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Military cabling strategies shed light on importance of efficient installation

By Max Burkhalter
February 20, 2013

The U.S. Army depends heavily on communications architectures that have to be resilient and securewhile performing at an extremely high level. According to a recent Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine report, the military's efforts to install cabling systems and telecommunications infrastructure in war zones sheds light on the importance of forward thinking and strategic operations in the telecommunications sector.

Considering cabling in a war zone
Service men and womenhave to be able to communicate effectively to succeed. However, managing and maintaining cabling solutions within a theater of war is extremely difficult. The news source pointed to situations where rockets strike a base where cabling lines have not yet been recorded. In this situation, excavators have to be used to repair damages and find parts of the network that have been impacted by the strike. In one case, an excavator actually broke through an unmarked cabling line, adding to the damages to the network infrastructure.

These kinds of incidents mark the day-to-day activities for engineers supporting military operations. They have to install high-performance telecommunications systems that are discrete, but also able to be repaired easily. The report explained that this requires special logistical planning, unique procurement models and installation best practices. Success also hinges on the ability to build networks to the best industry standards. In the case of fairly recent military-related cabling installations, this has meant the deploymentof telecommunications infrastructure that will likely last at least 40 years before needing to be replaced.

This core architecture creates a major problem because the military cannot exactly take all of the hardware with it when it leaves a war zone. The report explained that while some operations generally continue at the end of a conflict, generally to ensure stability and peace, the cabling lasts much longer than many U.S. military operations. As a result, a long-term vision for the infrastructure has to be considered.

Learning from the military
Telecoms can benefit from a forward-thinking strategy similar to what the military has to employ when installing network systems. In many parts of the country, the costs of installing new telecom infrastructure is extremely high, so much so that it stifles long-term innovation. As many organizations work to built fiber-to-the-home networks around the country, ensuring the infrastructure is installed with the future in mind can go a long way toward ensuring a more sustainable networking future. Media converters can support such goals because they provide the interoperability necessary to support multiple protocols operating within a common network.

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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