The first sections of fiber for FairlawnGig® arrived in Fairlawn just after Thanksgiving. Crews are working now to install the fiber in the first three neighborhoods where underground construction is complete and the conduit has already been installed. Fiber installation can be done quickly once the conduit is in place. Neighborhoods 1, 2 and 4 will have the fiber installed within the next few weeks.
The fiber that we received is a customized design for FairlawnGig. The core ring fiber has 432 fiber strands. At each neighborhood, smaller bundles of fiber strands are split out to support the customers there. A 24-strand fiber cable might be used to support all the the houses on a street, and smaller cable with a pair of fiber strands will connect to an individual house. All of these different size cables must be ordered to a specific length.
Structure of the Network
The FairlawnGig fiber network consists of a core ring that runs around the City and interconnects the twelve neighborhoods. There are two large fiber cables coming from the FairlawnGig Data Center on Service Center Drive. Each of these cables contains 432 individual fiber strands and goes in a different direction around the core ring.
There are no active electronics to support the network out in the field. The outside network is fiber cable running inside of buried conduit and interconnected in such a way that there is at least one path from the data center to each end customer through the fiber network.
The only powered electronics in the network are in the data center and at the customer end point. The ONT is the active electronics on the customer side, and the FairlawnGig Data Center has extensive fiber optic switches that are able to support many thousands of fiber connections.
The strategy with fiber network design is to minimize the number of splices or connections along the path of the fiber. Each time a splice or connection is made on a strand of fiber, there is some signal loss on that strand.
When the network is complete there will be a a continuous strand of fiber—the size of a human hair—running from the data center to each customer.