Jim Hayes

Fiber Optics Columnist and Freelance Writer

HAYES is a VDV writer and trainer and the president of The Fiber Optic Association. Find him at www.JimHayes.com.

Articles by Jim Hayes

September 2015
All of those millions of miles of dark fiber are primarily expected to deliver broadband connections. The Internet continues to grow unabated, and bandwidth must be expanded to accommodate that growth. 
August 2015
Last month, I wrote about how fiber was being used to expand bandwidth for cellular systems, connecting cell towers to the phone network and antennas on the tower to the base electronics. That helps our phone coverage when we’re driving or walking outside. But, as we all know, cell coverage can be poor inside buildings.
July 2015
All of that dark fiber we have been discussing the last few months is getting used for some fast-growing applications, and the fastest may be connecting cell towers. Cell phones have evolved into mobile data devices. Smartphones and tablets consume vast amounts of data. AT&T claims that its data usage has grown more than 500 times since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
June 2015
Last month, we discussed how long-distance dark fiber is used to connect data centers. Everywhere you look, you read about new data centers being built by Google or Facebook or Amazon or some other one with a strange, unpronounceable name. It’s just an indication of how fast Internet usage is increasing.
May 2015
Data center connection is one of the most common uses for dark fiber, and it’s all due to growing data needs. You have probably seen graphs of the Internet’s growth and heard claims about how much data moves along it. It’s not gigabytes or terabytes; today it’s petabytes and exabytes, and it won’t be long before it’s zettabytes or yottabytes (those are some big numbers).
April 2015
Last month, we looked at how dark fiber is tested to determine its capability of supporting newer, faster transmission networks. Once dark fiber has been tested and its usability confirmed, communications systems can be connected.
March 2015
Last month, we discussed “dark fiber” and how most outside plant installations include more fibers than are needed at the time of installation. Later, those fibers will be used for expanding service capacity or leased out to provide income. It may be years before those spare fibers are used, and, as we all know, communications system speeds increase all the time. READ MORE
February 2015
“Dark fiber” is a term often heard in conversations about fiber optic communications. Perhaps this is because it has a name that sounds evil or nefarious. But dark fiber is just fiber that has been installed and is not currently in use; instead, it is reserved for spares or future use.
January 2015
Another year has passed, and we have nothing revolutionary to report about fiber optic technology—no instant-on connectors, dirt-cheap lasers or simple solutions to installation problems. READ MORE