Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

It’s an odd sounding word until you break it down into its two parts, circum (latin, prefix for “around”) and ambulate (latin, equivalent to ambul “amble” move from place to place). Circumambulate: to move around something, to view it from multiple angles.

The shortest distance or most direct route from point A to point B is a straight line. We have all heard this before and our bias is seeded to believe this is the best route or path. When diagnosing a problem or troubleshooting something, this is not necessarily the case.

When I was a CO Technician back in the 1990s, I was called upon to help a resident technician having a hard time fixing an issue with a switch that was preventing recent change because a lack of memory capacity in the electro-mechanical central office switch. The technician had tried to figure out what was wrong for several days with no luck and now that the functionality was jeopardized, it escalated to me. Writing from temporary memory to permanent memory in the switch was a physical process and due to a fresh set of eyes and looking at the issue from a different angle, I immediately saw the problem and fixed it. Literally, the resident CO tech was looking at the process straight on, and when I looked at it from a side-angle, I saw that there was a bolt loose which stopped the memory cards from moving through the entire step.

Sometimes it’s just as important to look at solutions from multiple angles. 

We have been looking at plug-and-play for several years within our industry. Plug-and-play is a solution aimed at lessening the issue of limited skilled labor resources. We have a finite resource to build fiber networks across America. That, combined with the high level of activity from all sizes and types of Broadband Service providers, is putting pressure on those precious resources.

Plug-and-play is a solution thats time has come. We have worked out the kinks and wrinkles over the last several years. The first generation of plug-and-play used flat drop cable that was difficult to slack-store and had proprietary connectors that only a few manufactures provided, which made them expensive.

Advancements in termination processes have made smaller and more flexible cable sizes available with pre-terminations, and progress with better UV resistance materials allow small, flexible, UV resistant micro-cables to be used in plug-and-play designs. In addition, multi-fiber connectors (MPO/MTP) now can be pre-terminated with acceptable insertion loss with a pushable plug-and-play connector.

Clearfield’s FieldShield family of products are a good example of the Next-Generation of plug-and-play products that address these industry issues. Integrated, seamless slack storage, bend-insensitive fiber, non-proprietary connectors, 12 and 24 fiber MPO pushable plug-and-play connectors.

Over the years, we have looked at the problems within a solution from multiple angles and by multitudes of communication technicians and professionals.

Plug-and-play has been circumambulated and it’s looking good!

By Jim Pilgrim, Applications Engineer