Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hi-bandwidth fibre diet: the beginning

A mysterious new box has appeared on my wall. What could it mean?

Ah, an OpenNet installation. What this means is that the home is now optical fibre enabled and the promise of seriously high bandwidth data traffic beckons. This means 'faster Internet' for those of you who don't speak Geek.

Installation was a breeze. The contractors arrived on-the-dot of our prearranged appointment. After a quick scan of our layout, they sussed out the shortest and least intrusive route for the cabling -- along the floor skirting and started laying down the line. In just over half-an-hour the house was hardwired into the new national infrastructure. Those were the Chinese guys. Then the Indian guy came in with the most complicated set of electronic gadgetry I've ever seen: an orange box and a crimper.

Before I proceed, there's something I discovered about optical fibre cable. It's not a single length of wiring, but a bundle of actual fibres (each less than the width of a human hair) twisted together that makes up the cable. The Indian guy was integrating the loose ends to the terminal box and these ends were barely visible to the human eye. Between his tools, his hands and his voice-activated signal test kit (actually a cellphone on speaker mode) it appeared like his gestures, manipulations and utterances were weaving a tapestry of magic right there in my living room.

Full installation done in an hour. Cost: No charge (due to installation during promotional period) and no extra cabling required beyond the first 15m.

Right. What's the fuss all about? For the moment, not much. It's just the initial stages of getting ready for a technology we haven't got the capability to fully maximize yet. It's just the foundation for our dreams of a geek's paradise in 2015:

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