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Optical LAN standardization new milestone for fiber-optic cable

By Donna Donnawitz
September 30, 2013

You know a technology has begun to hit the big time when industry bodies begin creating coursework and certifications surrounding the solution. At this point, you've past the marketing hype, gotten through theearly adoption cycleand realized a technology is here to stay and it may be time to start paying more attention. This is the case for optical LANs, which are also referred to as passive optical LANs or passive optical networks, as the Fiber Optics Association recently announced a new certification course surrounding optical LANs, Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine reported.

Looking at the new optical LAN standard
According to the news source, an unnamed FOA representative detailed the certification when announcing it to the public. The FOA representative said that the new certification is the result of a collaboration with many industry stakeholders and has come in response to a variety of industry trends that point to a rise in fiber deployment for LAN setups.

"OLANs are the next generation of LAN technology based on fiber-to-the-home networks," said the FOA representative, Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine. "Typical LANs used today were developed 30 years ago based on premises telephone networks for PBXes. These LANs use unshielded twisted-pair wiring in a star architecture, with options for fiber optics in the backbone or directly to the desktop. The cabling systems for these LANs have struggled to keep up with Ethernet LAN speed updates for two decades."

The report explained that optical LAN infrastructure is built so similarly to fiber-to-the-home infrastructure that it ends up being an inexpensive and efficient way to establish a fiber-based LAN. This is accomplished, to a significant degree, by using singlemode fiber to make the technology accessible and cost effective.

Completing efficient optical LAN installations
Building optical LANs can prove incredibly valuable for businesses, but engineers must be prepared to handle installation challenges if they want to effectively develop the advanced network architecture. In particular, engineers must be able to ready to handle a variety of technologies to support the infrastructure. Fiber to Ethernet media converters are particularly valuable in this area, as they can help companies establish optical LANs quickly and efficiently.

Media converters are an integral part of any optical LAN installation because fiber is not interoperable with copper. Because of this, organizations need to adapt the signal format between the two cabling types. Cost-effective media converters can play a vital role in ensuring consistent optical LAN performance.

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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