Over the last 20 years, network providers have faced the need to upgrade their networks in order to meet customer demand for more bandwidth. Network providers that have been successful at this have replaced the copper wire sections of their networks with high-capacity optical fiber that extends from the Central Office all the way to homes, businesses and other end users.
Telecommunication companies, CATV’s and hundreds of Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies are planning or building FTTx networks. The demand is there but it has to be met with a solid line of FTTx product solutions and support.
Anthony Russo, FTTx Product Line Manager at Fiber Instrument Sales, is servicing the growing end-to-end market through the new Zeus FTTx Solutions program. Wavelengths recently caught up with Mr. Russo to inquire how he and FIS are meeting the growing service requirements.
WL: How does FIS’ Zeus FTTx Solutions program help optimize a network provider’s FTTx project?
AR: The Zeus program allows the telco/utility company the freedom to choose their own network and how they would like to design it. Zeus consultants can provide insight of the many different designs that pertain to the physical elements of the area for which will soon have fiber to the home. One big plus is Zeus is not proprietary to any one manufacturer in the industry. Starting at the head end/central office and relaying through the build, customers can choose from a wide variety of manufacturers for enclosures, mounts, splitters, termination boxes, patch cords, and distribution boxes, just to name a few. For example, FIS enclosures that accommodate LGX compatible adapters and couplers give the contractor the ability to design their own style, especially when performing their very first build, and keeps their system unique and customized throughout future builds.
Our team will assess the full scope of the project, help determine component requirements and provide a structured bill of materials that will address the network’s needs of today and future expansion.
WL: If we came to you wanting to build a FTTx network, how would you go about helping us begin that process?
AR: FIS provides design insight and consultation. A face to face meeting would take place, going over the four major design chapters of a FTTx layout. We would then do a walk-through of the landscape and explain to you which idea would work the best and in the most cost-effective way for builds and services.
We would then identify and verify all critical information pertaining to upstream transmission and distribution infrastructure, then record the costs associated with such property-record units so as to assure accurate accounting for infrastructure retirements. In addition, we supply detailed costs of the properties, depreciation, improvements, retirements and property net book values.
We also have a vast network of professionals with specific expertise in verifying the descriptive assets and locations of existing, or newly-creating infrastructure adjacent to your proposed network “footprint”.
Once this information is assessed, we begin the actual network design. However, if the customer has another idea or plan, we will provide product knowledge and design assistance to follow through their own way. FIS has the ability to custom design any product in the FTTx catalog. However at some point during the layout we may find a “hiccup”. This is where we can tweak a product so that it will work out for the design. Distribution cabinets or cross connect cabinets are a great example. Whether it’s on a pole or pad mounted, and because of the custom design of swing out portions to access the back part of the panel (all LGX compatible), the contractor can put any adapter plates, couplers, or connector style they want.
What varies is how the contractor decides to construct the build at each main point location. An example would be starting at the head end/central office. Some telco’s or utility companies prefer to keep everything centralized in one location, hence the title of this location: “central office”. If the decision is to keep everything centralized in this location you will see active equipment, splits, and distribution cables at this area. Because of cost, some may prefer to just have all the active equipment in this area and then split the fibers throughout the distribution runs. You tend to see this design in rural locations where houses are scattered hundreds of feet or even miles apart.
WL: What should network providers prepare for when future-proofing against imminent increases in bandwidth?
AR: Municipalities and counties have their mind made up as to what type of speeds to provide end-users. Typically the maximum is 1Gb of data, though some are 100MB/second of data. Rather than tackling bandwidth speeds, what we should be talking about is future-proofing the builds. Everyday a house is being built or a new customer subscribes to the service.
Usually the very first build of the network starts with a 35% take rate which means that before the build takes place, 1,000 customers have already subscribed but there is a total of 5,000 more possible subscribers that could sign up with the next few years. Rather than starting an entire new head end/central office build, the provider should consider the first build to accommodate for 65% growth potential.
WL: How does the Zeus FTTx Solution differ from other offerings within the industry?
AR: The customer has the power to choose each component, the power to design and the power to complete their own custom network. Not only does the Zeus Solution provide custom manufactured products but also partners with the industry’s best FTTx manufacturers such as Channell Commercial, AFL, and Performed Line Products. So not only does the customer get to design their network but they can use their favorite product line as they wish.
Zeus FTTx training on channel partner’s or FIS manufactured products is offered to everyone. You tell us your design, your layout, your product wish-list and our staff will provide you with the knowledge and resources to complete your build from start to finish.
We understand the challenges of developing business and revenue plans (as well as potential government funding). We also fully understand OSP engineering for structuring the physical plant and the entire suite of construction and installation services.
For more information about Zeus - FIS FTTX Solutions