How Flawil Came to Fiber Optics
Customer: The utility Technische Betriebe Flawil (TBF), Switzerland
Project: Creation of an autonomous local FTTH Network, 2012 to 2018
Application: FTTH for services in the Gigabit sector, redundant backbone plus star cabling, dark fiber, 30 main distributor frames with ODF, approx. 5,000 service area interfaces with OTO, Open Access each with 4 fibers
It all started off with a clear decision. In March 2012 virtually all the residents in Flawil voted in favor of the construction of the FTTH network. Flawil did not want to wait for the fiber optic rollout of major network operators. The goals:
- A full-coverage, autonomous, local FO network.
- By the end of 2018, around 5,000 connections were to be provided.
The Technische Betriebe Flawil (TBF), the municipality’s utility, took on the responsibility for the project. TBF has decades of experience in FO network technology. The utility was also committed to making a resolute start into the FTTH era and wanted to manage the project under its own steam.
TBF secured its customer base with the acquisition of two local cable TV networks. This gave the utility access to a lot of residential properties. TBF replaced the old coax infrastructure with FO cabling because it is easier to manage a uniform infrastructure. The network was designed as an open access model and dark fiber solution.
TBF gained Swisscom as a cooperation partner. The telecommunications enterprise uses two of the four fibers for each house and does not have to set up its own FTTH network in Flawil. In this way Swisscom contributes to the capacity usage and financing of the infrastructure. Other providers can also make their services available in the network.
The technical solution
The redundant FO network consists of a ring with four POPs and 26 main distributor frames in substations. Star cabling radiates out from these stations to residential and corporate buildings. TBF lays a conduit with FO cables into each house or if possible uses existing conduits. TBF does not provide any other equipment. This keeps the infrastructure lean, clear-cut and inexpensive. The subscribers or house owners adapt the infrastructure inside the buildings themselves and establish the connection to the OTO.
With the cabling system R&Mfoxs, TBF selected a solution to cover all network levels. The R&M Optical Distribution Frame (ODF) is being used as the platform for the distributors. TBF was impressed both by its capacity and modular design. Sub-racks extend the capacity of the ODF if required. The service area interfaces in the buildings consist of the Optical Termination Outlet (OTO) from R&M. Local partners chose OTO as their favorite because it is easy to install.
Several factors are contributing to the fact that TBF will be completing its project a few months earlier than planned: professional planning, expertise and experience, smooth project organization and the installation-friendly cabling system from R&M. Since the middle of 2018, all buildings in Flawil have had an FTTH connection with four fibers each and a wide range of options for the future.
“The capacity and modular design of the ODF from R&M convinced us.”
Andreas Lämmlin, project lead TB Flawil
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