AFL Telecommunications Fiber Splicing and Termination Considerations for FTTH Networks

Reprinted courtesy AFL Telecommunications
By Mark Boxer

Careful review of deployment methods can contribute to a low cost installation and reliable long-term network.

Now that Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments are gaining momentum around the country and around the world, network builders are looking for ways to decrease the time and expense of the cable drop to the home, the most costly aspect of the installation. A typical Passive Optical Network (PON) network builder has several options to take the service to the home using drop cables. These include field splicing pre-connectorized pigtails and splitters, mechanical splices, field connectorization of cables at the Network Interface Device (NID), and pre-connectorized cables. It is very important that the network builder carefully consider the options for both performance and the cost component of the installation.

FTTH networks typically include the "triple play" of voice, data, and video services. In many cases, the revenues from each of these services are needed in order to make the deployment financially viable. Video systems are notable in that they are sensitive to back reflections. This sensitivity decreases the attractiveness of both mechanical splices and field connectorization. For systems that do not deploy video, field connectorization may be an option. The majority of network operators in the United States deploy mechanical splices for restoration purposes only, due to concerns about performance and reliability in environmentally exposed field deployments...

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