Telcordia proposes new issues for fiber and cable requirements

by Osman Gebizlioglu

The current worldwide interest in broadband communications over fiber to customer premises has spurred significant growth in demand for optical fiber and cables. Suppliers have responded with fibers that are more bend tolerant and/or capable of handling higher-power transmission, and cables designed to address specific deployment environments such as drop cables, dry-block cables, and cables for higher installation productivity and robust performance. With continuing worldwide development of new fibers and cables, the writing of new issues of GR-20, “Generic Requirements for Optical Fiber and Optical Fiber Cable,” and GR-409, “Generic Requirements for Premises Fiber Optic Cable,” has begun. These are expected to be widely used to provide worldwide generic requirements for bringing optical fiber and cable products to global markets in the most cost-effective way.

GR-20, Issue 2, was published in July 1998. Since then, major developments have taken place in both fiber and cable technologies as well as market conditions for optical fiber and cable deployments, and these developments have necessitated an update of the current issue. Updates include characterization of the strip force for optical fiber; introduction of new fiber and cable types; application of the cable bending test, ribbon separation test, and test for ribbon retraction in ribbon cable products; and microcable installation, performance, and reliability.

GR-409, Issue 1, was published in June 1994. Major developments being addressed in the update of this document include new fiber types such as laser-optimized 50-μm and 62-μm 1-Gbit Ethernet (GbE) fiber products, 50-μm 10GbE fiber, bend-insensitive fiber, and new cable designs.

In accordance with the US Telecommunications Act of 1996, Telcordia issued an Invitation for Funding and Participation to the telecommunications industry in 2006 for each GR. Technical Forums were formed with industry-funding participants earlier this year, which have been followed by monthly conference calls to fully develop each draft document. Reissues of both GRs are expected in early 2008.

Osman Gebizlioglu is director, optical analysis services, in the Network & Product Integrity Organization at Telcordia Technologies. He is interested in fiber reliability, generic product requirements, and product qualification programs. He chairs TIA FO-4.3.3 Reliability Standards Working Group and can be reached at

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