Pirelli's Sirocco Blown Fiber System available in North America

March 24, 2004 Lexington, SC -- Pirelli's Sirocco Blown Fiber System--which uses technology licensed from British Telecommunications plc (BT), the originators of blown-fiber technology--is now available in North America to offer network owners and operators a cost-effective, flexible and easily expanded solution for fiber-optic networks, say Pirelli representatives.

March 24, 2004 Lexington, SC -- Pirelli's Sirocco Blown Fiber System--which uses technology licensed from British Telecommunications plc (BT), the originators of blown-fiber technology--is now available in North America to offer network owners and operators a cost-effective, flexible and easily expanded solution for fiber-optic networks, say Pirelli representatives.

The Sirocco system is ideally suited to enterprise networks, local access, and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) applications, where reduced initial expenditure, rapid return on investment, and the ability to deploy capacity on demand are essential. The Sirocco Blown Fiber System enables optical fibers to be deployed on demand from one point of a network to another (internal or external), using compressed air to blow fiber units into pre-installed tubes.

"Pirelli's Sirocco system has been proven around the world in a range of environmental conditions, in an assortment of applications, and for a wide variety of customers," reports Kevin E. Riddett, president and chief executive officer of Pirelli North America Inc. "As technology budgets have tightened, return on investment and total lifecycle costs of a network have become primary concerns."

"The Sirocco system improves a customer's flexibility to defer investment in a fiber-optic network until the capacity is needed, and the cost of adding to, changing, or expanding a network is significantly reduced compared with traditional fiber installations," he adds. "As new fiber types emerge, customers can quickly and easily upgrade their fiber infrastructure, which means they won't be stranded with obsolete technology."

The Sirocco system consists of Enhanced Performance Fiber Units (EPFU) in a range of fiber counts; tube cables of varying number and size for both outdoor and indoor use; installation equipment such as compressors and regulators; and accessories such as tube connectors, tube distribution units, and splicing joints.

Customers install a tube cable and make connections of individual tubes to create pathways. Fiber units, available in singlemode and multimode and in various fiber counts, are then blown in as needed. If the type of fiber or the quantity of fiber needed at a particular location subsequently changes, the fiber unit can be removed and a new unit blown in. The removed fiber unit can be reused elsewhere. New pathways can be added to extend the network using simple push fit connectors, reducing the cost of network expansion, say company representatives. If additional capacity is needed later, fiber units can be blown in when and where needed at a much lower cost than installing a new fiber cable.

Pirelli holds a worldwide patent license from BT Exact, the research, technology and IT operations business of BT, which enables it to manufacture and sell the Sirocco system using BT's patented blown fiber products, processes, and technology. The BT license extends to Pirelli's customers, which means they too can purchase and install the Sirocco system without the need to obtain a separate license or pay separate royalties to BT for their use of Sirocco products and systems.

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