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Innovative fiber solution making FTTH easier in multi-dwelling units

By Donna Donnawitz
October 22, 2012
Consider, for a moment, the intricacies of installing fiber-optic cabling in any building. The cable's structure makes it difficult to bend without significant challenges, creating difficulties when installing between walls within a home. For the most part, this limitation is entirely meaningless. In FTTH networks reaching single-family homes, the fiber can travel in a relatively straight line, with at most only slight curves, not bends, because the cable can be terminated outside the house. But in multi-dwelling units (MDUs), the bending issue has held back FTTH deployment, Cabling Installation & Maintenance reported.

Dealing with cabling in MDUs
In a home with two, or even three, households, you can probably get away with a single fiber-optic link running to the house supplemented by copper internally. But in cities and suburban areas with larger MDUs, each individual unit has to have a fiber connection. Otherwise, the bandwidth is spread too thin, negating the benefits of FTTH infrastructure. Therefore, the optical network has to travel throughout the various walls in the dwelling, around corners and to different units. The report explained that this problem has severely limited FTTH deployment in MDUs.

This is beginning to change, however, as tight-buffered, bend-insensitive fiber-optic cabling systems provide the flexibility needed to allow FTTH infrastructure to move inside the building and serve MDUs. The news source said this could dramatically expand the market for FTTH in urban areas by opening up a variety of options for cabling installation that were not necessarily available in a cost-effective way before.

Ramifications for FTTH infrastructure
The ramifications of this development could be huge. One of the most widely accepted explanations for slow FTTH investment is that it is difficult to monetize the network. While consumers often demand better internet, they are dealing with a slow economy and can only afford to spend so much for a performance boost. Because of this, FTTH installations can lead to limited revenue compared to the cost of actually building out the network.

Cabling that enables FTTH to spread to MDUs allows telecoms to connect more customers to the network with less cabling distance, creating more opportunities for revenue once the network is installed. Achieving this, however, depends on effectively using fiber to Ethernet media converters to seamlessly transition from the FTTH infrastructure to the copper networks that consumers use within their units.

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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