New fibre fault detection technology launched

A new technology known as Fast Light has been developed that will enable service providers to reduce fibre faulting time from hours to minutes. Fast Light has been designed to be a complete solution for automating the fibre repair process and carrying out protection switching of optical line terminal (OLT) ports.

A single PON fibre failure, for example, can result in 64 customers losing their TV or internet access. Fast Light allows service providers to identify all customers potentially affected by a fault remotely, within minutes and sometimes before a single call has to be made to the customer contact centre. This allows the operator to meet restoration expectations whilst dramatically reducing OpEx at the same time.

The new technology has been developed by UTEL, an R&D organisation that specialises in telecommunication systems, copper test access, optical fibre test access, test head, OTDR and network design.

“Fast Light will dramatically shift the business case for FTTH. Not only did we develop an OTDR that could see through 128 to 1 splitters but also a truly low cost optical test access switch, which changes the business case for this technology,” said Frank Kaufhold, Managing Director of UTEL.

“Other solutions that currently try to solve the same problem rely on the service providers fitting a wavelength dependent mirror in front of every customer’s ONT. This adds an additional 20 Euros cost for each customer connection, so a million customers equals 20 Million Euros of extra expenditure. There is no wonder the business case has bombed for these solutions,” he added.

Fast Light can detect faults before customers are even aware by setting an automated OTDR test of the fibre. Alternatively the first customer can raise the alarm. Either way Fast Light can compare each of the traces with a previous good version stored on file. This enables the detection of every single customer experiencing problems instantly and remotely. Fast Light can also automatically reconnect the fibre to a spare OLT port in the event of an OLT Port failure.


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