Australia’s nbn launches fiber network sensing trial with FiberSense

Oct. 24, 2022
The network operator is exploring the use of the sensing technology to monitor and prevent accidental damage to its fiber network.

FiberSense, a supplier of technology that enables fiber networks to be used for a variety of sensing applications, says it is in the midst of a trial of its technology with Australian national broadband infrastructure provider nbn. The network operator is exploring the use of the sensing technology to monitor and prevent accidental damage to its fiber network.
The three-month trial combines work at a nbn’s test facility as well as field work with a fiber cable in Melbourne and is scheduled to run into next month. nbn is pairing the FiberSense DigitalAsset fiber sensing service, which detects certain vibrational frequencies on fiber, with artificial intelligence designed to determine whether the events causing those vibrations are likely to cause accidental damage.
“We are excited to understand how advanced optical monitoring and diagnostic technologies like those offered by FiberSense can provide additional levels of insight into the types of field activities that might be detected and how the response process could work when these activities get dangerously close to nbn network assets. It could mean fewer unplanned outages due to accidental damage and help ensure we are keeping homes, communities and businesses connected,” commented Ray Owen, nbn CTO. “We are excited to partner with an Australian innovator like FiberSense to help us understand these new monitoring technologies and possible applications for the nbn.”
The FiberSense DigitalAsset service is designed to provide detection, discrimination, and mitigation features for fiber infrastructure. It can detect physical activity in the vicinity of optical cables carrying fibers connected to the system and thus operate as an early warning/detection agent to identify and minimize potential fiber cable strikes before they happen, says FiberSense. It also can be used for real-time condition monitoring to enhance maintenance activities as well as be integrated with “dial before you dig” services to deter damage around fiber cables. FiberSense reports growing deployments in Asia Pacific, including recently announced new services in New Zealand and across a number of Pacific submarine cables (see "Getting a sense of fiber sensing").
“The demonstration will apply our patented software-based sensing portfolio to provide early warning and incident detection notifications that might impact critical infrastructure like the nbn from third-party deliberate or accidental damage,” said Dr. Mark Englund, founder and CEO of FiberSense. Our DigitalAsset sensing service helps mitigate the impact of these all-too-common events – especially cable cuts.”
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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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