This annual conference is sponsored by the Idaho Telecom Alliance, the Utah Rural Telecom Association and the Wyoming Telecommunications Association. Our thanks go out to the sponsors and attendees who participated.
What Did We Learn?
There is a significant shortage of fiber optic cable. That’s because Japan is the home to the majority of suppliers of optical fiber and preforms. Many of these manufacturing facilities suffered damage in the March earthquake and tsunami.
How much of a backlog?
In May, fiber optic cable manufacturer Corning announced the company was sold out. According to the manufacturers who exhibited, supply hasn’t caught up to demand at all. Several projected a backlog of 12 to 18 months. Another frowned and suggested as much as 24 months!
Which presents a challenge for the CLECs and ILECs we met at the conference. These telcos are actively investing government USF funds to deploy the latest in technology to modernize and build out their network footprint. The problem is compounded when there is a strict timeframe stipulated by the grant in which the fiber needs to be buried.
A Busy Booth
This was the story we heard repeatedly from telco attendees who found themselves shifting their operational gameplan from doing a build-out to instead investigating ways to do more with their existing infrastructure. In fact, many introductions were facilitated by the manufacturers themselves!
Our team was literally overrun by facilities based carriers who wanted to learn about the SOLiD Technologies MediaC-1600 solution which provides 16 independent channels of traffic over a single strand of fiber. Like our most recent customer InnerCity FiberNet (ICFN), both the economic of fiber savings and ease of deployment resonated with these lean organizations.
Now Your Turn
How is the shortage of fiber optical cable affecting you? Let us know in the comments below.CLEC, Facilities-based carrier, ILEC, Telco