2015 / Did You Know....

Metro traffic surpassed long-haul traffic in 2015? / December 2015

By 2019, it will account for 66 percent of total global IP traffic and will have grown nearly twice as fast as long-haul traffic. The higher growth in metro networks is due in part to the increasingly significant role of content delivery networks, which bypass long-haul links to deliver traffic directly to metro and regional backbones.

Better broadband boosts home values by 3.1 percent? / November 2015

The FTTH Council recently released a study that demonstrated a positive correlation between home prices and fiber-delivered Internet. The study concluded that homes in neighborhoods with access to fiber had their value raised by as much as 1.3%. Gigabit speeds boosted the value another 1.8%. Put another way, that’s a $5,437 increase for the sample median home price, adding increased property value to the already long list of fiber benefits.

The three keys for lowering employee turnover and boosting satisfaction? / September 2015

From constantly changing technology to the pressure of meeting daily productivity metrics, frontline employees face constant challenges that impact their proficiency and productivity on the job. When they lack confidence on the job, they may consider leaving. The cost of replacing an employee is substantial – ranging from one and a half to two times that staffer’s salary to recruit, hire and train a replacement. Research conducted by Jones/NCTI provides insight gained directly from technicians via an online survey and interviews with training leaders. This research indicated three keys for broadband companies to lower turnover and boost employee satisfaction.

  • Eight out of ten frontline employees say a clearly defined career path supports their desire to stay with their current company.
  • Almost 90% of technicians say feeling proficient and productive on the job builds loyalty to their company, yet almost half say they are not getting enough training. 
  • Seven out of ten technicians report that bonuses and pay increases tied to achievement of professional certifications is an important consideration to stay with their current employer; however, fewer than half receive increases tied to certifications.

That sensing uses fiber optic technology? / August 2015

When someone lists applications for fiber optics, voice, video, and data are first to come to mind. However, employing fiber in sensing applications is becoming increasingly common. Fiber Bragg Grating sensors monitor structural integrity in pipelines, buildings, bridges, and even aircraft. Distributed sensing can test for an array of environmental indicators: temperature, pressure, strain, acoustical, and more. In distributed sensing, the fiber itself is the sensor! Optical fiber’s key advantage is that it delivers discrete measurements without the risk of being affected by electromagnetic or radio interference. Optical sensing is expanding into amazing new areas from automobile safety to space exploration.

Light Brigade offers 13 types of independent certifications and continuing education units? / July 2015

  1. BICSI Continuing Education Credits
  2. ETA Fiber Optic Installer
  3. ETA Fiber Optic Technician: Outside Plant
  4. FTTH Council Certified Fiber to the Home Professional
  5. IMSA Fiber Optics for ITS, Traffic, Fire Alarm, and Communication Systems Technician Level I
  6. IMSA Fiber Optics for ITS, Traffic, Fire Alarm, and Communication Systems Field Technician Level II
  7. IMSA Fiber Optics for ITS, Traffic, Fire Alarm, and Communication Systems Design Technician Level II
  8. InfoComm Recertification Units
  9. Jones/NCTI Master Technician HFC Networks
  10. SCTE Recertification Units
  11. UTC Fiber Optic Professional Level 1 Technician
  12. UTC Fiber Optic Professional Level 2 Designer
  13. UTC Fiber Optic Professional Level 3 Advanced Designer

The origin of the fiber optic color code / June 2015

The fiber optic color code originated from the four conductor cable colors developed for Bell System’s Plain Old Telephone Service in the 1940s, which were Red, Yellow, Black, and Green (later White). AT&T added six more colors — Violet, Blue, Orange, Green, Brown, and Slate.  The first color code standard for Fiber Optics, EIA/TIA-598, was released in 1992 and added Rose and Aqua for fibers 11 and 12.  The IEC 60304 international standard uses these same colors.

The first single-mode communication systems were installed in 1983 / May 2015

This means that from 1975 until 1983, all fiber optic systems operated over multimode fiber.  Today, the impact of the multimode years is still felt.  Telephone companies found two fibers that were optimized for use with LED light sources emitting at 850 nanometers.  These 50/125 micron and 62.5/125 micron fibers had an attenuation level of 4 dB/km in this wavelength range.  This meant that signal regeneration only occurred approximately every 6 kilometers for high-speed 45 Mb/s and 90 Mb/s systems. These two basic types of multimode fibers are still used in enterprise networks and have been enhanced for operation for Gigabit transmission rates over shorter distances.

Fiber can handle the bandwidth of next generation systems / April 2015

In 2014, a new speed record of 73.7 Terabits of data per second was transmitted over single-mode fiber. At that speed, it would take only five seconds to send the entire iTunes catalog from Florida to London! On top of this, new “multicore” single-mode fiber obtained a data rate of 255 Terabits of data per second.  This new fiber has seven cores arranged in a hexagon within a single 125-micron fiber, and is considered one of the leading technologies to provide next generation solutions beyond 1 Terabit transmission.

Fiber optics have come a long way! / March 2015

The world’s first commercial installation of optical fiber took place in September 1975 for the Dorsett Police Department in Bournemouth, England, to replace a copper system that was struck by lightning. In April 1977, the first North American optical telephone communication system — installed and operated by GTE between Long Beach, California, to Artesia, California — began to carry traffic. In 2014, the world total for optical cable installations was 295 million fiber-km, up 12% from 262 million fiber-km in 2013.