would you like to design your fiber-to-the home (FTTH) network with dark fiber
and still save money? Our calculations show that you could still save 50
percent on your cable costs over conventional FTTH solutions by using Distributed
Tap solutions. When building rural networks, this practice is significant
where millions of dollars are spent on fiber cable alone. It can also provide
benefits in urban areas.
has deployed its Distributed Tap solution for more than 10 years, passing tens
of thousands of plant miles and more than 300,000 homes in rural and suburban
areas. Because the Tap solution needs only one fiber to pass 32 homes, in
contrast to 32 fibers for centralized split, this architecture provides a
scalable, low-cost-per-subscriber solution for service providers and
substantial savings on the amount of fiber consumed to connect homes has made
some of the rural deployments possible. Areas as low as six homes per mile can
be built using this solution, where conventional centralized and distributed
split FTTH architectures consume too much fiber for the projects to be
CLICK TO TWEET: Lower costs in rural deployment? Yes please! We "tap" into the possibilities.
most responsible design companies and service providers will want to ensure
there is dark fiber for future expansion, the tap solution doesn’t prevent that
aspect of planning; however, it can make it more affordable. Take a centralized
split service area of 96 homes: in the distribution plant, there will be 96
fibers to connect the homes and another 24 dark fibers for future use. With the
tap design, it would retain the 24 dark fibers for future use and require only three
fibers more to connect the 96 homes. Rounding to a full 12-fiber buffer tube
makes the cable a 36-count. So, the question is, why you would potentially
invest in a 120-count cable when you could buy a 36-count and save well over 50
percent on cable costs to achieve the same objectives?
must be asking yourself how anyone from a fiber company would ever advocate
selling less fiber. Many rural areas
around the country now have the benefit of an economical FTTH solution
providing much needed services. These rural markets haven’t all been built with
the Distributed Tap solution, as conventional wisdom has also been a bit conservative;
however, as the more rural areas demand connectivity, the Tap solution may be
all that they can afford.
about suburban areas? Over the years, customers have built to densities as high
as 120 homes per mile with Taps. Now, the Tap solution is available in five
different closures, including hardened connectivity for both drops and
distribution cables. These improvements also benefit speed to deployment and
reduced labor skill requirements. There will always be savings because of fiber
count reductions by using the Tap, and there are often cable footage savings.
Several designs I personally sampled show 30 to 40 percent more cable footage
for centralized designs because of cable tapering and branching-back with
smaller cables. Taps have also been shown to be used effectively for more urban
areas in largely rural service areas, and in mixes with distributed splitters
won’t be the last you hear from CommScope on this topic. In the meantime, how
could you benefit with lower costs in your rural deployments?