One of the chief advantages of optical fibre cables – over those made from copper – is that they are significantly smaller and lighter, so are easier to handle and install. Standard twisted-pair copper cables used for the old telephony trunk networks were enormously heavy, with typical cables measuring between 20 and 40mm in diameter and weighing almost half a tonne per kilometre. And that’s only a 100-pair cable; a 1,000-pair cable would frequently weigh more than three tonnes per kilometre.
Fibre Systems Winter 2016
The evolution of fibre networks has led to increased bandwidth, which in turn has enabled new services, but this growth in the network has not translated into a proportional growth in revenue for operators. To attempt to remedy this unsustainable situation, several European research projects have been set up to investigate new technologies for optical access networks.
At its general assembly last year, the FTTH Council Europe issued a new call for action, asking Europe’s decision makers to create a more business-friendly environment for fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment. The man responsible for overseeing the plan is Edgar Aker, who was appointed president of the board at the same meeting.
As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance
Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move
Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby
With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand