14.05.2013

The Lower Valais gets a "data superhighway"

ESR is constructing a FTTH network with fibre optic racks from Datwyler

L‘Energie de Sion-Region SA, the biggest regional energy supplier in the Swiss canton of Valais, is constructing a Fibre-to-the-Home network with fibre optic racks from Datwyler.

In 2008, after a careful assessment of the cable television network and mindful of the need to cater for future technology, ESR decided to develop a Fibre-to-the-Home fibre optic network. The new FTTH network has been designed to provide companies and private individuals in 20 municipalities with high-performance multimedia services - of better quality and augmented by additional offerings such as high resolution television and Video on Demand.

It proved possible to incorporate part of the existing net-work in the construction of the Valaisian "data superhighway". Since 2000 Datwyler has already supplied numerous different types of fibre optic cable for the fibre optic back-bone. Thanks to the current upgrades half the city of Sion, the capital of the canton of Valais, and the neighbouring municipalities are already benefitting from a FTTH backbone network.

Construction of the FTTH network’s central fibre optic distribution points, known as Points of Presence, or POPs for short, began in the autumn of 2011. ESR opted for a Datwyler system with high port density. This is compact, flexible, and of a size which fits all the available sites. It is, moreover, an integrated system which is suitable for passive and active components and permits a huge number of possible connections in one single rack - and all at a reasonable price.

Each of these racks - also called optical distribution frames (ODFs) - allows up to 2,880 optical fibres in 19-inch drawers to be connected to each of two rack units. Up to 144 fibre optics on LC/APC couplers can be lined up in one drawer. The passive ODFs also have a sophisticated patch cable management and bend radius control devices for optimum fibre management.

By the end of May 2012 the first racks had been installed at the various POPs, and connection of the fibre optic cables could begin, both in Sion itself and the various neighbouring municipalities. The first fully installed and equipped fibre optic distribution point is in Sion city centre. The distribution point houses four large passive racks, currently with around 6,000 fibre optic connections for city centre subscribers. In addition it provides space for approximately 12,000 further connections, which in future - as subscribers numbers grow - can be brought into service as required. Thousands of connections have also already been completed in the racks for active components, and these too provide generous spare capacity for future network expansion. 

ESR is pressing ahead rapidly with the construction of POPs in the various neighbouring localities. Installation of the ODFs and connection of the fibre optic cables is scheduled for completion by 2015.