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Cornwall pushing for more fiber

By Max Burkhalter
April 1, 2013

As a whole, the United Kingdom is not exactly what many people would call a hotbed for fiber-to-the-home investments. The United Kingdom is among Europe's primary culprits of fiber backwardness, but there are a few efforts to buck the national trend and get fiber infrastructure in place around the country. Cornwall is one region where fiber is thriving.

According to a recent release from Convergence Cornwall, an organization that is overseeing fiber deployment in the area, current fiber to the premises (FTTx) efforts are already going well.FTTx investments are among the most ambitious fiber plans because they involve bringing the advanced network technology to both homes and businesses, -a risk that many telecoms are hesitant to take. In Cornwall, there isn't much hesitancy. Instead, the SuperfastCornwall project is being expanded in the region.

Considering Convergence Cornwall's Superfast Cornwall system
One of the problems that is often associated with FTTx deployment is that people just don't subscribe to the network. They'll get excited that it's being installed and that they'll have the option, but they see subscription prices and are often quick to stick to theless expensive broadband option. This is not happening in Cornwall, where approximately half of the premises in the rural county have been reached with fiber and approximately 20,000 subscribers are already plugging into the network. The Superfast Cornwall project was initially aimed at connecting 80 percent of premises in the county to the network by 2014. The initiative has been extended to try and reach 95 percent of premises in that time.

Liv Garfield, CEO of the company installing the fiber, explained that the new network is enabling innovation in FTTx use in the region.

"Cornwall was the first English county out of the blocks when it came to fiber broadband," said Garfield. "The Council's strong focus on extensive fiber coverage for Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is generating great results. We have been able to test run some new innovations in the county and as a result we have delivered efficiencies which are now enabling us to go further than we first thought possible."

Making FTTx deployment easier
FTTx installation can be extremely challenging, especially since fiber is not inherently interoperable with the cabling systems used in most homes and businesses. This problem can be eased through the strategic use of fiber to Ethernet media converters. These solutions allow fiber and Ethernet to interact seamlessly with one another and can even enable some advanced network functions, such as quality of service, to be put into place.

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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