With the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) state allocations announced on June 26, states are now proactively creating plans to build high speed broadband networks to the unserved and underserved – all the way down to the last home or business on the farthest dirt road of every community.
In this On Topic, you’ll get a deep look at the critical impact fiber is making in rural communities. You’ll see how providers are able to make such a profound difference in these economies, as well as the technical “how-to” that makes these accomplishments possible.
Hi, I’m Mark Boxer, Technical Manager with OFS, and here’s what’s new in my world.
The first waves of fiber deployments were focused on single family homes and for good reason. There wasn’t as much demand for bandwidth and MDU or multi dwelling units and 15 to 20 years ago we just really didn’t have the same products that are now routinely used in MDUs. You know MDUs 15-20 years ago were some expensive science projects. So much has changed and it really can now make sense to do MDUs first.
So, first, broadband demand rises in single family homes and MDUs, and the commercial and regulatory environments are also changing. And very importantly the industry has responded with new products and installation methods that dramatically simplify the installation process and then to use. So as an industry we’ve learned that fiber installations and MDUs need to be fast, easy, and not visible – to preserve the building decor. The fiber also needs to be able to withstand the many bends of an apartment. InvisiLight Solutions enable these types of installations.
We’ve also discovered that with these tools, fiber installations for MDUs really have now flipped the script so these solutions are fast. They’re easy and inexpensive to install, meaning these installations can also be very profitable for network operators to deploy.
At a time when outside plant cable lead times may be long, indoor fiber products may have shorter lead times, which means that service could be turned up more quickly. We’ve also discovered that with these tools, the products can be installed with the minimal amount of training. A crew can be up and running within minutes to hours. Or, as we’ve heard people say before, on Thursday he’s a taxi driver, on Friday he’s an InvisiLight installer.
It can make sense for a service provider to consider MDUs first. So, let’s take a closer look. The Ultra bend insensitive fiber standard that’s used in these builds is G.657B3 and the OFS brand name for this fiber type is EZ-Bend fiber. You can bunch it up and tie it into knots. You can run into very tight angles and staple it with little added loss.
Many MDUs have lots of bends, and if you use a typical outside plant cable to do what I just did with the knot, then that would turn out the lights. However, we routinely deploy EZ-Bend and InvisiLight in environments with dozens of 90-degree angles, with no issues.
So, I was on a MDU build a couple of weeks ago where we went through forty-five 90-degree angles, two splices, and two connectors. The result was a loss of less than half a DB from the splitter to the ONT, and frankly that’s impressive.
The term InvisiLight is a nod to the light that goes into the fiber and the fact that it’s also almost invisible to the resident. Out of sight, out of mind. These products are deployed in minutes.
Deploying to MDUs can be fast and inexpensive to deploy, inconspicuous with low optical loss, and reasonably available supply chain. When you add these benefits together, it’s worth considering MDUs first. That’s what’s new in my world.
Visit our step-by-step Invisilight MDU/ILU product configurator for starting a Bill of Materials for your building.
This configurator is designed for buildings with riser spaces and indoor hallways. Additional options are available.
Hi, I’m John George, Senior Director of Solutions Engineering and Fusion Splicers at OFS. What’s new in my world is our new MDU!Click® Solution for fiber deployment in buildings.
With the MDU!Click Solution we can defer the cost of a splitter module until we have a higher take rate on each floor. This is for a pay-as-you-grow kind of deployment. It’s used for a second, or third entrant into the building, fiber to the business deployments, or maybe high take rates aren’t expected initially and there’s a desire to defer the cost of the build as much as possible with subscriber growth.
The way the system works is we have a MDU!Click SlimBox® Flex Indoor Module in the MDF the entry point of the building with a one by four or one by eight splitter feeding through the EZ-Bend® 12 or 24 fiber riser cable. You can see this is a very compact cable that can fit in limited spaces. We’re breaking out a single fiber so we can support one subscriber per floor in the initial deployment. Then, we can connect that first subscriber by plugging in one of our EZ-Bend Jumpers – a drop cable assembly that can go many hundreds of feet if needed.
The EZ Bend cable has a 2.5 millimeter bend radius to handle the cornering in the buildings that’s often required. Then, to add more than one subscriber on each floor, we simply put in place our MDU!Click SlimBox Flex Indoor Splitter Module and expand from one to eight ports. We can reconnect our initial subscriber and connect seven more subscribers on that floor, in order to get a higher take rate as we get new subscribers in the building.
Sandy Oregon located about 30 miles from downtown Portland is blessed with beautiful mountain scenery but unfortunately its great location also leads to challenges when it comes to being connected to the outside world. In 2002 city officials had the vision to start their own internet service provider and offer affordable internet service to its residents. The result was SandyNet. From the beginning it was a huge success. People wanted it. They were hungry for it.
We had been in municipal ISP for quite some time starting off with DSL and wireless and outgrown that technology and so really the only next step for technology was to go to fiber. So, in 2014 SandyNet partnered with OFS to bring high-speed fiber to Sandy’s businesses and residents. They set some specific goals at the time that included deploying a future-proof fiber optic network. Providing all neighborhoods with the same service enabling residents the ability to access videos, e-learning, gaming, and government services, increasing Sandy’s competitiveness to attract new business and offering the city-owned network as a utility. In the years since upgrading to a fiber optic network, how has Sandy done with meeting their goals?
Sandy’s seeing some unprecedented growth right now both on the residential side and a lot of commercial opportunities. Going forward, SandyNet will continue to help lure people here and increase our tax base, increase our residence and increase the virtual learning environment that a lot of our students are partaking in. Right now, over the course of the last six seven years, during that time period I’ve talked to a number of people in Sandy who have moved here to the community and while it wasn’t the sole decision that they made the fact that gigabit fiber was available at their residence in a wired solution was the deciding factor for several people to buy a house in this community.
Our community has just thrived with having that big fat fiber pipe. That’s one of the things for us where we were always struggling with the amount of capacity that our previous internet service providers were giving to us. Now we don’t have that problem anymore. We have over capacity in a sense. We have enough to where people can stream and listen to music while they’re working and we can still get all our work done. We can download the data that we need to get it done in minutes, seconds. Instead of an hour or two, we can upload stuff into our servers, into our clients servers, quickly just all of that greatness that comes with having a really fast internet connection.
It’s a great asset to have our SandyNet charges on the same utility bill that our water and sewer charges are on. It’s an easy one payment a month to have this service that you know is much more affordable than a lot of the other providers that are out both in our area and nationally.
But back in 2014 when SandyNet was deploying fiber to try and make its network future proof no one could have foreseen what fiber would mean to not just the town but the entire world in 2020. There was virtually no one whose life was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a high speed fiber optic network became the difference between those who were able to keep pace with the world and those who were left wanting something better. It was amazing that we got our fiber put in place when we did. It was built out to so many homes and had gone in front of hundreds of the homes in Sandy. Those that didn’t initially take it, could get it during that time. There was no rationing. We were in school one day and then everyone was at home the next day. Not just students, but also people working from home.
When you have a strand of fiber going to your house providing gigabit capacity it makes working from home very easy and I think a lot of people have been very happy with the service that they’ve gotten here in Sandy. From council meetings being held virtually, to team meetings, and other department meetings at the administrative level, we were able to continue our operations seamlessly with the help of SandyNet During the pandemic we did see an increase in speed upwards of 25 across our overall traffic patterns. Mostly traffic did increase during the workday. Our network is designed to be able to carry that load.
Once the city of Sandy decided to go all in with fiber who better to turn to than OFS. The industry leading experts at OFS were able to design, engineer, and deploy a network that was easily able to meet all of Sandy’s goals for a robust future-proof network.
OFS is able to combine several products that are designed to work with the gigabit, and 10 gigabit, 25 gigabit fiber. OFS can integrate solutions together to provide a complete turnkey solution for fiber to the home to our customers. We have to thank OFS a lot for SandyNet. We can’t go out and buy a book on how to set up fiber to the home network. Working with people that have been in the industry for 30 some years and having a great team that has worked on fiber the home projects in the past has been great. OFS has done all the heavy lifting. They’ve figured out all the optical budget information and then just provided this seamless solution and high-quality product.
Sandy’s been a fantastic success. We really appreciate all the opportunities from the city of Sandy for OFS. A complete OFS product solution along with the design the engineering, the build has provided the city of Sandy residents with great economic enhancement and quality of life improvement for decades to come. It would be a lot harder to differentiate Sandy from any other city of 12,000 people in Oregon. We still have many things that make us unique, but SandyNet really is the biggest one and I think it will have the most impact on our community over time.
To read the audio transcript for The Last 100 Meters of Fiber to and Into the Home click here.
AN OFS WHITE PAPER: NEW TECHNOLOGIES ENABLE FASTER, EASIER FIBER INSTALLATION INTO HOMES AND MDUs
For immediate access to our exclusive FTTH whitepaper, click here.
EZ-Bend Cabling and InvisiLight Solutions enable fast, easy and accepted fiber deployments to and into MDUs, homes and offices.
Driven by unprecedented demand for Gigabit and fast emerging 10 Gigabit Broadband, Fiber to the Home (FTTH) deployment is expected to reach record numbers in the coming years. According to iDate, FTTH connections will more than double in Europe over the next six years, while RVA forecasts that FTTH investment in North America will double in the next five years compared to the previous five. In addition to homes, service providers are bringing fiber to the living unit in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) and into commercial and institutional buildings. In all these scenarios, a cost-effective and compact optical network terminal (ONT) is typically placed inside each living unit or office to enable Gigabit or even 10 Gigabit connectivity. However, there are aesthetic and cost challenges to placing fiber inside residences or buildings. While service providers typically prefer to deploy ONTs deep within subscribers’ units with co-located Wi-Fi:
there may be no existing fiber ducts or pathways to the ONT location.
installing new ducts or cutting and patching walls can be very expensive and disruptive.
surface mounting conventional fiber cables can be unsightly and result in optical signal loss when the cables are bent around the many sharp corners on the pathway to the ONT.
wire molding or tape systems to house fiber are typically cost prohibitive, visible. and very slow to install.
Good day, my name is John George. I’m Senior Director of Solutions and Professional Services with OFS. Today I want to share what’s new in my world that could help you build better fiber to the home (FTTH).
Originally, FTTH deployments were fiber to outdoor ONTs on the side of a house. From there, copper typically was used to reach an indoor residential gateway inside the home. Over time we discovered indoor ONTs are smaller, and less expensive. They could be deployed inside the home, co-located with the wi-fi in the center of the building and achieve much better wi-fi coverage. This would reduce the cost, but there had to be a way to get the fiber into the home to that indoor ONT.
For MDU’s and apartment buildings, it evolved from fiber to the building, and trying to use the existing in-building copper to bring the internet service to each living unit. That proved to be insufficient from a bandwidth perspective for MDUs. To support 10 gigabit data rates that are being deployed now, it’s desired by service providers to get fiber into each living unit of an apartment building.
I’ll walk you through some innovative technologies we offer, that help solve those significant problems. The first one is EZ-Bend Cabling Solution. This is a three-millimeter diameter cable. It can have connectors on both ends. It can simply be stapled around any corner, and bends sharply in half with no concern about loss whatsoever. It has a 2.5 millimeter minimum bend radius – that’s twice as tight as anything else you can get on the market. The best from others is only five millimeters.
The EZ-Bend 2.5 millimeter bend radius technology is even more necessary as we move to from gigabit, to 10 gigabit. 10 gigabit use longer wavelengths in the transmission system. Longer wavelengths have much higher bend loss than what’s used for the gigabit. So, cable bends in a 10 gigabit transmission is a bigger challenge, but we solve it with the EZ-Bend. You can literally bend it any way without concern for signal loss.
The next technology we offer is the OFS InvisiLight Solution. It‘s used to solve issues inside the home or apartment. Originally, stapling cables inside the home was acceptable. Now, many customers don’t want to see the fiber at all inside the living unit. The OFS InvisiLight Solution is fiber installed inside an apartment, or home that blends into its environment; nearly invisible to anyone looking directly at it. The OFS InvisiLight Solution gets the fiber deep inside to the ONT. We have connectors on both ends of the InvisiLight spool making it easier to deploy a single part number, that can cover up to 132 feet, getting fiber into a home or an MDU living unit.
We also have a 12 fiber version, and a 16 fiber version for MDU hallways. These editions to go down the hallway and drop off the single fiber InvisiLight into the living unit.
Finally, we have the EZ-Bend Single Family Drop Solution that includes drop cabling, from the pole or pedestal to the home, and into the home. This is a double end connectorized assembly that’s toneable orange and can be laid out as a temporary drop, then buried later. What’s beautiful about this is it has the InvisiLight fiber inside the cable, so you can run this to the house below grade, direct buried, or induct, then wrap the house with it, and then to extend into the home to reach the ONT. All that is needed is to strip the jacketing off and then what you have is the fiber outside going through the wall to the inside where we’ve got the InvisiLight deployed to the ONT. Essentially this is a single piece of glass all the way from the curb, into the home, and into connecting the ONT. Quite simple, one part number, you don’t need a Network Interface Device (NID). You don’t need the time to install the NID. You save dollars if you avoid conduit and the NID by going with the EZ-Bend Single Family Drop Solution to the home into the home straight to the ONT.
That’s what’s new in my world. Thank you for listening.
In today’s increasingly fast-paced, interconnected world, the need for high-speed broadband internet access and reliable wireless service is more acute than ever. The growth of fiber optic networks has allowed service providers to optimize FTTx — fiber-to-the-X, in which X can refer to various subscriber locations, including homes (H, as in FTTH) and buildings (B, as in FTTB) — with the most effective, cost-efficient connectivity and bandwidth capabilities.
Optical fiber solutions guarantee subscribers high-quality transmission of video, voice, and data while providing comprehensive end-to-end solutions for maximum return on investment (ROI). Fiber optics also allow subscribers to make use of recreational technologies such as HDTV, video on demand, and online gaming.
To reach and connect subscribers InvisiLight® Solutions, feature solid glass optical fiber bendable down to a 2.5-mm radius with practically zero loss. This innovative and patented technology provides a 500-fold improvement in bending loss over traditional approaches that use Single-Mode Fiber (SMF) type cables. The flexibility of this solution simplifies and hides installations by conforming to building corners, with no concern for bending loss or service disruptions.
WhatInvisiLight Indoor Living Unit (ILU) Solution Do I Need?
The OFS InvisiLight ILU Solution guide can help you decide which of the four InvisiLight ILU Solutions to use, based on your needs. Whether you are looking for low visibility, low cost, greater security, or ethernet connection for business we have the answer for you.
InvisiLight Indoor Living Unit (ILU) Solution Guide
Launched in 2012, the original, award-winning InvisiLight ILU Solution offered installers an innovative and simple method for indoor optical fiber installation. Since then we have launched added variations that are adaptable depending on customer needs. The process involves adhering a 0.9 mm diameter optical fiber into either crevices along ceilings and walls or moldings and walls. The result is a protected optical fiber link that is virtually invisible.
All InvisiLight products feature innovative OFS EZ-Bend® Optical Fiber. This fiber’s 2.5 mm minimum bend radius easily handles the sharp corners often met when installers conform optical fiber to a building.
When you are ready to order, or require more information, our experts are standing by ready to help. Simply fill out the form here.
High density cable means 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.
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.