Patrick Gorrell, AIDCO Inc.
The Getty Center project (see "Largest private U.S. building project cabled with air-blown fiber," August 1997, page 25) has provided a great test bed for air-blown fiber (abf) technology as well as for fiber-to-the-desk. The installation at the Getty Center (Los Angeles, CA) is where aidco Inc., an installation company based in Chino, CA, demonstrated its high level of expertise and experience in designing and installing abf systems.
From the standpoint of system costs, the system has quite literally paid for itself. At the Getty Center, huge savings stemmed from the combination of several factors, including the selection of abf technology and the adoption of a centralized network architecture that eliminates costly communications closets. It`s not very often that you can implement a design resulting in related savings in excess of 100% of the system costs. It is great to be able to offer this type of return on a new-technology investment to a client.
But cost savings are only a portion of the benefits realized in the Getty Center`s cabling system. Unmatched flexibility and improved service-delivery capabilities are perhaps the most important benefits. According to Gary Juarez, aidco`s construction supervisor, "Air-blown fiber has drastically expanded the capabilities of my installation crew. The ability of the system to support routing changes, such as adding new cable or relocating an existing cable, is incredible."
The Getty abf system allows these types of changes to be made in minutes using a single crew member, and with absolutely no disruption to the surrounding end-user environment. Significant changes, such as adding a totally new application or even multiple applications (each with its own specific topology), centralized hub points, and remote connection points, can also be made quickly and cost-effectively.
System reliability is another important plus for the Getty Center system. The patented blown-in installation process used with Sumitomo`s FutureFlex system results in absolutely no stress being placed on the cable and eliminates any chance of damaging it during installation. Combined with other high-reliability fiber termination products, such as 3M Telecom Systems`s Fibrmax high-density fiber-optic crossconnect centers and mod-tap multimedia wallplates, the Getty Center system has already demonstrated a unique level of reliability.
Patrick Gorrell, registered communications distribution designer (rcdd), is chief system designer for aidco Inc. (Chino, CA).