Corning Incorporated today announced the development of a new optical fiber-based technology that solves an historic technical challenge for telecommunications carriers installing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks.
Corning's breakthrough is based on a nanoStructures™ optical fiber design that allows the cabled fiber to be bent around very tight corners with virtually no signal loss. These improved attributes will enable telecommunications carriers to economically offer true high-speed Internet, voice and HDTV services to virtually all commercial and residential (apartment and condominium) buildings. Current optical fiber installations lose signal strength and effectiveness when bent around corners and routed through a building, making it difficult and expensive to run fiber all the way to customers' homes.
"This is a game-changing technology for telecommunications applications," said Peter F. Volanakis, president and chief operating officer at Corning. "We have developed an optical fiber cable that is as rugged as copper cable but with all of the bandwidth benefits of fiber. By making fundamental changes in the way light travels in the fiber, we were able to create a new optical fiber that is over 100 times more bendable than standard fibers." Corning's newest fiber technology achieves this while maintaining compatibility with industry performance standards, existing manufacturing processes and installation procedures. "So, customers don't have to sacrifice one benefit to get another," he said.
"There are more than 680 million apartment homes worldwide, including more than 25 million in the United States. The high cost of installation and difficulty in delivering fiber to the home made this market unappealing to most providers. We have been working closely with these carriers to create a solution that will make this more economically viable for them and for their customers," he said.