Draka launches hybrid Cat6 and Cat7 cables

MAY 26, 2009 -- The new designs combine copper and optical fiber in a single cable to enable low-cost conversion to full fiber-optic FTTH connectivity when required.

MAY 26, 2009 -- Draka Communications (search Lightwave for Draka), a global supplier to the optical fiber industry, has launched a Cat6 cable, which, in addition to a copper core, contains four optical fibers that are integrated into the outer diameter (diagram) of the cable. A new Cat7 hybrid cable is also available from Draka.

Originally designed for the growing Scandinavian FTTH market, the new cable core consists of a U/UTP Cat6 design with an additional slot. Within the fifth slot resides a 1.8-mm -thick fiber-optic cable with four BendBright-XS fibers. When upgrading to FTTH connectivity, a ripcord allows the fiber component to be easily detached from the copper data cable for mounting into a patch panel or a termination box. Optionally, the cable is also available with respective connectors or termination boxes already assembled.

Many telecom companies are investing in new FTTH networks, which will eventually lead to a growing need for fiber-optic cables within buildings. Scandinavia has passed a regulation stipulating that within new buildings, or for renovated residential buildings, a fiber-optic termination is obligatory.

In order to meet the demand for reduced bending radii in the closer confines of buildings, only singlemode Draka fibers complying with ITU-T standard G.657.B are applied. The company says the bend-insensitivity of BendBright-XS fibers is 100x higher than that of standard singlemode fibers. They are fully backward compatible with existing fibers complying with ITU-T G.652.D as currently used in many FTTH installations.

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