FEBRUARY 21, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- Envisioning a time when carriers will want to upgrade from PON to home-run architectures, APA Cables & Networks (APACN; search for APA Cables & Networks), a wholly owned subsidiary of APA Enterprises, has introduced the Cross-Connect Upgrade Kit for its Fiber Scalability Center (FSC). The FSC is an outside plant cabinet for FTTP architectures.
According to APACN President Cheri Podzimek and Vice President of Product Management and Development Johnny Hill, increasing the bandwidth to individual homes on an existing PON usually means reducing the split count. The logical end point of this strategy is to evolve to a home-run architecture, where individual fibers connect from the carrier's central office to the customer.
The Cross-Connect Upgrade Kit is designed to facilitate this evolution without stranding existing PON cabinets in the field. The kit offers a cross-connect contained in either single-drawer or two-drawer configurations (depending upon port count) that are designed to be installed quickly and easily into fielded FSCs. Carriers who want to evolve their networks by moving splitters from outdoor cabinets to the CO can use this technology for both splitter and cabinet reuse. The cross connect is passive, so the cabinet would not have to be powered to take advantage of the upgrade. The kit also allows the FSC to accommodate home-run and PON links simultaneously.
The cross connects are available in 48-port pre-terminated modules that include pre-terminated subassemblies, splice trays, and associated hardware. The kit comes in patch-and-splice and patch-only configurations. The former lists at $1,265 and the latter at $1,465 to cover the cost of the 50-ft fiber tail.
Multiple modules can be used in a single FSC, depending upon customer requirements. The cross connects enable any cabinet in APACN's FSC product line to accommodate significantly more connections than it can in a PON. The comparative maximum configurations (using patch-only modules) are shown in the table below:
|Maximum PON||Maximum Cross-Connect|
Podzimek and Hill say that the Cross-Connect Upgrade Kit is not only available, but already fielded by Ben Lomand Telephone Co-Op. They add that APACN is also working on a cross-connect-only version of the FSC that would offer even better densities that they expect to unveil late this summer.
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