3M fiber pathway targeted at FTTP network installation for MDUs

SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 -- The One Pass Fiber Pathway can be installed in one pass around a hallway perimeter, says the company.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 -- To enable fast installation of FTTP networks for multidwelling units (MDUs), 3M Communication Markets Division developed and recently introduced the One Pass Fiber Pathway. This horizontal cable pathway and drop cable solution can be installed in one pass around a hallway perimeter, says the company.

According to the 2008 "Fiberizing the MDU" report by Sean Buckley, there are approximately 700 million MDUs worldwide, occupied by one-third of the global population. By the year 2012, the number of MDUs passed with fiber could exceed 10 million per year. Economies of scale make FTTP deployments to MDUs more cost effective than deployments to single-family homes.

Using 3M adhesive technology to adhere the One Pass Duct to the wall, the One Pass Fiber Pathway is compatible with a variety of hallway wall surfaces. The company says its low-profile design is less obtrusive than existing horizontal cable pathway solutions and because it's flexible the pathway conforms well to curved walls often found in older MDUs. Fewer parts and a continuous, seamless application process speed up installation, reducing time and labor costs compared to traditional cable pathway and drop cables. The pathway is also suitable for use in hotels, hospitals, schools, and small businesses.

Verizon has approved and will be using the 3M One Pass Fiber Pathway to install its FTTP networks in its MDU endeavor. At the 2009 FTTH Conference and Expo in Houston, TX, Kevin Smith, manager of engineering process assurance at Verizon, was part of the "MDU Considerations" panel, which discussed and provided best practices and methods for successful fiber-optic deployment in MDUs.

Suitable for indoor use only, 3M's pathway is available in various lengths and preloaded with 6 or 12 singlemode, bend-insensitive fibers; it can be factory terminated at one end with SC connectors. The design enables plug-and-play connections to vertical distribution cables in a fiber distribution terminal (FDT).

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