broadband End User

Who Ate All the (Broadband Fibre Optic) Pies?

Reading the news online before breakfast this (Saturday) morning I came across the PIEMAN project in Ireland. PIEMAN, or The Photonic Integrated Extended Metro and Access Network, is an EC funded project researching new broadband fibre optic technology.

The project potentially promises broadband fibre connectivity over distances of up to 100km in a single hop.  This would be a huge advance over today’s 25km (ish) for an ethernet circuit. I’d guess we turn down business on a weekly basis, because the customer’s site is too far from the nearest POP for a connection to be economically viable.

PIEMAN also introduces the idea of low cost 10Gbps connectivity, with many more users able to share the same broadband fibre. This makes the Government target of 90% penetration of 40Meg by 2017 seem very tame.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

2 replies on “Who Ate All the (Broadband Fibre Optic) Pies?”

the technology is out there, but the digitalbritain team seem to be burying their heads in the sand. Far better to turn the sand into glass and use it to deliver true next gen connectivity. Do they make fibre optic out of sand?

I sympathise with the ISPs, they know what is possible to deliver to their customers but are hamstrung by the obsolete network they have to use. Maybe the ISPs could get together and build fibre to the homes?

There must be a way of moving the agenda forward and helping policy makers see the ‘light’? this country needs ubiquitous broadband. The only way to provide it is through fibre. We all know that. We all know copper can’t deliver, so that is why digitalbritains are JFDI themselves, and more will do it as people realise it isn’t rocket science. The Pieman project sounds great.

We are curently using FiWiPie – wireless feed to fibre, then wireless again. A Pie.

/me points at – 1000baseZX optics will reach 70km without any Raman amplification required (which can add ~ 50km to a single span)

The reason that BT limit the distance is because they have a type approved solution that is used for all installations and the product specifications are an artificial limit to make sure the hardware operates within that type.

If you buy the ADVA kit direct it’ll run to 40km fiber path without any issues and you can push it to ~65km if the fiber is nice and new. The problem is not the technology available today, its the implementation by the incumbent.

What the UK needs with respect to fiber is the removal of the tax for lighting capacity (replaced with a tax on profits/turnover if you need to recover the money somewhere) and the mandated supply of dark fiber by BT Group (or other local agent) as a regulated priced product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.