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Fibre to the Home Coming Soon!

Some of you may have noticed the Bell Canada trucks busy working in our area, this April of 2016. They seem to be installing fibre optic cable (made by Corning going by the writing on the cable) and drop boxes to connect to subscribers. Looks like we’ll have very high speed Internet in the ‘hood soon!

Power Pole Stack
In case you’re wondering what’s on a typical pole in our neighbourhood, here’s a list:

  • The big grey metal can at the top is an electrical power transformer, operated by Ottawa Hydro. Provides electricity to your house.
  • The metal arm of a street light is next one down on the pole, not sure if that’s owned by Ottawa Hydro or the city. Doesn’t matter too much since the city owns Ottawa Hydro.
  • The grey tube on the bottom left is for splicing home phone lines into the old fashioned telephone cable (many pairs of copper wires wrapped in a black covering, one pair for each customer), operated by Bell Canada.
  • Next is a small cable TV junction box followed by the bigger aluminum box with lots of fins that contains cable TV electronics, run by Rogers. Everyone on the block shares the coaxial cable, but it’s operating at radio frequencies so it can handle more data than twisted pair. I recall that Rogers did a similar upgrade of the neighbourhood around the year 2000, so they could handle Internet in addition to TV.
  • Finally on the far right is the black blob which is the fibre optic junction box (a Corning OptiSheath Multiport), with around 8 jacks where lines to individual homes can be plugged in. Unlike electrical plugs with just need simple contact, the fibre optic ones precisely line up the two ends of fibre optic strands the size of a thread so they touch snugly and light can pass through. Light is at even higher frequencies than radio waves, so even more data can be transferred. They also seem to use multiple cables back to the network, about four per block. That’s probably the ultimate in data transfer for the next century.

– Alex

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