FTTP technology breakthroughs detailed at Austin conference

Global telecom service providers gathered in Austin, TX, to learn about the latest advances in fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technologies at a conference sponsored by 3M and Hitachi Telecom.

The FTTP Summit Conference featured updates on the progress of fiber deployments around the globe as well as demonstrations of technical advances that promise to alter the economics of end-to-end fiber networks, according to conference organizers. These developments are spurring the pace of deployments globally by reducing their cost through advanced transmission techniques, simplified installation practices and cost-effective components.

3M and Hitachi demonstrated a working end-to-end FTTP Gigabit PON (passive optical network) solution to validate the advantages of FM video transmission over conventional AM transmission, and the applicability and robustness of mechanical fiber-optic splicing despite extreme temperatures. FM transmission networks accommodate flat cleave mechanical splices and PC connectors to achieve optimum performance while yielding significant cost savings over traditional fusion fiber splicing.

In Japan, with 8.8 million fiber drops completed and 200,000 new drops added every month, FTTP programs are among the world's leading deployments. Hiromichi Shinohara, NTT VP and executive director of the company’s Information Sharing Laboratory Group, detailed the technologies, topologies and installation practices enabling this rapid deployment at the conference.

Joe Savage, president of the US FTTH Council, described the accelerating pace of fiber deployment in the United States. Fewer than 200,000 homes were passed by fiber just three years ago, compared to a total of nearly 8 million in March of this year, according to Savage. The number of homes connected has also spiked sharply, with 1.34 million FTTH homes connected in March. The subscriber growth rate, at 99 percent, makes the United States one of the fastest-growing FTTH markets.