Fiber Installation During Pandemic

Webinar feature, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave
Webinar Recorded on Wednesday, June 9, 2021

At the beginning of the pandemic, many projects were delayed because we had no idea how to protect ourselves from COVID-19. The more we learned about this virus, the more we found that social distancing is an important way to reduce the risk of getting the virus. Keeping projects going during the pandemic was very challenging, but necessary because the optical fiber network supports our everyday lives.

During the pandemic, many businesses and schools shifted their operations to working online. The optical fiber network supports our lifelines and education that keeps us connected to people/customers outside the house (or work) without traveling. Telecommunication network enhancement and optical fiber expansion became more important in many businesses, thus, many contractors across the world are working as essential workers to install optical fiber networks, even during the pandemic.

Air Blown Fiber technology uses blowing equipment to install fiber bundles through pathways. With Future FLEX ABF, a 3,000 foot installation can be completed with only 2 people in 30 minutes. And, of course, installers at the site are socially-distanced. Not only a fast and safe socially-distanced installation, but also a single fiber blow will cover all types of spaces (such as outdoor, plenum, and riser) without having any fusion splices in the middle. The Future FLEX ABF system has a variety of tube cable types with ratings (OSP, Plenum, Riser, Low Shrink, and LSHF) that the installer selects for the space. Every time the space environment changes, use a tube distribution unit (TDU) to create a tube cable splice point to connect the  different rate tube cables to one path.

Connecting different types of tube cables to one path allows the fiber bundle to travel all the way from the starting point to the destination point without disruption. Therefore, only 2 installers can complete a fiber bundle installation in multiple spaces with one single blow.

Another advantage of ABF is the minimum disruption installation. Essential services, such as hospitals and transportation facilities, must remain open to maintain operations during the pandemic, but some require optical network expansion to support or improve the demand. With ABF, there is no disruption in business. The fiber bundles travel to pathways using blowing equipment, so physical access requirement is only at the blowing point and the destination point, and only one person in each location. There is no need of sharing a space with other installers nor heavy equipment that requires multiple people to set up. Installers usually stay in a communication room when indoors. Therefore, no risk of exposing themselves to COVID-19.

Future FLEX blowing equipment does not require electricity to operate, yet still powerful enough to blow fiber bundles at a long distance. Performance is dependent on the type of tube cable and the size of the fiber bundle. Many ABF installations were completed during the pandemic by providing a solution to complete optical fiber installation while keeping socially distant.

In this presentation, attendees will learn how Fiber installation has been beneficial during the pandemic. The precautions that are taken to install fiber cables and bundles will be discussed. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Presented by:

Yuko Agano, Product Manager, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave
Yuko Agano is the Product Manager of FutureFLEX Air Blown Fiber for Sumitomo Electric Lighwawave (SEL). Yuko was born and raised in Japan and moved to the United States when she was 19 years old to receive a higher education. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix, she returned to Japan and worked as a U.S. government contractor and Japanese government employee at a U.S. military installation in Japan for over five years supporting military operations. Yuko returned to U.S. in 2014 to work for Sumitomo subsidiary, Innovation Core SEI, in Silicon Valley to research into next generation technologies. In 2018, Yuko relocated to North Carolina and joined SEL in her current role.

At Sumitomo Electric Lightwave (SEL), we are a recognized leader in innovation, design and development of advanced and integrated end-to-end solutions. We specialize in the manufacturing of these innovations for data center, enterprise and communication network centers.

We are the provider for the industry’s fast, most reliable, and advanced fiber optic technology and solutions. Catering to today’s most well-known optical fiber outside plant and indoor plant deployments, we are committed to not only our shareholders, but our customers. We value providing a high quality customer service experience, designed to meet and tailor to the customer’s desired product solution needs.

Since 1983, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave is committed to producing the finest high-speed quality of fiber optic technology innovations.

More Next Generation Technology from Sumitomo Electric Lightwave:

ISE Webinar, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, Ribbon Cable

Webinar Rewind: Ribbon Cable – Still Around, Still Delivering Advantages
Yes, ribbon cables! How they are improving and changing for the future, and why this technology is still a “go to” and starting point. Review the history of ribbon-based cables, including recent and coming innovations.

ISE Podcast, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, Flexible Product Offerings.

Podcast: Flexible Product Offerings for Data Centers and Enterprise Applications
Common products can provide flexibility, lowered costs, and efficiency, as data centers and enterprise networks respond to increasing demand.

ISE Podcast, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, Air-Blown Fiber

Podcast: Easy and Fast Fiber Deployment with the FutureFLEX Air-Blown Fiber Solution
Learn 3 easy steps to creating innovative network paths – cost-effective, flexible, safe, easy and fast – with FutureFLEX® Air-Blown Fiber®.

Sumitomo Podcast, Scalability

Podcast: Scalability Considerations in Fusion Splicing & Connectivity Design
Scalability is increasingly critical as we explore emerging broadband network infrastructure and fiber optic essentials for a 5G-ready world.

White Paper, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, Next Generation Splicing Solution

White Paper: Eliminate the Most Common Splicing Errors with the Next Generation Splicing Solution
Maximize field operation efficiency and lower the cost of fiber installation with NanoTune™ Technology, a new generation fusion splicing solution.

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave white paper, Optical Fiber Networks

White Paper: Importance of Optical Fiber Parameters and Next Generation Optical Fiber Networks
Learn more about innovative, next-generation products with this breakdown of how these products function and benefits of using them.

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave video, Lynx Custom

Video: Lynx CustomFit™ Splice-On Connector
Quick, easy, and reliable customized FTTx, outside-plant, and inside-plant permanent field terminations, offering real-time flexibility for quick moves, adds, and changes, repairs, and restoration for minimal downtime.

Video: Q502S Clad Alignment Fusion Splicer
The world’s first AI-programmed active clad alignment fusion splicer. New features, new tech, improved performance, reliability, user experience. World-class*2 light compact frame, quick splicing, enhanced durability.

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Fusion Splicer

Video: Q102-CA+ Core Alignment Fusion Splicer
Improved splicing performance, reliability, and overall experience with new features and technologies, while maintaining all of the industry-leading features, including its world-class light and compact frame, quick splicing, and environmental durability.