APA Ups Bandwidth Access for Local Telcos

By Wayne Rash  |  Print this article Print


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The new fiber management upgrade kit aims to help local phone companies provide higher bandwidth connections to customers.

APA Cables and Networks, a maker of fiber management equipment for some 1100 local independent telephone companies, has announced a new fiber management upgrade kit that will allow local fiber distribution networks to meet their full potential.

The new product, called the Cross-Connect Upgrade Kit, allows local phone companies to upgrade their APACN Fiber Scalability Center so that customers can have high-bandwidth connections.

Phone companies use the APA product, essentially a cabinet that mounts in a neighborhood or other central location, to distribute voice, video and Internet access. With the new higher bandwidth, the companies can also meet higher bandwidth demands, including video.

"In the early stage of fiber deployments, the bandwidth requirements and configuration requirements are constantly changing," said APA President Cheri Podzimek. "We were putting 1 x 16 and 1 x 32 splitters in our cabinets. We found this wasn't big enough."

Podzimek said that the companies needed the option of putting in a splitter or to offer a dedicated fiber run to an individual user. She added that companies are finding that demand for bandwidth is constantly changing, and that bandwidth demands can depend on the needs of individual users.

Currently, according to Podzimek, APA is offering cabinets with 96 to 576 ports, and that the new product will provide a way for the phone companies to provide full bandwidth to all of those ports.

"They [independent phone companies] don't have the same standards and methodologies that the RBOCs have," Podzimek said. "Independent companies are more likely to match the technology to the independent revenue generating unit."

Click here to read the FCC's aims to help telcos offer TV service faster.

She said that as a result, APA will be building their fiber management equipment on a custom basis for each installation, and that as a result of this flexibility, the company is also selling fiber management equipment to municipalities and land developers.

Podzimek noted that the new upgrade kit lets phone companies add bandwidth without having to add fiber or new cabinets. "When the telephone companies lay the pad they can be confident that the investment isn't going away. More importantly they don't have to worry about disrupting the neighborhood and going through the approval process again."

Podzimek said that the new upgrade kit is starting to ship now.

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Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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