Having fiber optic cabling piped directly to an apartment might seem like an innovation that’s years ahead, but it’s already happening. Some companies undertaking new-builds are aware that rental and re-sale value are greatly affected by excellent connectivity. What this means is a huge jump in bandwidth: data, voice, and video can all be delivered at better speeds, for simultaneous loads and at a lower cost.
However, it is also up to the cabling industry to get the news out there. Contractors won’t necessarily understand or be aware of the advances. In one recent new build, electricians were reluctant to go ahead with direct fiber to the apartment connectivity. But, having done it once (using push cabling), said they would always prefer to take that road in the future. This is why bespoke cable contractors, such as CTS Cabling, are filling a gap in the market.
Previously fiber optic feeder cables would go to local convergence points, then along fiber optic distribution cables to network access points. The ‘drop cables’ coming from these points then shifted to copper, and would serve homes and apartment blocks. However, various technological advances have made direct fiber to apartment connections possible. This is the chicken and egg in a virtuous circle, but amazing innovation in the cabling industry and a huge expansion in the domestic cabling market injected masses of cash and allowed further innovation. Bend-resistant fiber optic push cables are the least of them, but when it comes to the practicalities of direct connection – they are one of the crucial advances.
Here’s how that chain of connectivity looks now:
Optical line terminal supplies a fiber-to-the-multi-dwelling-unit, or FTTP network. Feeder cables connect to distribution hub cabinets – still fiber optic, where splitting occurs. From that point on it is a passive network, or PON, connecting optic distribution cables, optical service terminals and drop cables, directly to an optical network terminal (ONT) in the individual apartment. The ONT converts the optical signal back into an electrical one, ready to serve phones, televisions, PCs and other devices.
Cable contractors like CTS Cabling have the project management and cabling expertise to look at the plans with an architect and make sure that these advances literally go in on the ground floor. Too often cabling is addressed as part of the ‘finishing touches’ for a project, which is a shame, because that’s not how modern electrical supply is managed and it won’t be long before optic cabling is as basic as the water main. Simply put: end users are thirsty for bandwidth.