Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Swisscom selects Huber + Suhner's fiber management for FTTH project

Swisscom selects Huber + Suhner's fiber management for FTTH project
DECEMBER 17, 2008 -- Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom has selected Huber + Suhner products and systems for its fiber-to-the-home deployment. Over the coming years, Huber + Suhner says it will supply fiber management systems for local exchanges to the Swiss market leader.
With currently more than 1.7 million fixed network broadband connections, Swisscom is a leading player in the growth market of broadband communication. Swisscom has used fiber-optic technology for many years, initially to connect its exchanges and later for business customers. By deciding to bring fiber-optic links into private households, the telecoms carrier is meeting the growing need of customers in the multimedia and telecommunications sectors for greater speed and convenience. This makes possible applications such as HDTV and teleworking and faster uploading and downloading of large quantities of data.
With its fiber-optic division, Huber + Suhner says it is a market leader in fiber-optic management and fiber-optic connectivity. Successes with innovative systems, connectors, and special cables for the rapidly growing FTTH domestic and international markets are the company's primary growth drivers, say Huber + Suhner representatives.
As a first step, Huber + Suhner will supply Swisscom with fully equipped, customer-specific "LISA" high-density fiber-optic management systems, initially for the exchanges in Basel, Geneva, and Zurich. Huber + Suhner also supplies cables to transport data from the switching station to the home on the basis of new, special fiber optics and low-loss connectors.
For Urs Kaufmann, CEO of the Huber + Suhner Group, this large order from Swisscom is "a great success in the domestic market, which underscores our leading position in the future-oriented growth market of broadband communication."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Economy Didn't Slow Verizon's FiOS

America may be headed for a recession, but you couldn't tell from Verizon Communications' third-quarter results. The company added wireless users in the period and saw customers spending freely on pricey Internet services.
The company's investment in FiOS, its answer to competition from cable service providers that offer bundled communication packages, appeared to being paying off. During the quarter, Verizon Communications added 233,000 FiOS television customers and 225,000 Internet subscribers. The product uses fiber-optic network technology to offer accelerated Internet service and high-definition television.
Verizon's stock gained $2.75, or 11.0%, to $27.83, during Monday's afternoon trading session.
So far so good, but Verizon still might face headwinds from a decelerating economy. U.S. consumers have scaled back discretionary spending, and if the economy weakens could look for ways to cut their monthly bills. Some households have discontinued traditioanl landline services in favor of wireless.
Indeed, traditional phone line accounts fell in Verizon's third quarter, down 12.0% from the prior year. But the company's wireless segment, a joint venture with Vodafone Group, beat analysts' new-subscriber estimates with 1.5 million sign-ups. That was particularly impressive in light of AT&T's report that it added 2.0 million subscribers in the third quarter, despite its exclusive deal to market Apple's iPhone. There had been fears that AT&T would steal market share from Verizon, thanks to the Apple device.
Verizon's third-quarter earnings rose 31.5%, to $1.7 billion, or 59 cents share, from $1.3 billion, or 44 cents a share, in last year's comparable period. Operating earnings were 66 cents a share, meeting analysts' estimates. Sales climbed 4.0% during the quarter, to $24.75 billion, and narrowly beat the consensus $24.52 billion sales forecast.
Although investors have worried that Verizon might choose to scuttle its acquisition of Alltel because of the difficult credit market, Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said the company stands by the deal . The acquisition would make Verizon the largest wireless network in the world.

Friday, October 31, 2008

GPON sales up 77% in 2Q08, driven by Verizon's FiOS

OCTOBER 31, 2008 -- The worldwide PON equipment market grew 17% to $486 million in 2Q08, thanks primarily to Verizon, whose FiOS build out prompted a huge increase in BPON ONT and GPON OLT shipments, reveals a new report from Infonetics Research.
The PON equipment market is driven by service provider investments in broadband access networks to deliver bandwidth-intensive services such as IPTV bundled with voice and high-speed Internet services.
Verizon's purchase of GPON OLTs from Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola led the GPON equipment segment to surge 77% sequentially in 2Q08, according to the report, "PON and FTTH Equipment and Subscribers."
"Though GPON growth is expected to be healthy across the board, some major vendors are dropping out of the race to focus their efforts and R&D resources on next-generation PON technologies like WDM-PON and 10G EPON," notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for IPTV at Infonetics Research. "The GPON vendor landscape was due for some contraction, and with vendors like Nokia Siemens and Tellabs abandoning GPON for WDM-PON, the big winners in the GPON market look to be Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Motorola, ZTE, and Ericsson," he reports.
Heynen added that Infonetics adjusted its PON revenue forecasts down based on conversations with service providers who are postponing fiber upgrades until they are confident subscriber uptake of ultra-broadband services will justify the expense associated with extending fiber to buildings and residences. Today's global economic climate solidifies their rationale for holding off on new investments. However, there are many service providers who had already committed budget to fiber upgrades, such as Verizon, NTT, KT, and Hanaro, who see fiber as a strategic advantage and who continue to aggressively roll out new fiber.
Other report highlights include the following:• Mitsubishi continues to lead the overall worldwide PON equipment market, although competitors continue to chip away at its lead, with Tellabs and Alcatel-Lucent now neck and neck for second position.• In 2Q08, Alcatel-Lucent retains first place in worldwide GPON revenue, and Motorola posts a 451% sequential jump in revenue, propelling it to second position--ahead of Huawei--for the first time.• PacketFront and Cisco are running neck and neck in the worldwide Ethernet FTTH equipment market, with PacketFront ahead by far for CPE and Cisco ahead by far for switches.• Between 1Q08 and 2Q08, worldwide BPON manufacturer revenue increased 25% and ports climbed 52%.• Worldwide BPON, EPON, and GPON subscribers are forecast to top 46 million in 2011.• The expense of WDM-PON systems is expected to be too high for most carriers in the early phases of the market, leading carriers to use WDM-PON for DSLAM backhaul applications, as opposed to FTTH deployments, until WDM-PON prices come down.
Infonetics' report tracks PON equipment revenue and ports, including BPON, EPON, GPON, WDM-PON, and OLTs and ONTs with FTTH vs. FTTB splits; Ethernet FTTH equipment (CPE vs. service provider); and total FTTH equipment (CPE vs. non-CPE). The report also tracks PON, POTS, Ethernet, and DSL ports; and PON, PON FTTH, and Ethernet FTTH subscribers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Corning 2008Q3 Results

CORNING, N.Y., Oct 29, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Corning Incorporated today announced results for the third quarter 2008.
Third-Quarter Highlights
-- Sales were $1.56 billion, about even with last year's third quarter.
-- Earnings per share (EPS) were $0.49; including net special gains of $36 million or $0.03 per share.
-- Excluding special items, EPS was $0.46,* up 21% over last year's results, due in part to favorable exchange-rate movements.
-- Display Technologies' combined LCD glass volume, including Corning's wholly owned business and Samsung Corning Precision Glass Co., Ltd. (SCP), was up 2% sequentially and 18% year over year. Volume from Corning's wholly owned business decreased 10% sequentially and 2% year over year. Samsung Corning Precision's volume increased 12% sequentially and 38% year over year.
Fourth-Quarter Outlook Summary
-- Sales are expected in the range of $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion.
-- EPS before special items are expected in the range of $0.20 to $0.28.*
-- Combined LCD glass volume is expected to be down in the range of 10% to 20% sequentially, with the wholly owned business down 20% to 30% and SCP down 5% to 15%. Year over year the combined glass volume is expected to decrease by 2% to 13%
-- For the full year, combined LCD glass volume growth is expected to be 20% to 22%.

For more details go to

FCC chairman faces growing pressure to delay votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 75 members of Congress are urging the head of the Federal Communications Commission to delay next week's vote on a proposal to overhaul key pieces of telecommunications regulation, arguing that the matter should get public review.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wants to significantly reorder the complicated menu of fees that phone companies pay to connect calls with each other's networks. He advocates more uniform, lower rates.
The proposed changes are backed by the two largest phone companies, Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. They argue that existing rules are outdated and based on obsolete regulatory distinctions.
But the plan faces opposition from a broad coalition of competing carriers and rural phone companies, which fear it could erode the money they get for completing phone calls to their subscribers. And consumer advocates warn that it could lead to higher phone bills — particularly for rural customers — as phone companies seek to recover lost access charges from other sources.
Martin is also seeking major changes to the $7 billion-plus Universal Service Fund, a federal program that subsidizes telecom service in rural and poor communities through a surcharge on phone bills. Among other things, Martin would require carriers to use Universal Service money to invest in broadband networks in parts of the country that lack high-speed Internet connections.
Martin, one of three Republicans on the five-member FCC, has scheduled a vote on these issues for Nov. 4. A spokesman, Robert Kenny, pointed out that the FCC faces a Nov. 5 deadline, imposed by a federal court, for reforming part of the complex access fee system.
In a letter sent this week, however, 61 House members called on the chairman to release the proposal for public review and comment for at least two months.
"The public deserves the opportunity to provide fully informed comments, and the commission stands to gain by understanding the positions of all parties interested in its potentially sweeping decision," the letter says. It was written by Virginia Democrat Rick Boucher and Nebraska Republican Lee Terry, who have sponsored legislation to reform the Universal Service Fund.
That sentiment was echoed in two other letters that lawmakers sent to Martin this week, including one signed by 10 senators who expressed concerns that the details of Martin's proposal could end up hindering the construction of rural broadband networks.
Kenny, Martin's spokesman, said the chairman intends to move ahead with next week's vote on his broad reform proposal. Kenny added that while the plan has not been put out for public comment in its current form, most of the main elements have been debated in Washington for years.
Kenny also insisted that the proposal will not necessarily lead to higher phone bills and will help expand high-speed Internet connections in underserved parts of the country.
"Chairman Martin continues to work with the other commissioners on what we know is a very complex and complicated proposal that we hope will bring meaningful reform for the benefit of consumers," Kenny said.
Kenny said Martin also intends to move ahead with a vote on another contentious item on the Nov. 4 agenda: a proposal to open up unused portions of the television airwaves known as "white spaces" to deliver wireless broadband services.
Public interest groups and many of the nation's biggest technology companies, including Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., hope the plan will lead to universal, affordable broadband.
But the proposal has run into fierce opposition from the nation's big TV broadcasters, which argue using the fallow spectrum to deliver wireless Internet services could disrupt their over-the-air signals. Manufacturers and users of wireless microphones have also raised concerns about interference with audio systems at concerts and sporting events.
In recent days, a wide range of sports leagues, church leaders and performers — from Dolly Parton to Guns N' Roses — have written the FCC urging the vote to be delayed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

US FTTH Update

FTTH Council: 3.76 million North American households connected
SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 -- The upgrading of North America's last mile networks with end-to-end fiber is continuing at a robust pace, with fiber to the home (FTTH) arriving at more than 1.6 million households over the past year, according to a study released this week by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council. The total number of FTTH subscribes in North America now stands at 3.76 million. The study, by RVA Market Research , pegged the annual growth rate for FTTH in North America at 76%, the highest of any country or region in the world. The updated deployment statistics were announced at the FTTH 2008 Conference & Expo, which is being held this week in Nashville, TN.
The study also shows FTTH networks now passing 13.8 million North American homes, up from 9.55 million a year ago. The number of homes receiving video services over FTTH more than doubled over the past year, from slightly more than one million in September 2007 to nearly 2.2 million today. Meanwhile, the overall "take rate"--the percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe--went up for the fifth straight six-month period, and now stands at more than 30%. "This continued growth in the number of connections and in the take rate is evidence of what consumers think about fiber to the home--it is fast becoming the technology of choice for receiving high-bandwidth Internet and superior video services," contends Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council. "In addition, we are continuing to see enormously high customer satisfaction rates for FTTH services when compared to other types of broadband and video providers." The study also found that average data download speeds for FTTH subscribers continued to rise--to 7 Mbits/sec from 5.2 Mbits/sec a year ago--as providers increased available bandwidth in their service offerings. This compares to a median real-time Internet download speed of 2.3 Mbits/sec among all Internet users, as determined by the Communications Workers of America in their recent Speed Matters survey of more than 230,000 people.
Mike Render of RVA LLC, who authored the study, notes that the sustained high growth rate for FTTH connections is disproving many of the claims that skeptics made about the technology just a few years ago.
"They said FTTH would never work for overbuilds, in rural areas, in multi-tenant buildings or in places where there was already competition to provide these services," he recalls. "They said no one would ever need or pay for 7 megabits of download speed. And now we are finding that those concerns are not panning out."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Verizon bets big on network infrastructure

From Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir's 38th floor apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with panoramic views of the East River, I saw first-hand the fruits of the company's $23 billion gamble to build a new fiber network directly to customers' doorsteps and a glimpse into where the strategy will lead next.
Kheradpir had invited a handful of journalists to his swank pad to show off the latest enhancements to
Verizon's Fios TV service. The new features, which include everything from new widgets for getting weather and local traffic to a specially designed ESPN fantasy football application to remote control of DVRs, are rolling out across Verizon's Fios footprint right now with New York, Verizon's largest market, expected to get the enhancements starting October 9th.
While its cable competitors look for ways to curb their customers' usage of their networks by either
slowing down certain applications or metering usage, Verizon plans to spend about $23 billion through 2010 to take fiber directly into people's homes to actually increase the amount of bandwidth people consume. The company also recently spent $9 billion on 700Mhz spectrum in the Federal Communications Commission's auction, which it plans to use to build a new fourth-generation wireless broadband network, again with the hope that people will choose bandwidth-intensive applications.

Verizon plans to spend about $23 billion through 2010 to take fiber directly into people's homes.(Credit: Verizon)
Verizon's commitment to betting big on bandwidth could cement its dominance in the communications market for years to come. But these bets don't come cheap. And as network operators find themselves in tighter competition with Internet giants such as Google, they could end up simply becoming dumb pipe providers, competing on speeds and feeds rather than services.
There's no doubt that service providers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Not only must they compete with each other, but they also have to think differently and innovatively to compete against new Internet competitors, who are using the service providers' high-speed infrastructures to deliver competing voice and video services.
While other service providers, like AT&T and the cable companies, have tried to deliver new services and enhancements by incrementally upgrading their infrastructure, Verizon has gambled all its chips by spending billions of dollars on fiber infrastructure that it believes will future-proof its network.
Verizon's Kheradpir admitted that Verizon's fast fiber pipes will likely be used to deliver new applications and services that Verizon may never be able to monetize. But the super fast infrastructure also provides Verizon with a blank canvas that its own developers can use to create new services.
"The network that Verizon has created with Fios is a dream for software developers," he said. "It's what we all dreamed of when we were in school. It's basically an unlimited pipe that can be used to develop whatever you want."
The main thing the ultra-fast fiber network enables is the ability to deliver rich content, namely high-definition video. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the number of households that report viewing high-def programs has nearly doubled since 2007, reaching 55 percent this year.
Kheradpir also believes that HD doesn't stop with TV. People will increasingly want high-definition Web video and high-definition digital music. That's why Verizon is promising at least 100 HD channels as part of its Fios service in places like New York City. But high-definition content eats up bandwidth, making it difficult for many of Verizon's competitors to keep up with demand. Verizon's competitors are also introducing enhanced offerings. Time Warner Cable, which competes with Verizon in New York City and the surrounding area, is also pushing for 100 HD channels by the end of the year.
Still, Kheradpir believes Verizon is
better positioned with its all-fiber network to stay ahead of the HD curve.
Building the network at homeAs home networks increasingly look more like corporate local area networks, Kheradpir also sees an opportunity for service providers to manage their networks. He calls this the "consumerization" of IT. The difference between networks in the home and in the office is that instead of shuttling corporate data back and forth, people are sharing digital pictures and music, watching high-definition video and using VoIP services to stay connected to family and friends. And this basic difference means that service providers have to think differently about serving these customers.
"IT in the corporate environment is all about improving efficiency," Kheradpir said. "But in the home, it's about improving quality of life."

Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir(Credit: Verizon)
And that is where Kheradpir believes Verizon can add value. Not only can it provide the basic infrastructure, but it can build the applications that ride over this infrastructure to improve users' experiences. This means allowing people to access their digital content from wherever they are on whatever device they want, he explained. And because few people have IT managers living with them, it also means hiding the complexity and management of the technology in the network far from the end user.
Verizon has worked this concept into its latest Fios TV upgrade. Its new set-top boxes will automatically discover all connected devices whether they're wired or wireless, and it will allow people to view photos or video or listen to music from any device on the network. This means that you can share pictures from a PC hard drive on a computer. Eventually it could also allow people to listen to the digital music that's stored at home on their PC while on their cell phones.
"The consumer doesn't want to think about where they store their content," Kheradpir said. "Our view is that people should leave their pictures and music where it is. And we will extend the network to get it for them."
The latest version of Fios TV will also include remote DVR control. Initially, this feature will allow users to control their DVR from an Internet-connected PC. But the company also demonstrated how it can be done via a cell phone. Using a mobile Web site on phones such as the LG Voyager and the enV, subscribers will be able to set recording schedules, search for recorded shows, and enable parental controls.
In addition to needing someone to manage their home "IT" needs, Kheradpir believes that consumers want more personalized content. Again, a high-speed network can help facilitate this. For example, Verizon has added widgets to its latest Fios upgrade that allow third-party developers to create applications for personalized local weather, traffic, and horoscopes. One Verizon engineer even created a Facebook application so that people can access status updates on their TV screens.
Verizon has also included a "What's Hot" application that anonymously keeps track of what people are viewing to show people the most popular TV shows in their areas. Kheradpir said that Verizon is able to offer more personalized services because of the bi-directional nature of its network. Not only can Verizon broadcast content to its subscribers, but it can collect information and allow for individual interaction to provide consumers with a more personalized experience.
Seeing returnsSo far, Verizon's gamble
appears to be paying off. In areas where it sells Fios TV, Verizon has been able to steal customers from cable and satellite providers. And as of the end of June this year, Verizon had increased its Fios TV penetration rate to 19.7 percent from 13.3 percent in 2007. In total, the company has 1.4 million Fios TV subscribers.
Verizon is also getting high marks from customers. In a recent J.D. Power and Associates survey, Verizon Fios TV ranked higher than cable or satellite in terms of customer satisfaction. Specifically, customers said Fios TV's picture clarity and programming exceeded their expectations. AT&T, which provides its U-Verse service, also got high marks for its IPTV offering.
Verizon's goal is to attract 4 million customers by 2010, giving it a market penetration of about 25 percent. And it hopes to attract about 7 million Fios Internet customers, for a penetration rate of 35 to 40 percent.
But Fios is just the beginning. Verizon is also in the early stages of planning its fourth-generation wireless network that will be used to deliver the connected experience to wireless devices. While Kheradpir admits it is still in the early days on the wireless front, he sees it as an important piece of the strategy.
"Wireless is a key lever," he said. "From the time we wake up until we go to bed we generally have a wireless device within reach. So it makes sense to extend this strategy to those devices as well."
Indeed, everyone in the communications sector sees wireless as the next major frontier. Verizon's cable competitors Comcast and Time Warner Cable have
invested in the new Clearwire joint venture, which will combine Sprint Nextel's WiMax assets with Clearwire's to build a next generation wireless network. Google has also made various wireless investments. Verizon has clearly staked much of its future on a high-capacity wired infrastructure. But it remains to be seen how aggressively the company will bet on its next-generation wireless network.

Friday, September 26, 2008

FTTH Growth Stays on Track as Connections Rise too

NASHVILLE - The upgrading of North America's last mile networks with end-to-end fiber is continuing at a robust pace, with fiber to the home (FTTH) arriving at more than 1.6 million households over the past year, bringing the total number of FTTH subscribers to 3.76 million, according to a study released today by the Fiber to the Home Council. The study, by RVA Market Research pegged the annual growth rate for fiber to the home in North America at 76 percent, the highest of any country or region in the world. The updated deployment statistics were announced at the FTTH 2008 Conference & Expo, which is being held this week in Nashville, Tennessee.The study also shows fiber to the home networks now passing 13.8 million North American homes, up from 9.55 million a year ago, and that the number of homes receiving video services over FTTH more than doubled over the past year, from slightly more than one million in September 2007 to nearly 2.2 million today. Meanwhile, the overall "take rate" - the percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe - went up for the fifth straight six-month period, and now stands at more than 30 percent. "This continued growth in the number of connections and in the take rate is evidence of what consumers think about fiber to the home - it is fast becoming the technology of choice for receiving high-bandwidth Internet and superior video services," said Joe Savage, President of the FTTH Council. "In addition, we are continuing to see enormously high customer satisfaction rates for FTTH services when compared to other types of broadband and video providers." The study also found that average data download speeds for FTTH subscribers continued to rise - to 7 megabits per second from 5.2 Mbps a year ago - as providers increased available bandwidth in their service offerings. This compares to a median real-time Internet download speed of 2.3 Mbps among all Internet users, as determined by the Communications Workers of America in their recent Speed Matters survey of more than 230,000 people.Mike Render of RVA LLC, who authored the study, noted that the sustained high growth rate for FTTH connections is disproving many of the claims that skeptics made about the technology just a few years ago. "They said FTTH would never work for overbuilds, in rural areas, in multi-tenant buildings or in places where there was already competition to provide these services. They said no one would ever need or pay for 7 megabits of download speed. And now we are finding that those concerns are not panning out."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fiber Basics

I know you all know this already, but I found some videos about fiber basics that some of those just learning might be interetsed in.

Verizon Business Customers Benefit from TPE Subsea Network

SEPTEMBER 17, 2008 -- Verizon Business today announced that it is first to market with the Trans-Pacific Express submarine cable network connecting the United States with mainland China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Verizon Business multinational customers with IP, data, and voice communications traffic moving onto this cable system, which is now active, will see immediate benefits, including additional capacity, greater physical diversity, reduced latency, improved performance, and seven-way mesh network diversity, says the carrier.
"Less than two years ago in Beijing, I told our customers we would deliver the network they needed by building the most direct and highest-capacity cable system between the United States and China/northern Asia," recalls Fred Briggs, executive vice president of Verizon Business operations and technology. "Today, our multinational customers can take full advantage of this very aggressive cable build. They can expand their businesses throughout northern Asia knowing their mission-critical traffic is riding on one of the most advanced submarine cable networks in the world."
Verizon Business teamed up with founding TPE Consortium members--China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom, and Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan)--to build the TPE cable. The new 18,000-km (more than 11,000-mile) cable system uses the latest optical technology to provide greater capacity and high speeds to meet the dramatic increase in demand for IP, data, and voice communications in the growth countries. The new fiber-optic cable can support the equivalent of 77.5 million simultaneous phone calls, says Verizon, more than 60 times the overall capacity of the existing cable directly linking the United States and mainland China.
The operating capacity of the system--the largest ever built directly between the U.S. and mainland China, South Korea, and Taiwan--is 3.2 Tbits/sec, an increase of 25% over the original system design. With a minimum 80 wavelengths per fiber, TPE has the highest wave-density of any submarine cable in the world at this length. For the first time, individual customers can now access a cable system at wavelengths of up to 10 Gbits/sec directly from the U.S. to China, Korea, and Taiwan. In the next phase, the system will add links to Japan.
Verizon Business' Private IP and Private Line customers with traffic between the United States and China will be the first to see benefits across the network, says Verizon. One of the most sought-after benefits is reduced latency--the time it takes for data sent from its entry point in the network to reach its destination.
"When we designed this submarine cable system, we sought the shortest direct physical paths between locations," reports Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global network planning for Verizon Business. "This cable minimizes the physical distance for direct connectivity to China, South Korea, and Taiwan and provides route diversity away from Japan, where many other submarine cables land today."
Verizon Business customers using the Trans-Pacific Express cable network also will take advantage of additional investments to connect the system to the company's ultra-long-haul network in the U.S., extensions across Asia that provide end-to-end connectivity, and secured capacity for private IP customers in the Asia Pacific region.
In addition to more capacity, higher speeds and lower latency, the TPE system will provide more diversity of routes for customers using Pacific submarine cables, notes the carrier. Ever since a major earthquake occurred off the coast of Taiwan in December 2006, diversity has become one of the most important features customers require when purchasing capacity on undersea cables.
Customers also will take advantage of a network architecture design called meshing, which provides alternate paths for rerouting traffic in the event of a cable cut or network disruption. When a service interruption occurs and meshing is needed, the equipment housed in network buildings on land allow the rerouting of voice and data traffic within 50 to 100 milliseconds.
Verizon Business says it is the first to offer seven-way trans-oceanic mesh diversity across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The company's mesh network in northern Asia includes physical node diversity in major cities, coupled with backhaul and cable system diversity to provide superior survivability during network issues. Mesh nodes were recently installed in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. Japan was already included in the Pacific global mesh network.
"When you combine the complete TPE package we are offering our Verizon Business multinational customers, it's second to none in the industry," contends Tarazi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Radhard Fiber Optic Cable

A little something I'm interested in.

FTTE - Fiber to the Europe

A little information about FTTH in Europe in preparation for ECOC next week (

European FTTH: A matter of perception
by Stephen M. Hardy
The global optical communications industry will meet next month in Brussels for the annual European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC). As our "Analyst Corner" this month indicates, 2007 was a banner year for fiber-optic technology in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). The region accounted for 36% of a global market that had its best year since 2001, the last year of the infamous bubble.
Granted, by the time ECOC rolls around, the EMEA market may have succumbed to global economic slowdown. However, it seems to me that attendees at ECOC should still be buoyed by the market's recent success. This may mean that while executives at component/subsystem houses were downright grumpy at OFC/NFOEC, their ECOC counterparts with a large pull-through from EMEA will be merely rueful. Still, there's a lot of good news to be found in the region for proponents of optical communications.
That includes fiber to the home and fiber to the building or multiple dwelling unit (FTTH/B). Those of you hoping to catch up with EMEA's FTTH/B market at ECOC will no doubt find conflicting opinions about how well the region is doing in this area. That's because it seems that every positive step comes with a caveat.
For example, of the 14 markets where FTTH/B technology enjoys greater than 1% penetration rates, half are in Europe. However, no market enjoys a greater than 7.5% percent penetration rate, and each of these markets is small compared to the U.S. and many countries in Asia. Meanwhile, competitive pressures have led incumbents such as France Telecom to announce FTTH/B roll-outs—yet the planned deployments pale in comparison to those of Verizon and NTT. BT has announced its own FTTH plans. But these look more like AT&T's greenfield-only approach and won't be implemented unless there is "a supportive and enduring regulatory environment."
In short, proponents will no doubt tell attendees that FTTH/B progress is being made, but not fast enough to suit them.
If you're coming to ECOC from the United States, you'll probably decide that a lot of what is going on in EMEA FTTH/B, particularly in Europe, reminds you of home. Most of the early FTTH deployments in Europe have come from utilities, rural carriers, and municipalities. Like a lot of the high-profile municipal deployments in the United States—particularly iProvo and UTOPIA—city-sponsored FTTH/B models tend to favor open access. And while Active Ethernet and EPON support many of these municipal and rural deployments, incumbents have preferred GPON technology.
However, a closer look will reveal some telling differences. In particular, whereas the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared the decks for U.S. incumbents by ruling that they wouldn't have to share FTTH/B infrastructure, sentiment in EMEA, particularly in Europe, appears to be running in the opposite direction. I say "appears" because while we're discussing the European market as if it were a single entity, it of course comprises multiple countries, each of which has its own regulatory authority. France's regulator appears set on equal access for all competitors when it comes to FTTH/B; meanwhile, regulatory authorities in Germany gave their support to Deutsche Telekom when the European Commission pressured the carrier to open its lines to competitors. BT, as its demand for favorable conditions indicates, has now put pressure on the UK's regulators to play along or risk the impression that it will stand in the way of high-speed broadband reaching more of the nation's consumers.
The failure of European Commissioner Viviane Reding to push through her vision of a pan-European regulatory authority similar to the FCC means that, for now anyway, the regulatory climate for FTTH/B in Europe will remain checkered. Alternative plans to reform European Union telecom regulations are expected to be voted on in September. These involve the adoption of the concept of "functional separation," in which services are treated separately from the infrastructure on which they ride—to the point of forcing carriers to set up separate business units for each. The idea, proponents say, is to create a climate where the infrastructure business units don't have an economic incentive to discriminate against their wholesale customers, even if they compete against the business unit's services sibling.
Whether this plan goes through—and how the plan will be implemented in each country—is the biggest question mark that hangs over FTTH/B in EMEA. So, in the end, when you ask a local attendee at ECOC how FTTH/B is going in the region, how they feel about this plan may be the most influential factor coloring their perception.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fiber to the Houseboat

From the LightWave Blog

September 5, 2008
Posted by Meghan Fuller Hanna

Several days ago, I received an email from Draka touting "the world's first fiber to the houseboat." It seems the company has developed a new type of optical connector that allows houseboat owners to physically connect to Amsterdam's CityNet fiber-optic network upon mooring and disconnect whenever a trip is necessary.

Intrigued, I immediately asked for more information. Unfortunately, the lead engineer on the project is currently on vacation, but I've been in email communication with a Draka spokesperson, who provided a few additional details.

As part of the Amsterdam CityNet broadband project, Draka was challenged to develop a connector to meet the unique requirements of FTTH customers living on houseboats. Not an easy task, as the Draka spokesperson noted. These houseboats are mobile; now and then, they go sailing on the Ijsselmeer, and sometimes they must sail to shipyards for maintenance. (For the record, the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) reports that there are some 2,500 houseboats docked in the city of Amsterdam.)

A standard, fixed optical fiber connection for houseboat applications was obviously out of the question. Instead, a fiber-to-the-houseboat application requires an optical connection that is robust enough for the houseboat owners themselves to connect and disconnect. Moreover, standard connectors are sensitive to dirt and dust, so a fiber-to-the-houseboat-optimized optical connector would have to be easy to clean and dry. (Draka tells me the connector it has developed can be dropped into the water.)

Writes the Draka spokesperson, "Trials proved that with minor modifications, a very robust beam connector originally developed for military applications is ideally suited for houseboat applications. It can be cleaned easily and has good transmission characteristics."To underscore the viability of the new connector, Draka released this photo of Oliver Ax, proud owner of the world's first fiber-connected houseboat.
"I now have ultra-fast Internet, TV, and telephone connection through one single cable," reports Ax, who says he has always been interested in technology and is delighted with the new services provided by GNA (Glasvezelnet Amsterdam) and local Internet provider Alice. Fiber-to-the-houseboat. Kinda makes you wonder what's next. Fiber-to-the-RV? What about fiber-to-the-car? Maybe some day, we'll be able to plug into a fiber connection while we're waiting for our electric cars to charge. In the meantime, anyone else have any cool "Fiber to the . . . ." stories?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I found this while doing some research on Dubai. Turning "the" into "every."

FTTH will become FTEH (Fibre to Every Home) by 2010, predicts Aspen Optics

By Michael Schwartz

15 Jul 2008 at 09:33

Dubai: FTTH (Fiber to the Home) will soon become FTEH (Fiber to Every Home), and FTTO (Fiber to the Office) will also become FTEO (Fiber to Every Office) as standard for new construction in many developed countries by 2010. Aspen Optics, which has made this prediction, will be speeding up expansion in international markets to hasten FTEH.

Aspen Optics is a fibre connectivity products provider for global telecom operators and system integrators. There are obvious trends in the market to support the proposition of “Fiber to Every Home” in many countries. In Dubai, a city well up with innovation, nearly all residential and commercial properties under construction now by leading developers are fibre-ready.

The first FTTH network project in the UAE went live in September 2002, serving subscribers within Emaar Properties developments such as Dubai Marina, the Arabian Ranches, and Emirates Lakes. Dubai may probably become the fastest city in the world to implement FTEH for all new property construction. As an example, the Burj Dubai, being the world's tallest tower, is likely to contain the world’s longest fibre cables within the building, providing Fiber to Every Premise (FTEP).

The increasing demand for high-speed broadband in commercial, industrial and medical applications is pushing the use of fibre instead of copper to support mission critical network connection. The phrasing out of analogue TV to be replaced by IPTV and the popularity of HDTV form key factors to make FTEH a necessary reality.

Etisalat, Saudi Telecom Company and Algerie Telecom in the MEA region, along with France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica in Europe, are some of the leading operators heading up the promotion of fibre networks in the residential and enterprise markets. Fibre networking in the telecoms domain has long been supporting the global IDD connection. Fibre cable is now extending from underground and from the oceans to every building and every premise. According to Aspen Optics, broadband connection through fibre is actually faster and more cost-effective than copper cable and any other means of transmission.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FTTH - Fast to the Hospital(?)

Group questions safety of Verizon product
Common Cause says problems found during inspection of FiOS systems require state action

ALBANY -- The watchdog group Common Cause is asking state regulators to reconsider Verizon's cable TV license for New York City after state inspectors found potential safety hazards with its FiOS fiber-optic systems.

The state Public Service Commission approved Verizon's franchise agreement with the city last month, calling it a "sure-fire win for consumers in New York City."

But Common Cause and three other consumer advocacy organizations are challenging the decision and want the PSC to temporarily freeze Verizon's rollout of FiOS TV, a product that competes directly with cable and satellite companies.

Routine inspections found that a "high proportion" of FiOS installations around the state failed to adhere to the National Electrical Code and were not properly grounded, according to the PSC. Verizon has filed a plan with the agency to inspect past installations and make sure new ones are checked by a quality assurance team.

"Verizon should not be permitted to benefit from its creation of a safety hazard," Common Cause said in an Aug. 14 petition filed with the PSC, which oversees utilities, telephone companies and cable TV firms.

Verizon has been rapidly rolling out FiOS across the state, first offering phone and Internet service. The TV service has been deployed more slowly, since negotiating franchise agreements in every municipality as required under state law is expensive and time-consuming.

In the Capital Region, FiOS has been deployed in Bethlehem, Colonie and Guilderland, but TV is not offered yet.

"We believe this petition is without merit," Verizon spokesman John Bonomo said in an e-mail Monday when asked about the Common Cause filing. "And we will not speculate as to what it would mean if it had any merit. This has been filed by a group that has stood in the way of progress, and opposed our entry into the NYC market every step of the way. New Yorkers are enjoying the benefits of TV choice and competition, and a state-of-the-art network."

Bonomo has said previously that Verizon is working with the PSC on the matter and is confident its installation procedures are in compliance. After more than four years of installing the systems, there have been no safety problems, he said.

On Monday, Chris Keeley, associate director for Common Cause New York, said his group believes the PSC should have waited to vote on the New York City cable franchise until there was more discussion about the installation concerns.

"The public didn't have a chance to review it," Keeley said. "We have some serious problems with how the process works. There's a lot of implications here."

Keeley pointed out that one of the five PSC commissioners, Patricia Acampora, voted against granting Verizon the franchise specifically over the FiOS installation issue.

In a written dissent, Acampora said she received Verizon's remediation plan on July 15, the day before the monthly meeting. Such dissents are rare.

"I did not have enough time to properly evaluate it, and I do not believe customers are receiving proper notification," Acampora wrote. "Verizon should remedy this problem before moving
forward. Competition is important to all New Yorkers, but at what price?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Press Release - SENKO

If your company would like to post a press release here and it is interesting and relevant to the field of fiber optics, please feel free to email it to me.

Here is one from SENKO Advanced Components.

Date: August 2008

Product: XP Fit Plus Field Assembly Connector

Just released Senko Advanced Components announces their solution to time consuming field installation with the introduction of the new XP Fit Plus Field Assembly Connector.

The XP Fit Plus is a pre-polished, pre-assembled connector compatible with the standard SC connector that uses index matching gel. Instead of epoxy, an internal mechanical grip, gently but effectively holds the fiber in place and can be installed in under two minutes. Without polishing or adhesives, the XP Fit Plus makes on site installations quick and easy, diminishing the need for epoxy curing and hand polishing at the work site.

The XP Fit Plus comes with an assembly jig and fiber holder for 900µm tight buffered fiber which makes for an accurate alignment and fiber cleave when terminating the connector. Following the guides on the assembling jig and fiber holder, assembly is effortless. Once the fiber is pushed into the connector and a click is heard, the job is complete and the connector is ready for use in CATV, Telecommunication networks, multimedia, and some FTTX applications.
SENKO also sells a complete tool set that includes everything you will need on site to use and install our XP Fit Plus Field Assembly Connector. The tool kit QST-02 includes a cleaver tool, fiber stripper, and cleaning materials. For more information on our products please visit our website at

SENKO Advanced Components develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes over 1000 fiber optic products for the telecom and datacom industries worldwide. An ISO-9001 approved company, SENKO® is able to provide multinational corporations with the technical expertise to liaise with engineers, and the manufacturing flexibility to develop custom products for the ever growing high tech industry. Many of our products were created to resolve a specific design challenge faced by our customers. We offer one of the industry’s largest product portfolios, and our quality is second to none.

For more information on this product, call 1-888-32-SENKO or visit

For more information on this press release, please contact:

Sarah Norton
Marketing Coordinator
SENKO Advanced Components, Inc.
225 Cedar Hill Street
Marlboro, MA 01751
T: +1-858-623-3300
F: +1-858-623-3303

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who Makes What: GPON

A Good list of who makes what GPON equipment. I imagine this is a very valuable list for companies selling to the GPON market, but then again if your sales people are good, they should know this list already. Nevertheless, it is the most viewed story on lightreading.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sign of the Times

You know the economy is bad when people are stealing fiber optic cable...

Thieves Steal Fiber Optic Cable & Create $10,000 In Damages

By KBJR News 1

Superior police officers are investigating a theft at Conner's Point.

Monday morning officers were called there after someone stole 200 feet of fiber optic cable that caused $10,000 in damages and some Century Tel customers to be without phone, internet, and television services for some time.

A Century Tel employee witnessed three people fleeing from the area; two of whom stopped to role a boulder onto the road so they could not be followed.

One suspect is described as a white male in his 40's with short gray hair, wearing a light blue, button-up shirt and blue jeans.

The other two were described as a male in his mid 20's with wavy blonde hair, wearing a white t-shirt and jeans and a woman with brown hair.

They fled in an older white or cream colored ford F-150 pickup truck with a brown trim stripe on the bottom.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Superior Police Department.

Fiber Optics for Wireless

Interesting article on my new favorite topic - Fiber under the sea.

Can Undersea Optic Cables Presage a Boom?
Communications links among countries are like transportation routes in the past, opening up new territories to trade and an economic upsurge
by Om Malik

One thing I've learned about the optical network business, having followed it for more than a decade, is that the boom and bust cycles of the business often mask patterns that have long-term implications. The overbuilding of U.S. networks in the 1990s foretold a bust in the telecom industry. The buying up of bankrupt carriers' assets indicated the rise of new players, including Google, which has built a fearsome infrastructure. These days, all the excitement in the optical business is around new undersea cables being laid (or planned), bridging previously unconnected parts of the world. These cables are, in fact, the early warning signs of a coming economic boom.
Let me explain. In the 1990s, we saw a grotesque number of cables laid under the Atlantic and Pacific, connecting the U.S. with Japan, parts of Asia Pacific, and Europe. Those three regions went through an unprecedented boom, much of it inspired by technological changes that brought millions of people to the Internet. The boom, also inspired by deregulation of the telecom infrastructures in those countries, led to further spending on such communications as wireless phone calls and the high-speed Web. Unfortunately, the demand (captured quite well by bandwidth provider Global Crossing (in the early days) led to overbuilding, oversupply—and eventually a bust.
A similar scenario is now playing out in the Trans-Pacific Region, where cables are being built rapidly, and the bandwidth capacity on existing cables is being doubled. Many more cables under construction will connect with India and China, both of which are going through their own economic booms. According to the World Bank, China is the world's second-largest economy, and India claims the fourth spot. These countries have become economic hubs—not only buying but also selling to the outside world. And a key ingredient of trade is the ability to communicate, which in turn requires the large amount of capacity that can come only with undersea fiber cables.
Connecting Up Africa
The latest such effort is Seacom, a $650 million, 15,000km cable connecting East Africa with Asia and Europe. It is expected to be completed next June and provide 1.28 terabits per second of network capacity. This is just tip of the iceberg. According to TeleGeography, a research firm that tracks the global broadband business, 12 cables either in planning stages or under construction will connect Africa to the rest of the planet. Those connections will have a theoretical capacity of more than 13 terabits per second, and construction is estimated to cost more than $3 billion.
Why so much connectivity? After all, PC penetration is abysmally low in Africa. The answer is cell phones. At the beginning of 2008, the continent had a quarter of a billion mobile subscribers, according to the International Telecommunications Union, and Portio Research expects the number to increase to 378 million by 2011. Local companies are furiously building out networks, and by all indications, overall market penetration is going to increase from the 28% mark reported at the start of this year. Cell phones require networks to transfer calls between countries, so there is a need for networks to circle the continent—or at least countries where demand is greatest, such as Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
In the recent past, India went through a similar cycle, in which a spurt in mobile sales acted as a catalyst for the overall economy. Phone calls provide the vital connections for trade to flourish in areas hitherto unconnected. Something similar is happening in Africa, where mobile banking has emerged as a facilitator of cross-border trade.
You can see a similar scenario set to play out in other parts of the world. About five cables on the drawing board or under construction will connect Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and some of the smaller countries in Asia. All these countries are going through an economic upsurge and are becoming part of the global economic system.
This leads me to my conclusion: Building new cables is the equivalent to adding new roads, new shipping lanes, or flights. The undersea fibers of today are what sea trading routes were in the past—an indicator of future economic activity and a subsequent boom.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


After visiting the Tyco plant in Portsmouth, NH earlier this year. I now find this stuff fascinating. What an amazing use of fiber and the facility is absolutely humongous. What a large scale operation.

He's Baack!

Sorry it has been a crazy several months, but I am back and ready to blog you with the latest and greatest fiber optic related news. Starting tomorrow I will be reconvening with the business of bringing you the latest in fiber optic news and will be branching out from FTTH and GPON to military and other interesting (I almost typed 'exciting') uses of fiber technology.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Goodbye SENKO

Well, it was a good run, but I left SENKO Advanced Components on Jan 31, 2008. Goodbye and good luck.