The following section is based on chapter 2 of ADC’s The Book on FTTX. From Design to Development: A Practical Guide to FTTX Infrastructure, edited by Steve Grady. It provides 6 simple—yet key—elements to deploying an FTTx network.
1. Evaluation of Current Network
Conducting an audit any existing network infrastructure is critical in order to make a informed decisions about the planning of new FTTx infrastructure. This includes documenting current:
- Central office equipment and space
- DC and AC power
- Copper and fiber plant
A thorough audit will help to speed up the time-to-market and ease deployment.
2. Selection of Services
Another one of the first crucial steps to take is determining which services and bundles will be offered on the network. This will be influenced by one or more of market demand, competitor offerings, and the deployment budget itself. It is important to consider immediate service offerings as well as possible future service offerings. Once these service offerings are determined, they will begin to shape the infrastructure and equipment requirements of the network.
3. Broadband Technology Options
At this point, planners and designers can begin investigating what broadband technologies are available for delivering the selected services. When making these decisions, planners must keep in mind that a successful FTTx network needs to be capable of evolving to keep pace with a growing subscriber base, increasing penetration and the introduction of new services.
4. Feeder and Distribution Network Strategy
Network strategy refers to “the points in the network where bandwidth speeds change, protocols change, or media changes. The principle decision here surrounds how far to extend fiber into the network, and the two obvious options are: (a) to the node, or (b) to the customer premise. Again, the drivers of this decision will be CAPEX vs. OPEX, flexibility and future-proofing.
5. Prepare the Business Case
At this point, the owner should have a solid understanding of the proposed FTTx network, in terms of (a) the value of existing infrastructure, (b) the service offerings, (c) the service delivery technologies, and (d) the network bandwidth plan.
The financial business plan for any FTTx network is, at its root, a very simple equation:
|CAPEX (capital expenditure)|
|+ OPEX (operations expenditure)|
|= TCO (total cost of ownership)|
The CAPEX will be influenced by:
- Level of detail in design
- Construction schedule
The OPEX will be influenced by:
- Style of FTTx network (FTTN vs. FTTP)
- Internal operational efficiencies
Both CAPEX and OPEX will directly affect one another. What is saved on one, will be spent on the other, although not always to the same proportion. Finding the correct balance between the two is the chief task of refining the business case.
Because FTTx deployment is new to owners and developers, it is important to create detailed and reliable budgeting tools for estimating costs.
6. Build the Network
When it comes time to building the network, there is no better optimization and project control tool than good quality design and engineering drawings. The design and construction of an FTTx network is much more involved than a typical long-haul or service drop project. It will require the complex integration of central office electronics, backbone and feeder cables, aerial and underground distribution construction, cable installation and splicing, and customer premise equipment installation and test and turn-up. The design package required to carry out all of these activities in the proper sequence and to the proper specifications, is an integrated suite of: (a) a customer premise GIS, (b) feeder/distribution alignment layout, (c) POP and PON equipment location plans, (d) a fiber management system, and (e) a service order database.
ADC Telecommunications Inc. The Book on FTTX, From Design to Deployment: A Practical Guide to FTTX Infrastructure. Ed. Steve Grady. Minneapolis, MN: 2005.