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Fiber-optic networks explode in popularity for cities

By Max Burkhalter
November 4, 2013

More cities are investing in fiber-optic networks every year it seems, improving internet infrastructure and enabling high-quality smart grid implementation on a city-wide level. Across the nation, the benefits of fiber-optic cabling is becoming better known, and councils are embracing the technology with support from local businesses and their citizens.

Chicago recently broke ground on its own fiber implementation, according to the Chicago Grid. The city plans to construct a high-speed internet and wireless network to meet the needs of over 100,000 citizens and the 11,000 schools in it's South Side area, despite setbacks that held the project several months behind schedule. Mark Ansboury, president of Gigabit Squared, the company behind the initiative, told the news source that negotiations over permits, contracts and other issues all contributed to the hold. The firm still intends to have the first phase completed by the end of the year - bringing fiber support to the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods

Opelika, Ala., recently finished its own fiber-optics initiative, according to the Opelika-Auburn News. City power officials said the city spent five years planning the network, and completed the project in mid-October, with 300 customers already signed up for service.

The Longmont Times-Call also reported that Longmont, Col., was yet another city to explore the potential for fiber-opticnetworks for its infrastructure. The city plans to vote on the topic in November.

Fiberoptics solutions provide significant advantages for cities in both administrative operations and utility distribution. Streamlining these areas, improving operations through smart grids and reducing costs due to the sustainability and lower power requirements of fiber cabling are all unarguable benefits. As more cities consider implementation the advantages all become more obvious as well.

In order to optimize fiber installation on a city-wide level and really embrace the benefits of these efforts, cities have to ensure they are utilizing the right media converters as well. Using fiber for utility distribution, smart grid support or any other service requires fiber to copper converters, terminal servers and other technology critical to support and latency minimization. Having the right technology will eliminate many risks while boosting the overall potential of these systems to allow firms a better chance at network infrastructure optimization. While fiber-opticsoffer significant improvements, like many other technologies it requires a specific approach to gain all of them.

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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