Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

As I write this message I am three days out from the Minneapolis Half Marathon.  Please wish me luck! While I was running on the treadmill (Minnesota had a nine month winter this year so I spent a lot of time training on that treadmill), I had a lot of time to think and it occurred to me that there are several things analogous between a FTTH build and a marathon.

One of these things is that small details over a long distance can make a big difference. During a marathon, if there is even a small fluctuation in temperature, humidity or elevation, it can greatly affect your overall running time. These small changes become magnified over distance. In the same way, multiple high loss (higher than .2 insertion loss) connectors in your plant will degrade the optical performance of your network. It may initially seem like an insignificant issue, but as you begin to stretch the capabilities and distances of your network, it will become important.

Another comparison that can be made is to use quality/appropriate equipment. If you are going to go out and run a simple 5K, you can use whatever running shoes you want. When you start to get into serious distances, a proper pair of shoes is going to be mandatory. You would not want to try and run a marathon or half marathon in bargain basement sneakers. Or how about golf shoes? So why would you use a $5 indoor rated patch cord in your fiber network that you plan on using in the OSP for the next twenty years? It is like planning to fail. Spend a little more money up front by selecting gear that is suitable for your application.

Another thing that occurred to me is that when something does not seem like it is working well, we need to adapt to the situation. If my knees start to hurt, then I need to wear a leg brace. If there is still snow on the ground, then I will need to train on the treadmill instead of running outdoors. If the cost and installation times of conventional fiber drops is killing you, then perhaps looking at the new drop solutions like the FieldShield product can help you overcome obstacles. Don’t be resistant to change. It can be a good thing.

I hope these comparisons help you with your FTTH project.

By Tom Warren