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

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
November 2014
I suspect that the idea of employing anaerobic adhesives for fiber optics came from someone using Krazy Glue or the two-part adhesive made to fix a car’s rearview mirror after it fell off in the hot summer sun. Strange, that experience should have made them more cautious about its reliability, but I guess it didn’t.
October 2014
I am always amused when I hear, “No one uses heat-cured epoxy connectors anymore.” In fact, about 95 percent of all connectors, including every factory-made patchcord, uses heat-cured epoxy for its ease of use, low cost and high reliability. Granted, only the most skilled techs use them in the field, but they know the secrets of working with these connectors.