Last month, I discussed the growing pains I have seen in fiber optics. Some of the problems have been issues with incompetent subcontractors, but poor network design seems to cause just as many issues. Why is that?
The fiber optic industry is going through growing pains. As nationwide connectivity projects such as Google Fiber have accelerated the deployment of connected cities, the realities of running cable throughout America’s communities is proving a challenge.
Continuing the thread of measurement uncertainty in fiber optics, this month I discuss measuring the loss of an installed fiber optic cable plant. Optical loss, tested with a light source, power meter and two reference cables, is the most common measurement in fiber optics.
Last month, I wrote about measurement uncertainty and metrology, the science of measurements. This month, I get more specific and cover the uncertainty of some basic fiber optic measurements, starting with optical power.
On October 25, Google announced it would "pause" development of Google Fiber. In addition, the division’s CEO, Craig Barratt, resigned, and the division was rumored to be laying off about 9 percent of its staff.
When manufacturers are asked what is the biggest problem with installing of fiber optic components and systems, they invariably say “testing.” Practically everything they do depends on testing. During development, engineering and manufacturing in their labs, they test product performance.
Once a technician has spliced a fiber optic cable, he or she must test the splice to verify it is strong and has low loss. The technician must add the test data to the documentation for future reference and present it to the cable plant owner to verify the installation has been done correctly.
The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas has released the results of a survey it commissioned to be conducted by RVA LLC, which shows that fiber deployments in the United States grew 13 percent in 2015.
For several recent columns, I have been writing about splicing optical fibers. Last month, I covered managing fibers inside the splice trays and closures. But there is even more to know about splice closures.
Demand for wiring and cabling is expected to grow in the months and years ahead. Low-voltage applications for light-emitting diode (LED) technology and fiber optic cabling within the power-generation and telecommunications industries will help drive this market.
The continuing deployment of fiber optic cable is newsworthy in industry trade publications and the consumer press. Serious home-internet users want more bandwidth to download, upload and stream online video.
With the increasing use of fiber optic cable in structured wiring, many electricians experienced in low-voltage copper work are extending their skills to include fiber. Working with fiber requires training and the right tools and testers to correctly install and maintain fiber optic cable.
As I have described in the previous few columns, splicing fibers is fairly easy. If the installer cleans and cleaves the fibers properly, the machine does the rest. However, the installer’s job is not over at that point.
Single-mode fiber needs many more splices than multimode. Outside plant (OSP) single-mode fiber links often require splicing shorter lengths of cable or drops off of a backbone cable. These OSP cables are usually fusion-spliced.