Tips & Articles

How a passive optical LAN improves network performance, flexibility

By Ed Sullivan— Enterprise networks around the world are becoming progressively choked by the integration of bandwidth-hungry Internet-based applications. The growing usage of streaming video content, integration of digital voice services into the LAN, video conferencing and other online activities not only contribute to the enterprise bandwidth dilemma, but also can pose significant security issues to conventional copper based networks. With dramatically increasing demand for bandwidth among user populations, many enterprises are finding the right data communications solution is the passive optical LAN (POL). Essentially composed of point-to-multipoint fiber conducted through unpowered splitters, POLs are telecommunications networks that enable enterprises to simultaneously converge multiple services such as data, VoIP, video, building security and management services and wireless devices. Also, compared to conventional copper-structured cabling, POLs offer significant “green” incentives, a much smaller cabling footprint, and a futureproof architecture that can grow with bandwidth demand. “Many users of fiber-optic cable services such as Verizon’s FiOS in their homes or businesses are, perhaps unknowingly, quite familiar with the basic benefits of the POL,” explains A.G. Melson at Optical Cable Corporation (OCC). “Because these cable TV providers have fiber-optic backbones that can travel great distances without a degradation of signal [which occurs with copper-based cable], they can deliver higher-bandwidth services such as high-definition TV, high-speed Internet, and digital telephone—individually or bundled,” Melson explains. OCC is a manufacturer of a broad line of data-communication cabling and connectivity solutions. In the POL arena, the company offers specifically designed products to cover the entire network “signal path” from the OLT (optical line terminal) all the way to the ONT (optical network terminal) next to individual...

Structured Wiring for Residential Properties

The list of amenities offered to lure potential home buyers continues to become more elaborate. Developers and builders traditionally rely on creative tactics to differentiate their communities and homes to attract potential buyers. Today more and more developers are introducing broadband to their communities, with many requiring their residents be connected to the internet and/or a branded community intranet. This initiative occurs most often in master-planned communities where the developer maintains a central role in planning everything from roads to broadband. In many Greenfield developments, broadband connectivity is a community cornerstone. Developers are partnering with builders to ensure that the concept of advanced connectivity extends throughout the home, whether through structured wiring, wireless or internet appliances. Today’s modern homes require structured wiring for multiple computers, security systems, whole-house audio/video systems, and telephone systems. The need for structured wiring has been stimulated largely by the growing presence of the internet, the expansion of personal computers and smart devices in the home and the growing sophistication of entertainment. The copper wiring installed for POTS (plain old telephone system) service in the 1950s is no longer sufficient to meet the high bandwidth requirements of these modern applications. The concept is to provide a single-point connection for all video, satellite TV, cable TV (CATV), computers, telephone lines, security, cameras, and sound systems and is sometimes referred as a “connected home”. A properly installed wiring system can support home theater with surround sound, whole-house audio, lighting automation, security requirements, appliance control, telephone, fax and other home office requirements and remote-access zoned environmental controls. Additional lifestyle options include driveway sensors, motion detection flood lights, automated...