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FCC pushing toward gigabit telecom networks

By Donna Donnawitz
February 1, 2013

Fiber-to-the-home solutions provide communities with an opportunity to offer advanced network services that can improve the economic prospects in a region. While there is plenty of debate about how much an economy will gain through FTTH, many experts agree that the technology does represent a key financial catalyst. However, FTTH penetration is not necessarily where many organizations would want it to be. Count the Federal Communications Council among those groups, as it recently announced plans to go a step beyond basic FTTH and encourage the implementation of gigabit FTTH networks.

Achieving high gigabit FTTH penetration rates could prove challenging, but the FCC is hoping to make it possible through the recently announced "Gigabit City Challenge."

Understanding the Gigabit City Challenge
The new project was revealed by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. He told audiences at the event that the FCC has set a goal to have at least one gigabit community in each state by the end of 2015, an ambitious goal that the FCC hopes will spur innovation around the country.

"American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure," Genachowski explained at the event. "The United States needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness."

Effectively deploying gigabit network systems in telecom settings can be extremely challenging for communities. However, the FCC plans to help. At the meeting, Genachowski said the FCC will be developing an online toolkit designed to collect best practices, use models and other information that can help groups get the information they need to build gigabit FTTH systems.

Easing FTTH implementation through media conversion
Media converters play a major role in FTTH network deployment and can enable projects to be built in the most cost-effective way possible. Interoperability is an issue for FTTH projects because homes use copper-based Ethernet systems that are not inherently compatible with optical cabling solutions. Copper infrastructure uses electromagnetic systems to transport data, fiber optic cables use light. Media converters take the signal from one form of cable and translate the data into the other media's format so the network can be interoperable. Selecting the right media converters and deploying them effectively can go a long way toward easing FTTH installation and achieving performance goals.

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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