The “Wet Net” World of Underwater Fiber Optic Cables

You panic when even a few drops of water fall on your laptop. Everyone knows that water and electronics don’t “mix.” That’s why it seems so ironic that most of the Internet’s “hard” infrastructure lies underwater on the ocean floor.

 

Virtually all global data travels through millions of miles of submarine fiber optic cables beneath the ocean’s surface. More than 350 submarine cable lines stretch from the U.S. West Coast to the East Coast, with many more being deployed around the world.

 

Installing submarine fiber optic cables deep on the ocean floor is time consuming and expensive. While special ships deploy the cable, ocean divers repair and maintain the network. And even with thick, protective jackets, there are many ways to damage a cable. Some destructive forces include ship anchors, commercial fishing equipment, earthquakes, hurricanes and even sinister interference. (more…)

5G: What’s All the Hoopla About?

There’s been lots of excitement and even some “hype” around the idea of 5G. But what is it really? Does it mean just faster internet? Will it really be that much better than 4G? Many people are asking these questions as the FCC begins to auction the first licenses for the airwaves that will carry 5G service.

 

What Is 5G, Really?

5G will be up to 100 times faster than today’s cellular connections – and even faster than many home broadband services. But it’s not just about speed. Networks will have greater capacity and respond faster than earlier wireless services. More people and devices will work at the same time on the same network without slowing it to a crawl. And it will do all of this with lower latency. Latency is the time delay between a device contacting the network and receiving a response.

 

This improved latency will help to bring about some of the most amazing tech trends on the horizon. And while 5G may not change your life right away, it will certainly bring some totally new technologies to life. For now, here are a few of the most exciting apps and technologies that 5G will enable.

 

Promising 5G Applications

Self-driving vehicles – Self-driving cars will be a common sight with the next generation of wireless service.  And 5G will make vehicle-to-vehicle communication happen – where cars can almost instantly share information between them on their location, speed, acceleration, direction and steering. Many experts believe that this feature will become the greatest lifesaving advance in the auto industry in more than a decade. Using this, cars will know before their drivers when another car moves into your blind spot or when a dump truck that’s six vehicles ahead suddenly stops.

 

Telesurgery – Remote surgery isn’t new. However, 5G could make a huge difference in providing medical care to millions in distant locations, along with training doctors remotely in surgery and other specialties.

 

Virtual Reality – For truly realistic virtual reality (VR), a wireless network must carry tons of data. And while it must be fast, the network must also handle this data deluge to create a life-like VR experience. It will take 5G to make this happen.

 

Drones: 5G technology will let drones talk to one another, helping prevent overhead accidents while in flight.

 

5G wireless networks can make many of the technologies, applications and experiences that we’ve been waiting for a reality.

Could “Twisted” Fiber Optics Create a 100 Times Faster Internet?

Researchers at Australia’s RMIT University recently discovered a new fiber optic breakthrough that could lead to 100 times faster internet speeds. This new development detects light that has been twisted into a spiral.

 

According to research in Nature Communications, developers could upgrade existing fiber optic networks and boost efficiency using this discovery.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Fiber optic cables use pulses of light to transmit information. However, users can only store that data based on the color of the light and whether the light wave is horizontal or vertical.

 

The RMIT researchers twisted light into a spiral and created a third dimension for light to carry information – the level of orbital angular momentum, or spin. Dr. Min Gu of RMIT compared it to the double helix spiral of DNA. According to Dr. Gu,  a greater amount of angular momentum allows an optical fiber to carry a larger amount of information.

 

Researchers have used “twisted light” approaches and orbital angular momentum before. They encoded a greater amount of data in various degrees of twist using these “twisted” methods. In fact, researchers at Boston University and the University of Southern California developed an optical fiber that could twist light. However, the teams used detectors as large as “the size of a dining table.” The RMIT researchers created a reasonably-sized detector that reads the information it holds. The new detector is the width of a human hair.

 

WHAT IT CAN DO

Providers could upgrade networks around the globe with this new fiber optic technology. These companies include the NBN Co. NBN is deploying Australia’s national broadband network. The company expects to complete this network by 2020.

 

NBN is “prepared for future demand.” However, they have also stated that fiber optic advances such as this one by RMIT need further testing and acceptance before being deployed. A spokesperson commented, “Laboratories continually test new communications technologies for many years before they are commercialized. Equipment manufacturers and network operators must accept these new methods on a widespread scale before they are ready to be deployed in the field.”

Make Way for High-Density Fiber Optic Cables

More fiber density in less space. From 5G to data centers to FTTx, the picture is clear. Everyone uses more bandwidth than ever before. And while bandwidth demand may seem endless, the space to install fiber optic cable isn’t. That’s why being able to install more optical fiber in the same or less space can be a game changer for today’s network operators. And it’s why “High Density” is also a critical word for many service providers today.

 

With microcables and rollable ribbon cables that increase fiber density while saving on space, OFS is your high-density fiber optic cable solutions provider.

 

Rolling In the Optical Fiber

Rollable Ribbon fiber optic cables are one of the most exciting outside plant (OSP) cabling technologies today. These cables feature rollable ribbons, the newest fiber ribbon design from OFS. This ribbon can be “rolled” (compacted) and routed like individual fibers, allowing the use of smaller closures and splice trays.

 

With up to 3,456 fibers, OFS AccuTube®+ Rollable Ribbon (RR) Cables help network operators double their fiber density in the same size duct or space. They also enable very efficient, cost-effective mass fusion splicing and easy individual fiber breakout. This ability helps simplify installation and save on labor costs. And by maximizing duct use, high-density AccuTube+ RR Cables are an excellent choice for connecting very large fiber distribution hubs. They are also very suitable for data centers, FTTx and access networks.

 

Taking Things Indoors……

With the award-winning AccuRiser RR and AccuFlex® RR Cables, network operators can bring the benefits of rollable ribbon cables indoors. The innovative indoor/outdoor AccuRiser RR Cable helps ease cable installation over ladder racking and through tight bends during routing. This high-density cable is excellent for use in data centers or central offices. It’s also a great choice for building-to-building cable connections along with routing for terminations and frames, and preconnectorized applications.

 

The strong yet flexible, plenum-rated AccuFlex RR Cable helps prevent installation problems such as packing density, routing and deployment speed. This cable’s flame rating meets NFPA 262, allowing the cable to be installed into air-handling spaces. The AccuFlex RR Cable is an outstanding solution for data centers, central offices and head ends.

 

With Limited Space, Go Small (and Dense)

To help solve the problem of deploying or upgrading crowded FTTx or underground networks, OFS created the high-density MiDia®Microcable family. Optimized for exceptional air-blown installation, MiDia microcables can help lower installation costs while increasing fiber optic density and capacity in limited spaces. The MiDia Cable portfolio includes MiDia Micro FX CableMiDia Micro GX Cable and MiDia200 Micro FX Cable.

 

And for network operators who prefer ribbon cables and the benefits of mass fusion splicing, OFS offers the AccuRibbon® DuctSaver® FX Cable. This cable makes optimal use of valuable duct space. It also maximizes the key advantages of air-blown microduct installation: rapid deployment and service turn-up.

 

To learn more about high-density fiber optic cables, visit our website or contact OFS at 1-800-fiberhelp.

 

 

 

Rural Broadband Projects to Receive $97 Million Investment from USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $95 million to improve or expand access to broadband internet in the rural U.S. The 12 projects involved will include converting exchanges from copper to optical fiber and also building a fiber-to-the-home network to meet future demand.

 

These projects will expand access to educational, social and business opportunities for rural subscribers in 11 states by connecting businesses to customers, farmers to markets and students to a world of knowledge.

 

Location Should Not Determine Access

According to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, “A person’s location should not determine whether he or she has access to modern communications infrastructure. That is why the USDA is partnering with businesses and communities by investing in state-of-the-art broadband e-connectivity to remote and rural areas.”

 

The USDA is making the investments through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Community Connect Grant Program.

 

Examples of the Investments

  • Chibardun Telephone Cooperative, Inc. in Cameron, Wisconsin, will receive a $21.4 million loan to improve outside plant facilities in four of its six exchanges. It will construct 675 miles of fiber-to-the-premises and install associated electronics. It plans to build a fiber-to-the-home network capable of sustaining customer demands in broadband connectivity for the foreseeable future.
  • Osage Innovative Solutions, LLC in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will receive a $2.7 million grant to construct a hybrid fiber-to-the-premises and fixed wireless system in an unserved and economically depressed portion of the Osage Nation in Osage County. The company will offer speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload. This project will give customers access to high-quality telecommunications to improve economic, education and health care opportunities. Osage will provide a community center where residents can access the internet free of charge.
  • The Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Company, in Green City, Missouri, is receiving a $13.7 million loan to convert six exchanges from copper plant to optical fiber to the premises. It will construct nearly 500 route miles of optical fiber.

 

These investments will help to improve the quality of life in rural Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

 

Get Your “Splice On” With EZ!Fuse™ Splice On Connector System

Meet the new EZ!Fuse Splice On Connector (SOC) Termination System. This system offers an easier-to-use solution that is more reliable and cost-effective than other available splice on and mechanical connectors.

 

The EZ!Fuse SOC system allows for easy termination and flexibility in the field. This new splice on connector requires no field polishing or epoxy which significantly increases the quality and consistency of field connector termination. It also greatly reduces the total installation time needed when compared to traditional methods. In addition, the connector is easily assembled using a process that requires minimal skills and/or training.                                                                       (more…)

Double the Density by “Rolling in the Fiber”

OFS now offers users more ways to double their optical fiber density by expanding the AccuTube®+ Rollable Ribbon Cable product family. These new cables with 432, 576 and 864 fibers feature rollable ribbons, the newest fiber optic ribbon design from OFS. These cables are available in 100% gel-free, all-dielectric single jacket and light armor constructions.

 

Rollable ribbon fiber optic cables are one of the most exciting developments in outside plant (OSP) cabling in years. These cables can help users gain substantial time and cost savings with mass fusion splicing. And they also double the fiber density in a given size duct compared to traditional flat ribbon cable designs.

 

Each OFS rollable ribbon features 12 individual 250 µm optical fibers that are partially bonded to each other at predetermined points. These ribbons can be “rolled” into a flexible and compact bundle that offers the added benefit of improved fiber routing and handling in closure preparation.

 

This completely gel-free cable design also helps to reduce the time needed for splicing preparation by up to 80%. In addition, these rollable ribbon cables are smaller and weigh at least 35% less than conventional flat ribbon cables. This reduced weight improves cable handling and also helps to relieve the tension placed on installation poles.

 

The AccuTube+ Rollable Ribbon Cable product portfolio also features cables with 1728 fibers in both single jacket and light armor designs and 3456 fibers in a single jacket construction. All of these cables meet or exceed the requirements of Telcordia GR-20 issue 4.

 

With its ability to maximize duct utilization, the AccuTube+ Rollable Ribbon Cable is an excellent choice for connecting data centers, and serving as distribution for dense FTTx or mobile networks. To learn more about these cables, go here and here.

 

 

Let the Ribbon Cables Roll…

Meet two new, totally gel-free fiber optic cables from OFS that feature the company’s exciting new rollable ribbon technology. Using cables with this ribbon design, users can literally double the fiber density in an existing duct.

First, the new AccuTube®+ Rollable Ribbon (RR) Fiber Optic Cable was specifically created to maximize duct utilization for ultra-high fiber count applications.

Available with 1728 and 3456 fibers in a single cable, the AccuTube+ RR Cable offers exceptional carrying capacity, highly efficient and cost-effective mass fusion splicing, and easy individual fiber breakout. This cable is an ideal choice for connecting data centers and serving as distribution for dense Fiber-to-the-Subscriber (FTTx) or mobile networks.

Next, available in 144 and 288 fiber counts, the new AccuRiser™ Rollable Ribbon (RR) Fiber Optic Cable offers the triple benefits of mass fusion splicing, compact size, and excellent flexibility for tough, indoor routing applications. Every element of this new cable was designed to offer high fiber density while helping to speed installation during a new data center or central office deployment. (more…)

Not Seeing is Believing

OFS introduced the latest addition to its InvisiLight® Solutions family at the Fiber Connect Conference recently held in Orlando, FL.

Specifically designed for fiber-to-the-subscriber (FTTx) deployment to low-rise buildings or garden-style dwelling units, the InvisiLight Facade Solution uses an innovative and virtually invisible approach to place fiber on and into buildings.

In this way, the new solution solves the old consumer “pain point” of visible cabling or raceways on the exterior of buildings.

To learn more about the InvisiLight Façade Solution, go HERE.

Let’s Connect!

Attending the 2017 Fiber Connect Conference in Orlando? If not, you’ll miss out on programs from Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) thought leaders and industry experts along with the newest products and solutions.

During the conference presented by the Fiber Broadband Association, OFS technical experts will headline a highly-rated educational session on “FTTH Basics and Network Design” and an MDU panel on “Opportunities and Solutions.” We’ll also display our latest, innovative solutions that help service providers achieve maximum performance and reliability for deployments while helping to increase return on investments.

It’s not too late to join more than 1,300 other FTTH professionals in Orlando on June 12-14, 2017.  For additional information on the OFS sessions, go HERE. To learn more about Fiber Connect and the Fiber Broadband Association, click HERE.