How You Inspire Our Cabling & Connectivity Innovations
As we face a future where technology like IoT, 5G and virtual reality are taking data volumes and data rates to new levels, data centers and enterprise networks are facing challenges unlike ever before.
Because fiber cabling is the only network infrastructure that can support data rates of 50G and beyond, reliance on fiber is growing. Many of today’s large data centers now support tens of thousands of fiber links.
As a locally owned and operated technology firm in Winkler, Manitoba, Valley Fiber is one of the only ISPs in the world that provides dedicated fiber to the home: Each customer has a dedicated fiber line so they get guaranteed speeds and don’t have to worry about slow uploads/downloads or deal with peak demand. Valley Fiber’s Active Ethernet Network design mimics a data center’s build and design style, allowing it to offer these dedicated services.
Valley Fiber CEO Hank Wall had his own ideas about how he wanted to manage the ISP/technology firm’s “super-high-density” fiber optic infrastructure, as he describes it. The company’s fiber network is designed to be adaptable, using transceiver technology that accommodates speeds from 10 Gb/s to 450 Gb/s so the company can scale to meet growing demand.
After searching, the Valley Fiber team thought they found a solution to meet their requirements—but it didn’t work out as planned. That’s when Wall started brainstorming alternatives. The only problem? The infrastructure to bring his fiber-management concept to life didn’t exist.
The Valley Fiber team had used Belden copper and coax solutions in the past, so Wall had an open conversation with us about needs and expectations. We met to discuss possible solutions, listening to his ideas and feedback based on how Valley Fiber installers would work and install components in the field.
The partnership resulted in a solution to help them manage high-density data center fiber without compromising on ease of use. “We had an opportunity for one-on-one, in-person collaboration with Belden,” explains Wall. “We worked closely with the engineering team, fabricators and technicians and explained exactly what we wanted.”
This relationship is just one example of how we prefer to work with customers. Sometimes, a solution is straightforward, and we can point you in the right direction. In other situations, it requires some innovative thinking, brainstorming and back-and-forth discussions to land on a workable result.
Almost every product we manufacture is inspired by a real-life story or struggle. Our REVConnect® Connectivity line, for example, was the result of installers telling us that they spent too much time on rework and fixing mistakes—and that they didn’t have time to train new workers on complicated termination processes.
When we found out that nearly 5% of Category 6A jacks and plugs needed some level of rework after the first termination, we made sure we came up with a solution to reduce rework with a first pass yield of 99% for better termination reliability.
It was through conversations with customers that inspired us to create our first Center of Excellence as well. Here, we develop ideal fiber solutions for your unique environment when off-the-shelf offerings don’t provide what you need. You work alongside Belden to create custom fiber solutions that turn out exactly how you envision them.
Another good example is a recent stadium project we completed in California. To make every square foot inside the stadium’s data center count, we created Flexible Ribbon Cable specifically for the project. The cable’s small OD and superb flexibility make it easier and faster to handle than traditional ribbon cable. Sorting and ribbonization are already complete, which reduces labor resources, costs and necessary tools associated with traditional ribbon cable.
“Belden took a chance on an idea with us,” says Wall. “It’s easy to sit back and moan about the way things are, but this is an example of people getting involved in solving real problems. We have a very transparent and open relationship that allows us to communicate efficiently, bridging country boundaries and time zones. Our standard was to build at least 1.45 Tb/s to every home—and we couldn’t have done it without Belden.”
Read our case study on this topic to learn more.