Cloud computing, 5G, Internet of Things, Small Cell, AI, autonomous vehicles. All of these applications have one thing in common – they all rely on connection to a data center. In many cases, those connections are provided over networks that are more than 20 years old. In a recently published dark fiber eBook, Bandwidth IG, in collaboration with Prysmian Group, discussed the impacts that the continually escalating demand for bandwidth is having on fiber networks.
Fiber backbones provide the critical link for all the applications that have become a part of our daily lives and the technology we expect to take advantage of in the future. These applications require higher network speeds and are pushing enterprise network operators to insist on lower dB loss budgets from their network providers. With deliberate planning, Bandwidth IG has positioned itself to meet these requirements by standardizing around and deploying the state-of-the-art Prysmian Bend-Insensitive Fiber cable throughout its networks.
Optical Loss and Bend – Insensitive Fiber
Network operators are in constant pursuit of minimizing dB loss to ensure optimal performance of their network – especially given the bandwidth demands of today’s most data-intensive businesses.
Optical loss is introduced in a network for a number of reasons, but among the most pernicious is ‘stress-induced’ optical loss which can occur in fibers that are far below their breaking point. Network operators consider this the worst kind of attenuation because it may develop over time and is much more difficult to pinpoint and cure.
Bandwidth IG has found that Prysmian Bend-Insensitive Fiber (BIF) is dramatically less sensitive to both macro and micro-bending than conventional Single Mode fibers. This improves cabled fiber performance and can drastically reduce losses in splice closures and cabinets.
Taking it a step further, Bandwidth IG insists on Prysmian’s FlexRibbon technology to further mitigate the risk of introducing loss. With this configuration, the Prysmian FlexRibbon fibers are loosely bound together and inherently more flexible, allowing large groups of fibers to be formed into a round shape and spreading the stresses more evenly.
“The more we reduce stressing the fiber, the more we avoid inadvertently introducing dB loss – which results in cleaner OTDR shots and higher throughput for our customers,” said Andrew Munn, Vice President of Operations for Bandwidth IG.
Prysmian and Bandwidth IG Team Up on an Optical Loss Solution
Data centers will remain vital hubs for years to come. And in many cases, the networks connecting them are much closer to the end of their useful life than the beginning. Bandwidth IG is keenly focused on building the highest quality network for today and tomorrow’s data-intensive businesses. By deploying a standard, state-of-the-art cable throughout the network, Bandwidth IG is able to reduce loss and the associated costs for its customers. This in turn, allows Bandwidth IG’s customers to exceed their network objectives.