktop enterprise solutions that are changing IT directors' minds about how to design, install and maintain networks. Large government and enterprise LAN customers attracted to the benefts of signifcant cost savings are adopting passive optical LANs at a fast pace. Depending on network design, a passive optical LAN can ofer up to 70 percent reduction of equipment and infrastructure costs, up to 80 percent reduction in power costs because there is no active component required on every foor in a telecom room, and up to 90 percent reduction in space and material requirements. AN OFFICE MAKEOVER LEADS TO A NETWORK UPGRADE Te work the TSBPE does is important. Te agency helps protect the health and safety of the citizens of the state of Texas by ensuring that drinking water, air and medical gases are not contaminated and that Texans live and work in safe conditions with properly installed plumbing systems. When the TSBPE began retroftting its headquarters in March 2015, plans called for moving a data closet that housed communications and data equipment to a smaller space. Te building's entire network also needed to be recabled, and that was going to be very expensive. Traditional networks, or Ethernet LANs, typically require a core switch/ router, a distribution switch in each building and multiple stacked workgroup switches on every foor – not to mention a lot of copper cable. Te TSBPE needed an IT solution that would be afordable, more efcient and fexible and would work as reliably as plumbing. A BETTER WAY AWS Communications, a 3M-qualifed installer of passive optical LANs based in Austin, Texas, suggested a better way: a passive optical LAN solution, or POLS, which is manufactured by 3M. AWS devised a plan to deliver a fexible, expandable IT solution at a fraction of the cost of a typical copper-based Ethernet LAN confguration. "We determined that for the same cost and

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