Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fiber Optic Cable Gets Limber

Fiber optic and copper cable are currently vying to be the communications wiring of choice for retrofits, upgrades and greenfield construction. Actually, the long term solution is already known. It's fiber. Copper hangs on because it is already widely deployed, as are the switches and routers that connect to it.

Fiber optic cabling might have taken over infrastructure installations sooner if it wasn't for an installation restriction. You can only bend the fibers so far. It's more than just not snapping the fiber strands when the stress gets too high. There's a functional limitation with sharp corner bends that lets some of the light escape the fiber core. Attenuation goes up and signal level goes down.

That limitation has been removed by new developments from Corning. Corning's bendable fiber optic cable introduces a layer of reflective nanostructures into the cladding directly surrounding the core. The nanostructures keep the light beam from shooting out through the cladding when it encounters a sharp directional change. If you tie normal fiber in a knot or bend it ninety degrees, you might lose all of your signal. With the nanostructures guiding the wavelengths around sharp bends, the signal can handle just about anything an installation can throw at it. That includes right angle turns and stapling cable to building studs.

Where is this new single mode bendable fiber optic cable most appropriate? it's a natural for FTTx installations, especially in older buildings not designed with ease of cable installation in mind. But its also likely that this new approach to cable construction will make it the defacto standard for both business and residential wiring.

Is your business ready for an upgrade to fiber optic cabling to support data, voice and video? Or, do you simply want to expand your networks for growth or additional applications? Our network of Value Added Resellers are independent providers of equipment, installation and service. Get competitive quotes now from VARs in your area. No cost or obligation for this online service.

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