Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2017

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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24 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 FIBER DEPLOYMENT A Passive Optical LAN For Amtrak Headquarters Amtrak chose a passive optical LAN as a simple, green, long-term solution for enterprise bandwidth and wireless connectivity. By Ed Sullivan E ven before Amtrak began the renovation of the National Guard Building, which will soon become its new 82,000-square- foot headquarters in Washington, D.C., the national railroad was determined to create a state-of-the-art facility. Its goal was to create one of the most modern, sophisticated telecommunications systems available today to meet its present and future telecommunications requirements. Among the highest priorities was a converged network capable of providing high- bandwidth and wireless connectivity for up to 500 users housed throughout the four floors of newly remodeled office space. A fiber optic network was the obvious choice to achieve these requirements, so Amtrak and its consulting engineers selected passive optical LAN for its affordability, reliability, long life and reduced power consumption. Passive optical fiber networks (also known as PON, POL, GPON and OLAN) are widely recognized as a solution to eliminating data bottlenecks and leveraging a cabling infrastructure with unlimited bandwidth potential. ey are simpler, hence easier, to configure and smaller in footprint than traditional copper LANs. In addition, they are capable of protecting high-security communications through advanced data encryption. Finally, they provide major cost savings over traditional networks, are easily expandable, and are greener, with significantly fewer energy and cooling/ventilation requirements. "GPON is transforming the Amtrak IT ecosystem into a highly resilient and scalable network aligned with future technology objectives," says Richard ompson, director of network engineering at Amtrak. STRATEGIC DECISIONS To undertake this project, Amtrak chose as its collaborating partner VT Group, a global systems integrator whose contracts range from defense projects to fully integrated networks for commercial, hospitality, government, health care and transportation clients. "Amtrak already had some experience with passive optical networks at some of its passenger stations, including Chicago and Baltimore," explains Aaron Reale, RCDD, director of operations at VT Group, who designed the optical networks installed at those locations in recent years. After reviewing all major manufacturers, Reale and his colleagues determined that Optical Cable Corporation (OCC) could provide its newly released, UL-listed Slimline Hybrid cable solution for the project within the strict timelines required. e solution Reale recommended for the new facility was a GPON fiber network, which provides high bandwidth in both directions –

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