Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

I recently was listening to the radio and heard an advertisement for a cellular provider. During the disclaimer part of the ad, they mentioned that speeds may decrease if the user consumed more than 50 gigabytes (GB) of data. This got me thinking. Way back in 1994, I was working at a consumer electronics store that sold computers. At that time, the largest hard drive you could get was 120 megabytes (MB). That 120 MB was used for the operating system, data and programs (now called apps). Most programs that were installed on these personal computers were installed from 1.25 MB floppy disks. Average program sizes were 5-10 megabytes. The fastest modems available were at 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) speeds!

Let’s do some quick analysis. 50 gigabytes of data =

40,000 x 1.25 MB floppy disks

5,000 x 10 MB programs

416 x fully loaded 120 MB hard drives

Needing that much data (especially on a wireless network) is hard to imagine, but I have to assume some people are using that much. My kids probably do…And if that is for a wireless network, imagine how much more data is being consumed in a residential wired (cable or telephone service) setting. This trend will continue. TVs are getting higher resolutions, which will require more bandwidth. Gamers are starting to adopt virtual reality applications, which will require large downloads for the games themselves — as well as low-latency connections to participate. Smart homes with security cameras and the Internet of Things (IoT) will also use up considerable data.

Back in 1994, I would not have fathomed how much bandwidth that today’s average consumer would need. Think about 5-10 years from now and how much data consumers will need. Wireless technology and traditional coaxial cable or twisted pair networks have limitations that fiber cables do not. When the need for bandwidth is tenfold what it is today, I am predicting that fiber will be the only answer. Why not use today’s prices and labor rates to put in a future-proof network now? The question is not if you will need fiber. It is “when?”

So what are the first steps when planning your fiber to the home network? Reach out to Clearfield® and find out how we can help reduce installation times, capital expenditures and operating expenses associated with a fiber to the home (FTTH) project. Intuitive products that are easy to design into your network — as well as easy to install — will be key to your overall success. Solutions such as the YOURx™-Terminal and associated drop cables are making FTTH networks more affordable and easier to maintain.

When it’s time for upgrading your network to fiber, please contact us.

By Tom Warren

Tom Warren has over 10 years of experience as an Application Engineer for Clearfield. Tom provides customer support across the United States, listening to the needs of customers and aiding in the design of fiber termination and optical component systems that will meet their network needs.

Tom also offers the Clearfield customer on-site training of fiber applications. His expertise includes in-depth knowledge of WDMs, FTTH and CATV Fiber Optic solutions, and he trains extensively on fiber management basics and best practices.