Tag: AFL

Splicing Efficiency Improvements in Ultra-High Density Fiber Optic Cable

This White Paper investigates and documents each aspect of the cable joining and the ribbon fiber splicing process of ultra-high density fiber optic cable and identifies improvements in cable preparation, closure preparation, ribbon fiber preparation, and the mass fusion splicing processes achieved since a previous study was published as a technical paper at the 64th IWCS in 2015.1 By taking a systems approach to the overall splicing process, it has been possible to improve efficiencies in the cable joining and splicing process to realize additional system cost savings with this technology.

Black Swans and Fiber Networks

A black swan event is defined as “an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences.” The phrase originated because people assumed that black swans didn’t exist because nobody had recorded seeing one – until finally someone did. It turned out black swans existed but were extremely rare, and it was hard to predict when or where someone would encounter one. The COVID-19 pandemic in some ways has been a black swan event, and the communications sector has been no exception. One impact on our sector is that data traffic has shot up at an unprecedented rate, a result of schools closing and orders to shelter in place and work from home. This experience is one example of a fundamental truth of network design: patterns of demand in data traffic are hard to predict (other than that they will grow rapidly on average). The solution is to focus on building physical access networks that have the capacity to respond to changing demands, and the accessibility to make use of that capacity where and when it is needed.

New Does Not Equal Clean

Fiber Optic Connectors need to be pristine when they are connected for several reasons. First, dirty or damaged connectors are the number one cause of network outages. Second, if a dirty or damaged connector is plugged into another connector, your problem just doubled. Lastly, if test equipment, like an OTDR, or a network element, such as a receiver, is damaged it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair or replace them.

Challenges for Hyperscale Networks

Arguably the biggest challenge for hyperscalers is continuity and, by association, reliability. New findings generated by a survey from Uptime Institute revealed that over 10% of all respondents said their most recent reportable outage cost them more than $1m in direct and indirect costs. On March 13th, 2019, Facebook suffered its worst-ever outage, affecting the estimated 2.7 billion users of its core social network, Instagram and messaging applications, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. By extrapolating the company’s 2018 revenue figures, CCN estimated that the blackout could have cost Facebook up to $90 million in lost revenue based on an income of $106,700 per minute. With so many businesses relying on hyperscale data centers to provide the IT backbone to their operations, any downtime can have a substantial impact and sometimes catastrophic ramifications.

Best Practices for Cleaning Fiber Optic Connectors

85% of network failures are caused by dirty connectors. The connectors entrusted to carry the critical information that passes through your network deserve far more than a wipe on a t-shirt. As data center bandwidth continues to increase, adherence to best practice fiber endface cleaning and inspection methods must improve. Download AFL’s best practices guide for cleaning.

AFL engineers 3D-printed face shields for COVID-19 frontline workers

AFL is supporting efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by creating face shields for the medical industry.Using 3D printing technology, more than 100 face shields engineered by the manufacturer have been sent to local hospitals in South Carolina, including the Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center and another upstate hospital, with more expected to be printed and dispersed.