EXFO introduces FiberFinder for identifying live and dark fibers

SEPTEMBER 19, 2006 -- The patented FiberFinder technology, including both the LFD-300 Live Fiber Detector and the TG-300 Tone Generator, represents what the company claims is an industry first by taking out the guesswork in fiber identification.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2006 -- EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (search EXFO) has announced the launch of the LFD-300/TG-300 FiberFinder for the efficient and safe management of live and dark optical fibers.

When carrying out a network upgrade or characterizing an optical network, field technicians must first isolate the specific live fiber segment in patch panels or central offices that often contain high fiber counts. Pinpointing the right end-to-end connection can be a tricky proposition due to faulty labeling, poor record keeping, or large numbers of fibers and connectors. Disconnecting the wrong fiber, for example, can cause significant network downtime amounting to $160,000 per hour for a 16-channel WDM system, while impacting thousands of customers.

The patented FiberFinder technology, including both the LFD-300 Live Fiber Detector and the TG-300 Tone Generator, represents what the company claims is an industry first by taking out the guesswork in fiber identification. Installed at the transmitter site, the TG-300, a non-intrusive clip-on device, adds a 0.1-dB signature to the live signal by applying a soft low-frequency modulation pressure to the fiber. If it's a live fiber, the signature will be detected by the LFD-300 at the other end in a matter of seconds, thus taking away the risk of disconnecting the wrong fiber.

"The introduction of our FiberFinder technology eliminates guesswork for field technicians who are often under time constraints to disconnect a particular fiber," explains Etienne Gagnon, EXFO's vice president of optical and protocol product management. "Not only does this remove any possibility of costly network downtime, but it has little or no effect on a link's loss budget. This advantage is particularly important for large central offices and FTTx applications where the number of fibers at any given point is high and rapidly increasing," he adds. "Disconnecting the wrong fiber is one of the most common causes of system outages but, once again, EXFO has come up with a highly innovative solution to help customers deliver the most advanced and trouble-free network services."

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