Raynet Corp, the Menlo Park, California company teamed with Nynex Corp on a trial of its fibre-to-the-kerb system for handling the delivery of fibre optic service into homes (CI No 1,124), has revealed the secrets of its fibre optic transmission system that it says could significantly speed the completion of all-fibre broadband service networks. The LOC-2 Loop Optical Carrier system is claimed to deliver the performance, reliability and capacity of fibre optics for the same cost as new copper telephone facilities, overcoming the problem that providing service to low-volume domestic users has been prohibitively expensive. Designed to bring fibre to the local loop, the last mile of the telephone network between the local exchange and homes and businesses, the LOC-2 system uses a resource-sharing architecture and a proprietary fibre optic coupler to eliminate the cost penalties, and supporting software makes the system operationally compatible with existing telephone networks. The system is modular, able to incorporate AM video and SONET-based Broadband ISDN service. The Raynet LOC-2 fiber-in-the-loop system brings the fibre to a small kerbside pedestal from which copper wires distribute service to individual homes. It uses a bus architecture or variants of the bus, like PON Passive Optical Network and a LOC-2 system can support up to 384 telephone subscribers over just a few pairs of fibres - but for services such as 622Mbps Broadband ISDN, customers will have to pay to have the fibre extended into their premises. An operations support system called Rides provides software management of the telephone network, enabling a telephone subscriber requesting an additional line to receive immediate activation of the new line, and is the last piece in the jigsaw of bringing the cost of the system down to that of copper. As well as the Nynex trial at 100 homes in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Ameritech and its Ohio Bell operating company are starting a Raynet trial at 72 homes in Columbus, Ohio shortly, and in Cologne, West Germany, the system is being used by the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom to distribute both telephone and cable television signals to a community of about 200 subscribers. The LOC-2 system is to be generally available at the end of this year.
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