North American deployments of FTTP architectures have been rapidly increasing. While the FTTP market is being driven by major telecommunications service providers, equipment suppliers have been scrambling to bring products to market that will ensure them a piece of this high-stakes market.
In this invited presentation/paper, we propose to examine the technical requirements that are needed to support the new FTTP network with a host of new products that have been in development. To enable service providers select the best new products for FTTP deployment, product selection needs to be based on the analysis and testing of new products for performance and reliability, Telcordia, in its traditional role of telecommunications standards development, has been publishing generic requirements (GR) documents that have been used by suppliers, service providers and the industry at large. Product qualification programs based on the established performance and reliability requirements/standards have been designed to evaluate products to determine if they can 1) withstand the rigors of the outside plant deployment environment and perform for extended periods of time, 2) be upgradeable, and 3) craft friendly. The outside plant is a tough environment to live in. A product must perform under the extreme conditions of cold down -40°C (-40°F) and hot up to 46°C (115°F) with high humidity of 95%, rain, snow, sleet, vibration due to traffic, lightning, heating due to solar loads, high winds, ice, sand storms, and products are even tested to demonstrate if they can continue to operate in an earthquake, a wild fire and a shotgun blast. All FTTP products are not only expected to perform, but they must meet stringent optical performance criteria of low insertion loss and reflectance / return loss at a broad range of wavelengths from 1310, 1490, 1550 and 1625 nm. While the upstream (from the customer to the CO) voice and data transmission is currently planned over 1310-nm wavelength, the downstream (from the CO to the customer) voice and data transmission is offered over 1490 nm, the video (analog, digital and HDTV) transmission will be offered over 1550-nm wavelength, and the 1625-nm will be reserved for overhead, surveillance, and management functions.
This paper will cover some of the new products that will be needed and the requirements that would apply. The FTTP deployments require the placement of a number of new products in the FTTP network from the CO to the customer premises. These new products are designed to be installed in an efficient manner with acceptable cost to the service provider in the outside plant and to perform the required functions. One such new product is an HFOC (Hardened Fiber Optic Connector). The HFOC products provide drop connections to customers from fiber distribution networks. They may be placed in pedestal closures, aerial and buried closures, or equipment located at a Fiber Distribution Hub (FDH) enclosure or optical network termination (ONT) unit near customer premises.
Current versions of this HFOC product have been based on a well-known and widely used SC fiber optic connector. Simply described, it consists of an SC connector in a protective shell made of a polymeric (plastic) material, and it allows highly efficient connections between the distribution cables from the FDH (Fiber Distribution Hub) where optical signal on a feeder cable from the CO is split for transmission over distribution cables and drop cables in locations near customer premises. In addition to the description of new products, the paper will review the environmental, mechanical and optical test criteria. Attendees would benefit from the knowledge of products and requirements needed to support FTTP deployment.