Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Engineers look at fiber

Here's an interesting story passed our way by a local engineer. The story, "Data Demand Sparks Race to Bring Fiber Optics Home," appears in Engineering News-Record and amounts to a practical introduction to the realm of Fiber To The Home for the technically inclined. It touches on the economics, politics -- in clear and practical rather than ideological ways. But the real fun lies in the pictures, the pop-up charts, and the vivid how-it's-done descriptions.

Here's a bit of the clear and practical:
Gallo says fiber-optic systems are also robust, almost infinitely upgradable and considerably cheaper to maintain. For the telecoms, making the transition to fiber is "a no-brainer," he says.
As lagniappe there's a pretty extensive discussion of New Orleans' fiber in the sewer (really fiber around the sewer, but that's being picky and no fun) and the pipe-bursting technology it's based on. (Don't miss the link to the pop-up graphic of bursting pipe.) You gotta have a little of the geek in you to really enjoy this one, but if you do it's a real treat.

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