The Fiber Optic Association (foa--Boston) has initiated a study of the competitiveness of fiber optics in premises cabling. The foa says the purpose of the study is to determine why fiber has succeeded in some markets and not in others.
According to the foa, most telecommunications networks are based on fiber, and most cable-TV systems are converting from coaxial cable to hybrid fiber/coaxial-cable architectures, but fiber is still limited to backbone applications in premises cabling. The study will document the reasons for fiber`s successes and failures, examine the validity of those reasons, and consider ways to improve fiber-related products, practices, standards, and perceptions within the marketplace.
The organization claims this study will differ from previous, similar studies because it will include substantial input from end-users. Most other research, according to the foa, has been proprietary to organizations, conducted either to set policies for marketing strategies or to sell the results. Other studies have been conducted by collaborating groups of fiber-optic companies to better understand fiber issues and implement promotional or educational programs for potential users.
The foa`s study will include input from association members involved in multiple aspects of the fiber-optic industry. The organization includes manufacturers of components and systems, designers of fiber-optic networks, installers, end-user organizations, such as the government, and educational institutions.
The results of the study will be compiled in a position paper on the future use of fiber in premises-wiring systems. The paper will include recommended standards that would enhance the competitiveness of fiber with respect to copper wire. The results, which are expected in early 1998, will be available for public comment.
Those interested in participating in the study can call the Fiber Optic Association at (617) 469-2362 or visit the Web site at world.std.com/foa.