A new ‘building block’ for fibre cabling to speed up UK roll-out

A new ‘building block’ for fibre cabling to speed up UK roll-out

Deployments of full fibre broadband networks in urban and rural areas across the UK will be made quicker and easier thanks to a new ultra lightweight (ULW) fibre cable constructed with ACOME Group’s patented nanomodule technology.

The cable, designed specifically for urban and rural aerial use in the UK market, can fit 96 fibres in each module, whilst maintaining modules of 12 fibres. This means that network builders can deploy more fibre in the same diameter of cable. ACOME’s nanomodule technology removes the restraints of aerial cables’ 7mm size, which typically limits them to a maximum of 48 fibres.

The new 96-fibre cable also addresses key pain points that installers face helping to reduce installation times by an average of three hours and countless hours off maintenance times for every kilometre of cable deployed. This is because the cable is grease and gel free, making it easy to handle and install and eliminates the need for fibre cleansing. The cable is also kink free.

The elimination of sealing gel or grease, typically used on cables for an additional layer of protection, negates fibre cleansing, reducing the fibre preparation times. This includes reduced splicing times compared to conventional cable designs which results in significant cost savings and ultimately mitigates the cost of the cable itself. It also reduces the risk of damage to the fibre and racks where they are placed.

The product was developed following the success of the 72-fibre version of ACOME’s nanomodule cable, used by network builders including FullFibre. FullFibre was able to quickly and cost effectively deploy a 26km-long fibre network spine for the region of Hertfordshire.

“The density and 12-module structure of the cable allowed us to use existing network infrastructure,” says Technical Delivery Director at FullFibre, Dan Jones. “Without which, we would have had to dig extensively, and the cost and disruption would have been huge.”

Unlike many other products on the market the 96-fibre new cable is constructed with modules of 12-fibres, mirroring the architecture of existing fibre infrastructure. Using a 12-fibre module makes it less complicated for installers to identify the colour of the cable being put into a rack in comparison to a 24-fibre module.

The nanomodule design also saves thousands of pounds per kilometre deployed in cost savings and one ton of carbon per three kilometres of cables that are installed, calculated by ACOME. For example, comparing the deployment of a 96-fibres ULW cable with two 48-fibres cables, not only are installation times halved, but the carbon footprint of the deployment is reduced by 24%. As the technology does not require any fibre cleaning solvents, operators can avoid waste pollution from both the sealing and cleaning substances that are needed to maintain traditional cables.

The product essentially removes all extraneous materials, increasing the density of the cable between 80 and 100% when compared to traditional cable designs.

The 96-fibre ULW cable has been built with PIA compliance in mind, being able to maintain modules of 12-fibre, thanks to the density of the nanomodule technology – which is 30% smaller than traditional cables. This avoids additional fibre management on splice trays and the need for the fibres to be ring marked.

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