John Nixon

Back in the FTTH saddle! - Light My Fibre

May 23, 2011

I apologise to my readers for my absence of several weeks. Landing in hospital for major surgery isn’t much fun, but it is great to be back at work again. Here are a few fibre-related items that I hope you find interesting: PON Manufacturers finding it Tough Some five years ago I completed a one week  engineering course with Alloptic Inc at their Livermore, California headquarters. At the end of the course, their very kind CEO Ric Johnson took me for a drive to the Napa Valley and pointed out the area where their main competitor was located. This was a company called Wave 7 and both were competing for the early FTTH business in the USA and beyond. I subsequently learned that Wave 7 had been bought out by a Canadian company called Enablence. To their credit, Enablence did … Read More

More from Katsu in Japan - Light My Fibre

Mar 15, 2011

Dear John, By all means. Please copy edit them into better English if you like to quote from my e-mail. For your reference here’s the recent records of the earthquakes near Sendai area; – 1793.02.17 (8.2 in Richter scale estimated … I don’t know how the experts estimate it) – 1835.07.20 (7.3 estimated) – 1861.10.21 (7.4 estimated) – 1897.02.20 (7.4 estimated) – 1936.11.03 (7.4) – 1978.06.12 (7.4) The big earthquake comes every 37.1 years in average to the area. The earthquake with less than 7 in Richter scale is peanuts for them. However the tunami they had this time was exceptional. Some place had a breakwater with 10m hight, but was useless. In some places the water reached 20m above sea level. It was really exceptional. Also the big shake in … Read More

Message back from Japan - Light My Fibre

Mar 15, 2011

I was surprised and pleased to receive some comments back today from my FTTH Council friend Katsu-san who is involved with FTTH installations for Sumitomo Electric in Japan. His email is very interesting from several aspects. I quote: Dear John, Thank you for the dispatch regarding the fibre optics and earthquakes. I had lived in Sendai before and had experienced the earthquake measuring 7.2 Richter scale in 2003. It was a big shake, but luckily we had no damage by Tsunami. Maybe because the epicentre was close to the land. No man died, one house burned by fire. City tube operates without stopping services though they reduced the number of trains and operation speed. The area is historically very famous for big earthquakes and tsunamis. They have them every 40 years in average for hundreds years. Many records … Read More

Fibre optics and Earthquakes/Tsunamis - Light My Fibre

Mar 14, 2011

After the terrible events in Christchurch, and now Honshu in Japan, Peter Griffin suggested that I may like to comment on the ability of fibre to withstand such traumas. The actual glass part of the fibre is quite fragile and delicate. However the fibre “light conductor” core is always sheathed in variety of protective coatings, from simple plastic to modern materials like Kevlar. Fibre does enjoy the same tensile strength as steel of the same diameter. When covered by a protective jacket or armor, fibre can be treated fairly roughly without damage. Fibre is more resistant to temperature extremes and corrosion than alternative cable systems (copper, coaxial cable etc). Recent developments have seen “bend insensitive” fibre emerge, which greatly reduces the risk of breakage and signal attenuation when fibre is bent, even to small radiuses. Fibre rarely exists commercially … Read More

News from Australia - Light My Fibre

Feb 23, 2011

My sincere apologies for “going quiet” over the last weeks. I’ve been in and out of medical facilities here in Australia with recurrent cancer, endless CT and PET scans, quite a worry! Anyway from my observations over this period, the biggest issue in our field at the moment is Wireless versus FTTH. Everybody is buying 3G capable devices: Iphones, Ipads, wireless dongles for their laptops etc. I have three homes in three countries, and I had ADSL connections in all three. This meant I was paying around $60 a month in each place without downloading a single megabyte for months in two of the three places. Now here in Australia, “mea culpa”, I have cancelled my ADSL contract and bought a Telstra 3G dongle. I pay uniquely for the amount of data downloaded, and it followed me right across Australia … Read More

FTTH Christmas – New Year update - Light My Fibre

Jan 01, 2011

Happy New Year to all our friends and readers. I spent Christmas with family in Nouméa, New Caledonia. As always I caught up with old friends and business contacts there. The Telecom game is still a total monopoly in New Caledonia. L’Office des Postes et Télécommunications reigns supreme and uncontested from mail to phone to  internet. I can’t blame my OPT friends and contacts for that as it’s a political decision; they are just doing their job. One interesting recent change was the shut-down of analogue TV broadcasts ( well ahead of their bigger neighbours). The two local analogue TV channels have been replaced by eight free-to-air digital channels. These are broadcast terrestrially but there is also the CANL + dth SAT Pay TV service with some 50 channels. FTTH in New Caledonia is still in its infancy. A trial … Read More

Meeting Paul Budde - Light My Fibre

Dec 09, 2010

Anybody who is intensively involved with Fibre to the Home would have either met, heard or heard of Paul Budde. Paul is a Dutch-born Australian who has contributed  for many years to the analysis of the Telecoms industry and now Next Generation and FTTH networks. He is consulted by industry and governments, runs frequent seminars and publishes in-depth reports on trends around the world. He maintains a very complete and interesting website. Paul also cops his share of criticism because of his “no nonsense” pointed and precise opinions. I’d had email exchanges with Paul, and we share a network of friends around the world who are involved in the same pursuits. But we had never met. Paul’s visit to Auckland this week gave an opportunity to redress that situation. We arranged to dine at my favourite little French restaurant … Read More

FTTH in Thailand, Malaysia - Light My Fibre

Nov 28, 2010

Back again in sunny Auckland. I must say that my trip on Malaysian Airlines to KL, then Phuket and back was impeccable. They have very attractive business-class fares, the 777 aircraft was impeccably clean, food and service perfect! And no, I don’t get any freebies, discounts or other advantages for my recommendations, they are just my honest thoughts on what I experience. So the mid-year FTTH Asia-Pacific Council meeting is over, and we look forward to the AGM, Conference and trade show in Delhi in May 2011 (see FTTH CAP website). We had around 100 members, speakers and guests in Phuket from our now 70 member companies. Most of the Asia-Pacific member countries were represented. After the close of formal business we were taken by TOT (Telecom of Thailand) to a local exchange to see their first FTTH … Read More

Internet in Phuket: “Yes sir, would like a cigar with that, and maybe some vitamin pills?” - Light My Fibre

Nov 19, 2010

Just arrived in Phuket (Patong Beach) for the Asia-Pacific FTTH Council General Meeting. Wandering around the colourful and noisy beach-front last night, I saw this amusing sign for internet services. Then I thought “well why not?” A Pharmacy with some Internet terminals, selling Havana cigars? They probably do a great business! The Fibre to the Home Council Board, elected office-bearers and committee members are meeting at the Holiday Inn Resort, which at first glance is probably the biggest hotel property here, with multiple pools and gardens, several restaurants and (as everywhere in Thailand) extremely polite, happy and attentive staff. The meetings will cover progress made with the various projects … Read More

Fibre to the Home Council – Asia Pacific - Light My Fibre

Nov 10, 2010

I’m heading off soon to Phuket in Thailand to the General Meeting of the Asia-Pacific FTTH Council. Why Phuket? I’m not complaining, it’s a neat place! I think the Board tries to regularly include member countries in their rotating meeting program. We will be meeting with local Thai engineers and exchanging experiences. This time last year, we were honoured to host this mid-term meeting here in Auckland, New Zealand. What will we talk about? This year I was elected as Vice-chair of the Technology and Architecture study group. Coincidentally, Richard Wade of Cisco in Wellington was elected Chair of the group. So we have a strong Kiwi presence there. We are expected, with our many T&A committee members to undertake a “technical and/or network artichecture” study which will be beneficial to our member countries. The subject must be general and … Read More