Broadband Communities

OCT 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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68 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | OCTOBER 2017 TECHNOLOGY Clean Up Your Act Fiber networks are more reliable when the installation is kept clean. By Mike Jones / MicroCare Corp. M odern societies have an apparently limitless desire for greater connectivity. From Facebook to video on demand to mobile cloud computing, the demand for digital data appears to be infinite and insatiable. Broadband access has become a crucial link in every aspect of people's lives, affecting jobs, medical care, security and even the congestion on the highways. Because of the utility, ubiquity and affordability of broadband data, end users are demanding. ey expect uninterrupted data services. Reliable, trouble-free fiber optic networks are the key to the interconnected future. Maintaining all that fiber can be problematic, but cleaning fiber is the single most important task a tech in the field can accomplish to ensure that a fiber network achieves its design goals. According to numerous industry sources, properly cleaning fiber connectors can eliminate 80 percent or more of all network problems. Cleaning is critical to the long-term reliability of any network and at the heart of the profitability of a successful fiber deployment. Field technicians must be taught the proper procedures to clean fiber. ey must be provided the right tools. Managers must include the cost of cleaning in their budgets and quotes. And end users should demand proof of cleaning from installers, including, both sides of every end face, every time a fiber is installed, tested or reconfigured. CONTAMINATION AFFECTS SIGNALS Contamination is defined as anything on an end face that should not be there and is removable. It includes fingerprint oils, lint from clothing, moisture, exhaust fumes, outgassed plasticizers from protective dust caps, plastic particles from connector wear and simple dust. Each type of contamination causes different problems, but all types must be removed. Consider fingerprint oils. is thin liquid contains numerous compounds, salts and fluids that can create air gaps between end faces. e The fiber end face is where the rubber meets the road. Only perfectly clean end faces can enable fiber networks to achieve their maximum potential. Properly cleaning fiber connectors can eliminate 80 percent or more of all network problems.

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