Fiber's Fantastic Future

Fiber's Fantastic Future

Some technologies are ahead of their time, but eventually, the future catches up with them. This is the case with fiber optic cable, according to Cleerline Technology Group. “We’re at the tipping point,” Cleerline managing partner Rick Sant told the ISE Daily. “Prices are falling, and more and more fiber-ready devices are appearing. Your typical integrator is now starting to have to consider using fiber for networks or sending 4K video across HDMI. With copper, you have to compress everything.”

One of the biggest challenges facing the fiber optic market has been price of connectors, added Sant: “People looked at fiber and liked what it offered, but then asked, ‘what am I going to plug into?’

“Three years ago, high-end optical connectors typically cost around $3,000 U.S. dealer price; today, some 4K optical connectors sell for less than $500.”

At ISE 2018, Cleerline is showing its fiber optic solution SSF Fiber (it stands for stronger, safer, faster). Cleerline SSF uses a polymer coating that the company claims makes it up to 200 times more durable than conventional fiber. “It’s much easier and faster to terminate,” added Sant. “Any technician who works with a Cat-6 jack can do this.”

He concluded: “We’ve been showing fiber at ISE for the past five years and our sales have skyrocketed over the past 12 months. We’re getting closer to that switchover point where we move from copper to fiber. The future is fiber—and it’s happening now.”