Disruptions in the network connection. No matter whether it concerns providers of fiber optic networks, operators or clients: it’s something nobody wants. Yet, such incidents do occur. For example because a fiber optic cable was accidently hit during excavation work. In that case it is crucial to see the location of the disruption and the impact thereof quickly and in a simple way. Speer IT & Simac Electronics have developed a service to do exactly that: FiberFIT Monitoring.

Digital infrastructure is crucial

At the end of January 2020, the Netherlands contained approximately 250,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables, as reported back then by the Gemeentelijk Platform Kabels en Leidingen (Municipal Platform for Cables and Pipelines). These networks together meanwhile form the backbone of the rapidly increasing digitisation of citizens, the industry and the government. Especially in these times of a global health crisis and a series of restrictive measures, such as working from home to the extent possible, a large part of our daily lives revolves around a proper digital infrastructure. It has become clear that the fiber optic infrastructure is crucial to the economy and society alike. And that means a disruption in the network connection has become a matter that has to be resolved as quickly as possible.

FiberFIT keeps its finger on the pulse

Speer IT has – thanks to its Cocon database – insight into the location of (fiber optic) networks domestic and abroad like no other company has. Based on those data, it is a logical step to take it further by establishing a continuous link with measuring equipment setup in fiber optic tracks. FiberFIT, the result of a collaboration between Speer IT and Simac Electronics, makes that possible. It enables you to see, for example, in real time if and where so-called degradation of the network occurs. So it is possible to intervene even before an actual disruption arises. And of course the continuous monitoring by FiberFIT ensures that the hitch can be seen immediately when acute incidents occur as well as the impact it has on the interlinked connections.

Two versions

FiberFIT is available in two versions: FiberFIT Home (FFH) and FiberFIT Monitoring. The latter provides the online real time insight needed into the functioning of fiber optic tracks, including disruptions, intrusions (such as fiber tapping) and degradation. FFH is used to link the real time measurement results directly to the ‘affected’ houses, revealing the impact of a disruption as far as home addresses. It also enables the provider to inform the end customers involved.

Valuable insight

The Cocon database of SpeerIT and the Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) measuring instrument fed by Simac Electronics form the basis of FiberIT. “The integration of those two instruments ensures an in-depth, real time insight into the fiber optic network”, says Paul Havinga, commercial director at Speer IT. “The monitoring data are projected directly onto the network, literally on the map, up to the optical fiber in question. This means a disruption of a cable can be seen directly in the context of its surroundings, including valuable information, such as the precise location of the disruption, the customers who are affected and whether or not a temporary bypass can be created.”