SCTE addresses optical standards

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has added a fifth Fiber-Optic Interface Working Group (IPS-WG5) to its Interface Practices and In-Home Cabling Subcommittee (IPS). That came about from a directive to the IPS chairperson by the Engineering Committee "to address fiber-optic issues of interest to the cable television industry." The IPS is one of the standards subcommittees within the SCTE under its umbrella Engineering Committee. All five working groups of the IPS participate at each of the subcommittee's quarterly meetings.

To develop a base set of standards quickly, a strategy of modifying standards and test procedures developed in other bodies has been adopted when broadband applications require it. That's in addition to setting applicable standards and test procedures where they are not being set by anyone else. Modifications for the broadband market are guided by IPS members and are made to help ensure a fit to broadband terminology, practices, and environmental conditions. Participation in the new IPS-WG5 is growing, and new participants are most welcome.

At its December meeting in Anaheim, CA, IPS-WG5 had three specifications on its agenda: SP900, a standard for fiber-optic outside plant communications cable as a set of modifications to ANSI/ICEA S-87-640-1999; SP901, a standard for optical-fiber drop cable as a set of modifications to ANSI/ICEA S-XXX-717-2002; and SP902, spectral grids for WDM applications: coarse WDM (CWDM) wavelength grid and DWDM frequency grid (out for review comments), that combines and modifies parts of ITU-T Recommendations G.671, G.694.1, and G.694.2.

Broadband applications are often based in the outside plant, and therefore must accommodate environmental challenges that will no doubt drive modifications and new standards. In particular, when the CWDM grid is used in an application, environmental issues may play a role when defining parameter values. ..

Bernard R. Eichenbaum is a systems engineer who represents OFS's Optical Fiber Division in standards work. He can be reached at tel: 732-748-6831, fax: 732-748-6838, and

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