Tuesday, July 8, 2008

FiberOptic.com offers JDSU Cleaning and Testing Kits

FiberOptic.com today announced it will offer JDSU's all-in-one fiber optic test kits, providing network technicians with a simple way to avoid one of the leading causes of network downtime: contaminated, or “dirty,” fiber. Based on its recognized best practice to “Inspect Before You Connect,” JDSU provides all of the tools necessary to inspect, clean and perform power or attenuation measurements on fiber optic connections in easy-to-use kits to prevent costly network damage during installation, qualification and troubleshooting.

“Working with service providers worldwide, we believe that fiber contamination is the number one source of costly truck rolls and optical network impairment,” said Steve Lytle, general manager in the JDSU Communications Test and Measurement business segment. “Inspecting with a kit that contains all the necessary tools before you connect enables technicians to conveniently inspect both sides of an optical connection, clean it if necessary, and conduct the required optical testing to ensure the integrity of the network.”

JDSU inspection, cleaning, and test kits are designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s fiber applications and environments including FTTx, LAN/WAN, and data centers found in both cable and telecommunications networks. The kits include JDSU video fiber microscopes, optical cleaning tools, PocketClass™ or SMART optical light sources and optical power meters, and a visual fault locator (VFL). The kits also include a wide selection of Westover™ precision tips for the video fiber microscope and a collection of fiber optic patch cords for connecting to the system under test.

Fiber inspection and cleaning are critical components in a comprehensive fiber deployment and operation strategy. Proactive inspection prior to network testing and installation reduces downtime, optimizes signal performance, and protects components from costly damage.

Vermont's Upper Valley binds itself to ECFiber.net

The nation's FTTx network continues to widen as Vermont's Upper Valley plans to develop a network which will cover 1,000 square miles and include 35,000 poles. As reported by Meghan Fuller Hanna and Livewave, the 23 municipalities of central Vemont have joined the East Central Vermont Fiber Network project to assert control over their communities addimition to the future technologies which will spring out of the FTTx initiative. As Megan notes, "The project has racked up pre-registration take rates greater than 50% in some areas. The folks behind the ECFiber Network are confident they can succeed—despite the recent troubles of some high-profile municipal fiber initiatives—in part because they know if they don’t bring fiber to their communities, no one else will."

"The network will be deployed in partnership with ValleyFiber, a new venture from ValleyNet, an Upper Valley-based nonprofit that introduced broadband to the region via dialup service in 1994. ValleyNet managed upwards of 6,000 dialup subscribers before exiting the business in 2006 to pursue other broadband initiatives, including Valley-Fiber, which it launched in October 2007. ValleyFiber will design, build, and operate the network, which will include offering high-speed Internet, voice, and cable TV services on day one."

"Throughout the process, ECFiber has looked to its predecessor to the north, Burlington Telecom (www.burlington telecom.net), for guidance, even hiring Tim Nulty, former executive director/general manager of Burlington Telecom, to act as project director of ECFiber. Burlington Telecom expects to be profitable by the end of 2009, just four years after it began offering residential services."

"At press time, 23 municipalities had joined the East Central Vermont Fiber Network: Barnard, Bethel, Brookfield, Chelsea, Granville, Hancock, Hartford, Montpelier, Norwich, Pomfret, Randolph, Reading, Rochester, Royalton, Sharon, Stockbridge, Strafford, Thetford, Tunbridge, Vershire, West Windsor, Williamstown, and Woodstock. A modified homerun the ECFiber Network will follow the same architectural model as Burlington Telecom, which is an example of “a modified homerun,” says Nulty. A complete homerun network would feature an individual fiber from every house back to the hub, with that fiber available for anyone that wants to make use of it. But such a network is both uneconomical and impractical since it involves hundreds of thousands of fibers coming back to a single location."

A modified homerun network, by contrast, features fiber links from the home to aggregation points located around the serving area. “You locate a minimum number of fiber aggregation points around the town,” says Nulty, “and it should be the smallest number you can possibly get away with because you want to put it as far upstream as you can. In Burlington, we aggregate about 3,000 customers per fiber aggregation point.” Nulty says the fiber aggregation point is an actual building—20×30 or 20×40—that houses all the electronics, including the splitters, power equipment, and distribution racks. Downstream of the aggregation point are fiber links to every premises.

Burlington, a city of 40,000, features six fiber aggregation points. In the ECFiber area, which covers 1,000 square miles and 1,600 miles of road, Nulty estimates they’ll need about 10 to 12 fiber aggregation points.

In addition to requiring less fiber, the advantages of the modified homerun architecture are two-fold, says Nulty. First, maintenance is simplified because none of the equipment is in the field; it’s all in a secure building. Second, such an architecture facilitates easier network upgrades because, again, all the equipment is housed in a single location. To move to another generation of PON, technicians would simply go to the fiber aggregation points and replace old blades with new blades. Migrating from PON to active Ethernet would be similarly pain free, says Nulty.

“You can upgrade the electronics easily over time, forever, without touching the fiber,” he explains. “This is a very important point: We have not built a PON network. We’ve built a fiber network that we have initially provisioned as a PON, but we can change that provisioning as and when it makes sense. That’s a big difference between us and Verizon.”

"ECFiber has already inked a contract with Atlantic Engineering Group for a fixed-price construction contract covering 75% of the projected capital expenditure. The network will be provisioned initially as a GPON to benefit from the economies of scale that Verizon’s FiOS has created. The network will deliver 2.4 Gbits/sec from the headend; a 32-split ratio will yield between 80 and 90 Mbits/sec to each home.
ECFiber hopes to break ground on the project in Spring 2009 and connect the first customers by the end of that year. A self-sustaining network
Like Burlington Telecom, the ECFiber Network is designed to be financially self-sustaining. The project will be funded with a 15- to 20-year non-recourse municipal capital lease. The network will be owned by the leasing company and leased to the consortium of towns until the lease is paid off. Williams says this form of financing is common for other revenue-generating municipal projects like parking garages. Participating towns will not be obligated to pay any of the expense of the network; the amount of the lease will cover the capital cost of the infrastructure as well as initial losses and interest until subscriber revenue can sustain the network on its own."

"According to a recent white paper issued by the Fiber to the Home Council North America (www.ftth council.org), “Municipal Fiber to the Home Deployments: Next-generation Broadband as a Municipal Utility,” the typical FTTH business plan usually requires a 30% to 40% take rate to break even with payback periods. At press time, the pre-registration take rate in the ECFiber territory was 15% overall, but in towns where there is not already some kind of coverage, that number escalates to 50% of the total population.

“We can go right up to Burlington and use their comparables,” says Williams. “In the parts of town that have been open for two years, they’ve got 40% plus penetration and average revenue that approaches $100. If we get close to those numbers, even in our area with our less dense towns, then we’re getting pretty close to the level that we need to break even,” he says. Moreover, he adds, some areas of Burlington already had 100% cable modem and 85% DSL coverage, and Burlington Telecom is successfully wooing those subscribers away."

For his part, Nulty believes that ECFiber will see take rates of “virtually everybody” in those areas in which there are no other providers. In fact, he believes ECFiber may have to change its installation process as a result. “Every FTTH company I’ve ever heard of—including us—runs the [fiber] pass down the road and then goes along afterward and hooks people up only when they call. But if you have 80% or 90% already presigned, you’re going to drop to everybody,” he says, “and that actually reduces your costs quite a bit.”

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What should I do to maintain my fiber?

There are many ways of being proactive when it comes to fiber plant. However, because of the durability and low maintenance requirements fiber stewards are frequently rolling the dice and taking a wait and see attitude.

Here are a few ways you can get in front of problems.

Third Party Testing Services:
My wife's a teacher, and she doesn't let her kids grade their own tests. However, we IT professionals think little about separating the conflict of interest in having the same individual install and test installations or performance. I have been in way to many closets to think this is a waste of effort. The craftsmanship of some fiber installations leaves much to be desired.

Fiber Optic Testing and Documentation (OTDR, PM & LS)
  1. Require a bi-directional OTDR trace
  2. Require a PM & LS test to verify core power levels
  3. Require an image of the connector endface prior to testing (ensures the contractor cleans the endface prior to testing)
  4. If testing Multimode fiber, ensure your contractor is using a mandrel
  5. When testing with an OTDR, ensure a launch box is being used (1km - SM, 150m - MM)
Network configuration and maintenance
  1. Consult a certified RCDD before making any adds moves and changes, especially when upgrading speed on Multimode fiber
  2. Consider a performance contract with a company to ensure they are recommending the appropriate equipment (If performance is low or equipment is faulty, the integrator will replace the hardware)
  3. Schedule annual maintenance with a third party to ensure schedules are kept.
Services designed to support the IT professional in maintenance, documentation, installation and testing.

OTDR Trace Analysis & Off-site Storage
OTDR Trace Analysis
Interpretation Services
File Storage (Off-site Backup)
Comparison Analysis (Compare benchmark to current trace)
Report Generation
OTDR analysis and storage services for IT professionals interested in a second opinion or off-site storage of network trace files. If traced are completed and stored for future reference, emergency restoration, annual maintenance and management, prevention of degradation are all made easier.

Consulting and Project Management Services:
The following is a list of consulting services offered through FiberOptic.com:
Design Consulting Services
Project Management Services

Consulting and project management services for IT professionals interested in leveraging the experience of fiber optic professionals.
CONTACT: Chris LaBonge - 215.499.8959 or clabonge@adtell.com
NOTE: Services provided by Adtell Integration - http://www.adtellintegration.com/

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fiber Optic Installation - Services

The time has arrived.... Infrastructure solutions now require fiber optics to propagate the vast amount of data which continues to increase in an almost exponential fashion. Therefore, the questions becomes, who can you trust to assist with this physical infrastructure deployment? Well, if you're the handy sort, it will require an $8,000 fusion splicer and equally prices OTDR to ensure you've performed a professional installation. In comparison, the option exists to hire a contractor who understands your requirement and will assist with the engineering, installation, maintenance and Emergency Restoration.

These contractors, if focused on communications infrastructure, will truly offer the most cost effective, longest lasting, and mission critical solution to keep your organization focused and moving forward.

Adtell Integration - http://www.adtellintegration.com now offers consulting, design, installation, maintenance, and Emergency Restoration services around the world.

A Rugged Fusion Splicer

Introducing the FSM-60 and FSM-18 series – fusion splicing is redefined!
AFL Telecommunications sets a higher standard with Fujikura’s new series of core alignment and fixed V-groove fusion splicers. Offering unmatched versatility and reliability, the FSM-60 and FSM-18 series withstand a 30” drop test and continue splicing! With ruggedized edges around the corners, the new splicers are ideal for field splicing where accidents tend to happen.
With the rugged construction, the new splicer series provide shock, dust and moisture resistance, further enhancing productivity in the field. New software provides the ability to download splice data to a PC for splice data reporting, download splicer operating software via the internet to maintain peak performance, and download video images from the splicer to enhance technical support. In addition, new features such as the user-selectable fiber clamping method (sheath clamp or fiber holder system), simultaneous battery charge and splicer operation, automatic arc calibration and fiber identification, and auto-start tube heater, makes this the productivity tool to count on!

FSM-18S Fusion Splicer The FSM-18S Fusion Splicer is a low cost, fixed V-groove, single fiber fusion splicer with the same robust features offered in other high end models. The new rugged construction adds improved reliability by resisting shock, dust, and rain, and withstands a 30” drop test.
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FSM-60R12 Fusion Splicer The FSM-60R12 Fusion Splicer offers unmatched versatility and reliability. The new ribbon splicer withstands a drop test of up to 30” and continues to splice. And enhanced, robust features enable the FSM-60R12 to resist shock, dust, and rain so that unfortunate environmental conditions do not negatively impact productivity.
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FSM-60S Fusion Splicer The FSM-60S Fusion Splicer sets the standard for core alignment fusion splicing by incorporating a user-friendly interface with enhanced features to provide the most rugged and reliable fusion splicer in the market today. The new rugged construction adds improved reliability by resisting shock, dust, and rain, and can withstand a 30” drop test.
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JDSU OTDR Offering

Highly integrated compact OTDR for FTTx and Access application
The T-BERD 6000L is a highly integrated, non-modular, compact OTDR ideally suited for the construction, fault location and troubleshooting/maintenance of access and FTTx fiber networks.
Most compact and highly integrated
Largest screen size in its class
Simple one-button operation for full OTDR functionality
Connection check options: Visual Fault Locator (VFL), power meter, laser source and video inspection probe
Dual-wavelength testing: 1310/1550 nm (singlemode)
Simple for the novice, fully featured for the expert

Fast and precise fault location
FTTx/Access installation and troubleshooting
Distance, loss and ORL measurements
Connector and splice characterization

Key Features:
Large 8.4 inch transreflective TFT color display improves viewing under any conditions
Intuitive graphical user interface
Fast data transfer via USB and Ethernet port
Exceeds Telcordia GR-196-CORE specifications (including, ruggedness, drop testing, and extended battery life)