08.09.2011

FTTH: ewl – Implementing Tomorrow’s Technology Today in Lucerne

Datwyler supplies special fibre optic cables and wall outlets in the buildings

ewl and Swisscom have embarked on a project to construct a comprehensive Fibre-to-the-Home network by 2014. The special cables and wall outlets that are required for the installation of optical fibres in homes all come from Datwyler.

Over the past year ewl (which stands for ’energy water lucerne’) has been working jointly with Swisscom on a project to establish a Fibre-to-the-Home network (FTTH) in the coverage area of ewl. Swisscom is responsible for laying the cables between the districts within the city, whilst ewl looks after the last mile distribution of the fibre optic cables to the individual apartments and properties.

For this forward-looking project, ewl is using special fibre optic cables and wall outlets in the buildings. For the in-house wiring ewl decided to use as thin an FTTH cable as possible with a flame-retardant yellow sleeve and four fixed fibres with a maximum diameter of 0.6 mm each. In terms of its design, the FTTH wall outlet needed to correspond to the existing installations and was to be as flat as possible. In addition to a window for the label, dust protection caps and connectors with laser protection, pre-fabricated pigtails, designed for shrink and crimp splice protection as well as an integrated, generously proportioned fiber tray were called for. In addition, the wall outlet was to ensure the easiest possible handling during installation. 

A decision was made in favour of Datwyler because the long-standing supplier to ewl was able to provide the right FTTH products at the required quality and price. Another decisive factor was the company’s extensive optical fibre know-how, experience gained from other FTTH projects and the fact that the Altdorf team had the necessary flexibility and resources available to deliver the required quantity at the desired point in time. By the summer of 2011 Datwyler had already delivered more than 500 kilometres of FTTH In-house cable and around 12,000 outlets.

In order to ensure that everything went smoothly, ewl put the whole of the logistics operation in the hands of Kablan AG, a company based in Ostermundigen. The products were installed by ewl’s installation partners Cablex AG and Network 41 AG, sourcing the required material directly from Kablan. The specific design of the Datwyler cables and outlets means that the installation companies can carry out rapid installation. For example, it is comparatively easy to lay the FTTH in-house cable, with an external diameter of only 2.8 millimetres, in the riser ducts that are in most cases already occupied by other cables. 

Thanks to excellent collaboration between all the parties involved, ewl has succeeded in making around 12,000 FTTH connections in the districts of Tribschen and Maihof. From now until 2012 the works will be concentrated on the districts of Wurzenbach and Hirschengraben. By the end of 2014 all 42,500 users should be connected to the FTTH network.