Southern Photonics changes name to Coherent Solutions
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Railroad rights of way class action suits on fiber deployments near settlement
A series of class action suits against such well-known current and past fiber-optic network operators as Sprint, Qwest, Level 3, and WilTel Communications over whether they had buried fiber cable along railroad lines without the proper permission appears to be nearing conclusion. Settlements are being announced by Court-approved notice-program designer Kinsella Media LLC.Finding rights of way for fiber-optic cable deployments is an ongoing challenge for carriers looking to expand their footprints. Beginning in the 1980s, the lawsuits allege, operators found willing partners in railroads, who leased rights within the easements landowners had granted them to lay track and other infrastructure.However, the plaintiffs have asserted that the easement rights they granted the railroads didn't give the railroads sole authority to lease those rights of way for fiber deployments. Carriers should have asked permission of the landowners who continued to own the land under the rights of way, according to the suits, which have been filed in courtrooms around the United States (see “Another bubble fallout: right-of-way lawsuits”).The carriers, naturally, argue this isn’t the case and deny wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Kinsella Media says that several courts have granted preliminary approval for multiple class-action settlements of the cases that will provide monetary compensation to current and former owners of land next to or under the rights of way.Class members who may be eligible for payouts include current or previous owners of land next to or under a railroad right of way, at any time since the cable was installed, in 12 states: California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Washington. Settlements have previously been reached in an additional 29 states, Kinsella notes. Meanwhile, suits in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Texas are still pending.In exchange for the cash payments, the carrier defendants will receive a permanent easement giving them rights to have their fiber cables occupy space in the rights of way, if they haven’t acquired such rights already.
Clearfield aims FieldShield Fiber Delivery and Protection System at tough environments
Clearfield Inc. (NASDAQ:CLFD) says its FieldShield Fiber Delivery and Protection System enables network operators to deploy fiber-optic cable into areas that had proved unreachable with conventional approaches. The FieldShield family, which includes such novel elements as pushable fiber, will address applications in both the outside plant as well as within enterprises and data centers.FieldShield elements are designed to work together to provide a complete fiber deployment system or individually in concert with existing ductwork or alternative installation approaches, such as microtrenching. These elements include:FieldShield Ruggedized Microduct: Reducing duct requirements to 10 mm or less, the FieldShield microduct comes in three configurations -- direct buried (toneable and non-toneable) and aerial (Figure 8) for the outside plant, and plenum for indoor applications. The microduct features a smooth inner wall and slip lining to ease the deployment of fiber through them, either by pushing or pulling.FieldShield Pushable Fiber: Speaking of pulling, the FieldShield line includes rugged cables in fiber counts from 1 to 24 that indeed can be pushed through microduct when necessary. Depending on the number of bend-insensitive fiber it contains, the cable features a 3-mm or 4-mm crush-resistant jacket made of PBT. It is available in bulk reels, factory terminated with FieldShield Pushable Fiber Connectors, or packaged in a FieldShield microduct. Clearfield developed the SC and LC pushable fiber-optic connectors in collaboration with Senko, and they can come terminated and partially assembled at the factory.FieldShield Assist: Technicians can push the FieldShield Pushable Fiber up to 100 ft by hand. For applications that require greater lengths, Clearfield offers the FieldShield Assist tool. The hand-held, drill-powered tool can push fiber into tight spaces without crushing or buckling the cable, thanks to an integrated clutch that engages when resistance reaches a potentially damaging level. The tool supports fiber cable reaches 500 ft within OSP-rated duct and 300 ft in plenum duct.The FieldShield line is compatible with Clearfield’s FieldSmart fiber management architecture and CraftSmart fiber enclosures.The use of pushable fiber is a novel aspect of the FieldShield line. But the duct’s column strength also is a differentiator, Clearfield believes. “Column strength is a key characteristic of FieldShield Microduct. It was a primary objective within our design to provide a product that had the strength and flexibility to open up occupied duct to new fiber,” said Johnny Hill, chief operating officer for Clearfield, via a press release. “But equally important is the crush strength for direct bury applications. It’s the combination of the two that provides the flexibility for challenging route paths.”The products are just now becoming generally available. The pushable fiber cable is initially available with either one or two fibers, with higher fiber counts available April 1. Similarly, the plenum version of the microduct will be available in April, Hill tells Lightwave.However, select customers already have field tested FieldShield elements. "Our installation of Clearfield's FieldShield Microduct went smoothly,” says Nonda Harris general manager of GeoPath. “The FieldShield duct proved to be flexible and durable when deploying it into the streets of Chicago.”“Clearfield really has remained true to their promise of keeping it simple,” asserts Mike Charles, vice president - Telecommunications Division for ElectriCom. “We connected the Assist directly to the power drills we were already using.”
Southern Photonics changes name to Coherent Solutions
Southern Photonics has chosen to capitalize on the progress it has made in developing and marketing test and measurement equipment for coherent transmission applications by rebranding as Coherent Solutions.The New Zealand-based company says the name will change will help it expand its focus beyond optical communications into other applications that require “the generation, characterization, and analysis of optical signals and pulses.”Dr. Andy Stevens, previously chief operations officer for Southern Photonics, will step into the role of CEO with the rebranding. “We are very excited to be announcing the rebrand to Coherent Solutions before our first big show this year,” he said, referring to OFC/NFOEC. “It’s the perfect opportunity to further demonstrate our strength in the market as we announce new relationships and products at OFC.”Coherent Solutions will not only provide test instruments in an OEM role, but will continue to deliver products to the market under its own brand.“We remove the risk and uncertainty out of selling our products and have a strong value proposition in that we know the markets we are providing solutions for and can validate customer requirements before offering them to our partners globally,” added Dr. Stevens. “The name change does not alter anything and will be business as normal as we continue to grow our own brand product portfolio as well as develop relationships with global leaders in the photonics instrumentation market to provide them with OEM solutions.”In addition, Coherent Solutions says it will move into a much larger headquarters and manufacturing facility during the second quarter of this year.
The above information is edited by 10GTEK.
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