Providing each workspace with optical fiber cabling is the dream of every high-speed enthusiast. Having in principle unlimited bandwidth capacity, an end to end fiber optic channel has the potential to cover all requirements of current and future desktop applications. In addition, FO cabling compared to twisted pair cabling allows for longer cable runs and significantly reduced cabling weight, volume, and fire load.
Currently, available desktop applications are rarely equipped with FO interfaces (NICs). For this reason, classical fiber to the desk implementations is used only occasionally. Alternatively, application specific solutions are offered on the market to overcome the problem of lacking desktop applications by converting the optical signals in electrical ones in or nearby the terminal outlet. These solutions are recognized under the terms “Fiber To The Office” (FTTO) and “Passive Optical LAN” (POL).
For all these applications R&M offers comprehensive, sophisticated and efficient cabling solutions that can be adapted to the specific requirement of each building project.
The standardization for generic cabling systems in customer premises requires at least two data connections between the terminal outlet and the floor distributor. One of these connections can be a FO duplex link. Typically such a connection is done in OM3 or OM4 multimode fiber. Where distances allow it, Collapsed Backbone structures are often combined with such a solution, where the link is routed directly from the TO to the building distributor. In this kind of implementation, all the network switches are centralized in one location, making maintenance and management much easier.
In an FTTO solution, the optical signal is transformed into an electrical signal in a so-called Microswitch at the TO location. In this solution, the Access-Switch is replaced by distributed Microswitches that act as terminal outlets at the same time. The Microswitch becomes the key element of the solution, defining its functionality. It is connected to the rest of the network via a floor distributor or a collapsed backbone directly to the building distributor typically by multimode duplex FO cabling.
In this solution, one has to be aware of the mergence between active equipment and cabling into a combined system and its implications concerning maintenance and life expectancy.