Published on December 18, 2013
EXFO Teams Up with AT&T to Take the Guesswork out of Fiber Detection
As your network gets older and the number of fibers deployed is multiplied to increase capacity, expand access to more customers and enable more connections, one of the most pressing challenges in the field stems from bad fiber labeling and improper fiber identification. Over time and with regular use, fiber labels degrade, fade and become more difficult to read, or may eventually peel off. Moreover, the connections could get mixed up after repeated disconnections and reconnections elsewhere, making it uncertain whether fiber A is properly routed to customer A, as opposed to customer B or C or Z. Mislabeling and poor recordkeeping make live fiber identification a risky guessing game that can cause service interruptions and put service-level agreements in jeopardy.
To tackle this specific challenge, EXFO developed the FiberFinderTM solution, which combines a tone generator and live fiber detector so that technicians can not only identify specific fibers in busy patch panels, but also identify live fibers without the need to disconnect any fiber cables. While you may already have heard about the LFD-300B/TG-300B FiberFinder solution, did you know what sets it head and shoulders above the rest? Here’s a hint: it has something to do with inducing the proper amount of loss into the fiber via time‑varying bends. And it also has something to do with being able to trace a fiber using low-speed modulation on top of light without affecting the traffic running through a fiber. What’s more, this operation can be carried out with just two people within a span of 100 km. As a result, EXFO’s FiberFinder solution is able to guarantee 100% accurate detection of live fibers without disturbing transmission—while also adapting to any type of fiber. Thanks to these innovations, EXFO’s solution takes the guesswork out of live fiber detection while avoiding network outages caused by labeling errors.
In addition, this unique solution was developed jointly by EXFO and the AT&T lab division, one of the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to businesses. After AT&T first called on EXFO’s fiber expertise to resolve issues that the company was facing at their plant, the FiberFinder solution was developed to bridge this gap.