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All fiber network coming to Britain

By Donna Donnawitz
March 30, 2012
Imagine the entire world connected by fiber-optic cabling infrastructure with copper only playing a role in distributing data within facilities. Suddenly, the backbone architecture is the entire network, data transit speeds climb considerably and bandwidth issues are a thing of the past. This reality could be the future.

BT, a UK-based telecommunications provider recently announced plans to build an all-fiber network within the Deddington community in Oxfordshire. The location has approximately 1,400 homes and businesses, giving it an ideal sample size for the pilot project - not too large to introduce major scale problems but no so small as to reduce the validity of any eventual conclusions, PC Pro reported.

At first, the pilot project will co-exist with the current copper infrastructure to give the telecom an idea about how the infrastructure will function, but over time a fiber-only network could become reality. It will deliver the fastest network connection speeds available within fiber-to-the-home infrastructure in the United Kingdom, the report said.

A company representative told the news source that the pilot program could showcase the potential network of the future.

"BT is starting to explore the opportunities of a future marketplace in which services over copper are replaced entirely with next generation voice and broadband services running over fiber-optic cables," a company representative told PC Pro. "It is a long term program given that copper-based services are expected to be available for many years yet. Openreach is consulting with customers about the future shape of the telecoms network as technology evolves in the long-term."

Construction on the network is set to begin during spring 2012, and the project will be completed sometime in 2013. BT currently plans to open the infrastructure to other telecommunication companies as well, allowing the industry as a whole to gain a clearer picture of what an all-fiber future will look like in terms of technical challenges.

One potential technological result of more all-fiber telecom networks is a need for more media conversion within homes and businesses. While the service provider network may go all fiber some time in the future, Ethernet infrastructure are typically built on copper, especially within buildings. This means that the optical signal will need to be converted to Ethernet when it arrives at each individual home or business so it can be sent through cabling infrastructure to modems, routers and end-user devices.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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