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FAQ 2017-09-07T17:26:40+00:00
What is a CPE device? 2017-09-07T17:47:31+00:00

Customer-premises equipment or customer-provided equipment (CPE) is any terminal and associated equipment located at a subscriber’s premises and connected with a carrier’s telecommunication channel at the demarcation point (“demarc”). The demarc is a point established in a building or complex to separate customer equipment from the equipment located in either the distribution infrastructure or central office of the communications service provider.

CPE generally refers to devices such as telephones, routers, network switches, residential gateways (RG), set-top boxes, fixed mobile convergence products, home networking adapters and Internet access gateways that enable consumers to access communications service providers’ services and distribute them around their house via a local area network (LAN).
A CPE can be an active equipment, as the ones mentioned above or a passive equipment such as analogue-telephone-adapters or xDSL-splitters.

What is Wavelength Division Multiplexing? 2017-09-07T17:25:02+00:00

The multiple wavelengths of a WDM-PON can be used to separate Optical Network Units (ONUs) into several virtual PONs co-existing on the same physical infrastructure. Alternatively the wavelengths can be used collectively through statistical multiplexing to provide efficient wavelength utilization and lower delays experienced by the ONUs. There is no common standard for WDM-PON nor any unanimously agreed upon definition of the term. By some definitions WDM-PON is a dedicated wavelength for each ONU. Other more liberal definitions suggest the use of more than one wavelength in any one direction on a PON is WDM-PON. It is difficult to point to an un-biased list of WDM-PON vendors when there is no such unanimous definition. PONs provide higher bandwidth than traditional copper based access networks. WDM-PON has better privacy and better scalability because of each ONU only receives its own wavelength.

Why Choose GPON? 2017-09-07T17:11:42+00:00

GPON gives the end user the ability to consolidate multiple services onto a single fibre transport network. This is the key reason why someone would opt for GPON over other technologies.

Networks with GPON are the perfect solution for environments with multiple separated nodes/points or buildings because the technology reduces costs and infrastructure while increasing bandwidth. It provides 2.5 GB/s of downstream bandwidth and 1.25 GB/s upstream divided by the split ratio to each customer delivering a customisable, high capacity fibre network for forms of IP based services.

GPON provides for a large range of benefits that enable rapid, flexible, mass‐market fibre deployments at the lowest possible cost of ownership and rollout.
Combining full IP‐based connectivity and the latest fibre to the end point innovations, gigabit passive optical networks (GPON) are increasingly appearing as the key legacy network technology.

  • GPON supports triple – play services, providing competitive all-services solutions.
  • GPON supports high-bandwidth transmission to break down the bandwidth bottleneck of the access over twisted pair cables.
  • GPON supports the long-reach (up to 20 km) service coverage to overcome the obstacle of the access technology over twisted pair cables and reduce the network nodes.
  • With complete standards and high technical requirements, GPON supports integrated services in a good way.
  • GPON is a fully optical architecture option that offers the best of all worlds.
  • A GPON system consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) that connects several optical network terminals (ONTs) together using a passive optical distribution network (ODN).
What is GPON? 2017-09-07T17:03:04+00:00

GPON or ‘Gigabit Passive Optical Networks’ is a point-to-multipoint access mechanism. The main characteristic of GPON is the use of passive splitters which enable a single feeding fibre from the network provider’s central location to serve multiple users within their homes and small businesses.

Does the Atlantis System contribute to the green agenda? 2017-09-06T17:30:35+00:00

Environmental friendliness is a key consideration. By significantly reducing the excavation work and the size of duct required to transport the fibre cable, excavated material disposal and imported re-instatement material has been dramatically reduced or eliminated. This results in reductions in transportation and landfill/quarrying costs. There is no requirement for heavy plant or equipment and civic disruption is very minimal. All of these are significant contributors to minimising environmental pollution and associated CO2 emissions. Additionally, all plastic parts are also fully recyclable.

Is there any special personal protection equipment (PPE) required? 2017-09-06T17:29:31+00:00

No. Standard PPE such as would normally be expected for plumbing works and minor civil digs are all that are generally necessary.

Is there special training or certification of installers required? 2017-09-06T17:28:41+00:00

Each country will have its own legislation with regard to installation standards, Atlantis Hydrotec can assist in identifying those requirements (eg in some countries only registered plumbers are permitted to work on drinking water systems etc). Training for installation of the Atlantis D Series system is highly recommended to ensure the quality and reliability of work, training, initial mentoring and QA auditing packages can be arranged, on a case-by-case basis.

Why are lubricant packs included with the Atlantis installation kit, and is it safe to use? 2017-09-06T17:27:41+00:00

The lubricant can be used to ease the passage of the micro-duct via the twin ‘O’ rings in the adaptor unit, it is food grade dimethyl silicone fluid (WRAS approval number 0512515) and totally safe for use.

How is the 5/2.5 micro-duct supplied, and can any micro-duct be used for an install? 2017-09-06T17:26:27+00:00

The micro-duct is supplied packaged in a variety of formats and lengths, up to 1,000 metres on a cable drum. The 5/2.5 micro-duct is specially manufactured for use with the Atlantis D Series system and has be accordingly WRAS certified – only this micro-duct may be used.

What does and Atlantis D Series system install pack contain? 2017-09-06T17:25:20+00:00

The pack contains 2 x 45 degree branch fittings for 25mm MDPE water pipe, 2 x 5mm micro-duct adaptor units, 4 x pipe stiffeners for 25mm MDPE pipe, 2 x single use silicone lubricant packs, soluble chlorine tablets, 1 x isolation valve tag and cable tie, 1 x pair of disposable gloves, 2 x temporary micro-duct end caps, and an installation guide sheet. For quality and consistency of installations, the Atlantis D Series system is only supplied in full install packs as detailed above.

Where can the Atlantis D Series be installed? 2017-09-06T17:24:09+00:00

The Atlantis D Series system has full WRAS certification and approval. WRAS is an internationally recognised, well regarded and stringently applied standards body. This approval is de facto accepted in many countries in Europe and in other territories around the world. However either local acceptance of WRAS approval, or specific separate country certification must be gained prior to any Atlantis installation programmes, to ensure full compliance. It is also worth noting that some countries permit self-certification by the manufacturer, in which case WRAS approval will be considered acceptable in any event.

Does the local Water Authority need to be informed of each installation? 2017-09-06T17:22:59+00:00

No, provided that the technique has been approved for ubiquitous deployment and the product certification has been accepted, then installation can proceed on an ad hoc basis.

Where would fibre be blown, from and to, after the Atlantis D series has been installed? 2017-09-06T17:22:05+00:00

Generally the Atlantis micro-duct would be interfaced using the correct fitting into the street access micro-duct. So, the fibre would typically be blown from the remote end (passive or active street cabinet or central office) up to the fibre termination box on the property wall. Such an end-to-end fibre unit blow would easily achieve >>1km of street fibre joined to say a 500m Atlantis micro-duct run. However it would also be feasible to blow fibre up to the first Atlantis branch fitting location in the street micro-duct, fleet the fibre and then re-blow down the Atlantis micro-duct or undertake a tandem blow, this may be a more practical and reliable approach if a very long run from the road to the property is required. The best solution is readily determined on a case-by-case basis during initial survey.

How is the Atlantis micro-duct connected into an FTTH system? 2017-09-06T17:21:19+00:00

The Atlantis micro-duct is of special 5/2.5 standard, with a 2.5mm internal diameter hole for the fibre, the greater wall thickness compared with more standard 5/3.5 micro-duct is key to ensure a pressure and water-proof fibre containment with sufficient long term wear characteristics. Typically the 5/2.5 micro-duct would be fed directly from the pit dug at the home wall end into a fibre termination box low down on the house wall. More generally a 3.5mm internal diameter micro-duct will be run down a street (this permits the longer fibre blow distances required), and this may go back to a very local fibre distribution hub (such as is the case with GPON systems), or to a more remotely located active cabinet or even a home run to a central office or similar. The Atlantis branch has a special adaptor which interfaces between the 2.5mm and 3.5mm internal diameter micro-ducts with a smooth taper, allowing snag-free blowing, and reducing back-pressure and turbulence effects at the interface, and the adaptor would be selected to also accommodate the external diameter for the main fibre micro-duct run; this could include 5/3.5 for micro-duct bundles, 7/3.5 for standard single tube direct burial micro-duct, and 12/3.5 for single tube direct burial including an additional foil moisture barrier and outer protective sheath.

How is Atlantis deployed in a gated community environment? 2017-09-06T17:19:52+00:00

In this situation generally the feed from the road will enter the gated community and go into a ‘manifold’ services cabin, from where the water pipes will then be on-bound routed to the individual properties, it is often the case also that the water meters (if they are deployed) can be located in this services cabin. There is frequently then an elbow joint inbound and outbound per water pipe at the cabin. The Atlantis techniques to negotiate the pull of the micro-duct around elbow joints would be employed. Gated communities in wealthy suburbs are a classic example of where trenching to deploy fibre is extremely problematical and expensive due to the surface finishes, and where Atlantis provides a perfect, rapidly deployed and highly cost-effective solution.

What if there is an elbow joint in the underground water pipe run? 2017-09-06T17:18:27+00:00

This is actually very rare indeed, smooth curves of continuous pipe are more likely to negotiate a change of direction underground. However Atlantis has developed techniques using a blown-in concatenated draw-wire system that will readily pull the 5/2.5 micro-duct around elbow joints. Note here that one site type where elbow joints may occur is in the gated community scenario.

How do I know where the property end of the water pipe is to dig the access pit? 2017-09-06T17:17:19+00:00

In many circumstances it will be very obvious from the direction of run identified from the street end pit and the location of the property itself. In many warm climates the water pipe is exposed at the property end, and if a house is built on ‘stilts’ with the floor elevated from the ground, then the pipe again will be readily seen – in these circumstances of course the home end Atlantis branch does not need a pit and can be above ground. In the case where a run is not clear then a micro-sonde (miniature radio transmitter) can be blown up the tube on a line using the existing water pressure and tracked using a standard utilities CAT scan locator tool, or a special purpose cobra rod with a signal generator attached can be inserted, or a braided stainless steel wire blown in under water pressure and connected to the signal generator. These are all standard utility location techniques which can be employed.

Over what run distance can the Atlantis D Series system can be installed? 2017-09-06T17:16:08+00:00

The limitations are the distance the micro-duct can be inserted in the water pipe and the distance over which the fibre EPFU can be blown down the 5/2.5 (ie 2.5mm internal diameter) micro-duct. Micro-duct can be readily hand pushed to c. 45m into the water pipe, and other techniques such a push & blow (with air or water floating), or insertion of a pilot draw wire to pull can readily achieve a 500m distance. For standard 2 or 4 fibre unit home installations then in a straight line a hand push of up to 80m can be achieved and a fibre machine push and air-blow of up to 500m is readily feasible; for higher fibre counts a 12 fibre unit is the maximum possible size, and hand push of c. 60m can be achieved, with a machine push and air-blow length of 380m. Curves and bends in the water supply pipe as well as elbow joints will though reduce these distances. Techniques such as blowing a nylon line and pulling in a multi-stranded stainless steel wire can be used to assist the machine push and air-blow for very long runs of micro-duct, as well as being used to pull micro-duct through buried elbow joints in the run. For the typical installations, then blowing distance of fibre and hand pushing in of micro-duct and fibre present no issues. For end-to-end fibre, from a street FDH to the home, 800m of combined 5/3.5 standard street micro-duct and 5/2.5 Atlantis micro-duct can be easily machine push and air-blown, using fleeting or tandem blow at the 5/3.5 to 5/2.5 point will easily allow around 2km of combined micro-duct. Please refer to the Atlantis White Paper on this subject for more detailed information and the results of field trials.

Can the water affect the fibre optic signal or data quality, and is it electrically safe? 2017-09-06T17:15:00+00:00

The fibre optic cable is fully contained within the micro-duct which is run down the water pipe. The water can never come into contact with the fibre optic cable, the data signal and quality cannot be affected. Data signals are transmitted as pulses of light in a fibre cable, there is no electrical power transmitted down the water pipe, so there is no electrical hazard.

Is there a risk of creating water leaks with the Atlantis D Series installation? 2017-09-06T17:14:13+00:00

The Atlantis System has been designed to withstand in excess of twice the normal water pressures without failure of the fittings (and has been tested to 8 times the standard domestic water pressure), so, as such there is no risk of leaking, provided it has been installed correctly.

What if urgent repair work is ever required to a water pipe feeding the home? 2017-09-06T17:08:07+00:00

A tag is attached during the installation to the stopcock/isolation valve at the footway end, identifying that a fibre optic cable is present. There will be a pre-agreed 24/7 hotline number on this tag which can be called prior to commencement of works and arrangements as necessary can be made to replace the micro-duct and fibre.

Does the property owner need to be present during installation? 2017-09-06T17:06:55+00:00

This is not strictly necessary for the Atlantis aspect of the install. There needs to be access to the outside of the property to dig the access pit and to fit the fibre termination box to the house wall. Water needs to be run for c. 10 minutes post the installation to flush any possible debris and to eliminate any residual taste of chlorine from the sanitised fittings and micro-duct, but this can be done via an external tap if present. Clearly for the running of fibre actually into the property post the installation then the home owner needs to be present.

What happens if a problem is found with the water supply pipe during installation? 2017-09-06T17:05:55+00:00

Though very unlikely, a problem may be discovered once an access pit is dug, this could include significant leaks, severely corroded steel pipe, or old lead pipe. The installer would record the information with photographic evidence and reinstate the excavation. In such cases, where lead pipes, significant corrosion, or leaks are discovered, the home owner and local water authority would be advised. An Atlantis installation could then go ahead once the important repair work had been completed.

If a property has a water meter can the Atlantis D Series system still be installed? 2017-09-06T17:05:07+00:00

Yes, where meters are fitted, they are generally by the stopcock/isolation valve in the footway region, the Atlantis branch is then fitted on the property side of this.

What operating pressures can the Atlantis D Series system be used in? 2017-09-06T17:02:30+00:00

Atlantis System is certified to an operating pressure of 12.5 bar. Most domestic water supply pipes are rated for 10 to 12 bar operating pressures. Testing of the Atlantis fittings has demonstrated the ability to withstand pressures in excess of 45 bar. Note that most domestic water supplies are in the range of 2 to 6 bar pressure.

How long will an Atlantis D Series installation last? 2017-09-06T17:01:29+00:00

The Atlantis fittings are of robust HDPE construction and should readily survive for 100 years. Accelerated wear tests undertaken on the micro-duct demonstrate that, under normal conditions, it will last satisfactorily for this period also. The MTBF therefore is estimated as > 500,000 hours.

Can the Atlantis D Series fittings be installed above ground? 2017-09-06T16:57:55+00:00

Generally, the Atlantis D Series branch fittings will be buried below ground level, in most locations temperatures at the typical install depths exhibit only small fluctuations with the seasons. The system can however be installed above ground, at either or both ends, and in some locations or countries this may be a relatively common requirement. These would generally be in warm/hot countries where no special considerations are needed, but in cases where freezing external temperatures may possibly be experienced then the standard precautions and protections that would be employed with the normal water pipes above ground should be followed.

Can the Atlantis D Series be used on hot water pipes? 2017-09-06T16:56:26+00:00

No, Atlantis has been designed only for cold water feed systems, it is recommended that the system is not used where the constant water temperature exceeds 25 Celsius.

What water pipes is the Atlantis D Series system designed for? 2017-09-06T16:54:58+00:00

Atlantis has been designed for use with the normal 25mm, SDR11 standard Medium Density Poly Ethylene (MDPE) pipes, to BS 6572 (or equivalent). It can though can be used with most small diameter polyethylene pipes used for domestic supplies using standard off-the-shelf plumbing fittings to adapt the size (typical examples being 20mm and 32mm pipes and similar imperial measurement standards). There should be no negative effects with other pipe materials, assuming that coupler/adaptors are used and 25mm poly ethylene pipe is used to interface to the Atlantis branch fitting. However the possible poor condition of older pipe materials may need to be taken into consideration for suitability, on a case-by-case basis.

Will the installation affect the domestic water supply? 2017-09-06T16:53:57+00:00

The 5mm duct occupies only < 5% of the area of a typical 25mm MDPE water supply pipe. In virtually all circumstances the water pressure is maintained and the effect on delivered flow rate is negligible.

What regulatory standards does the Atlantis D Series system conform to? 2017-09-06T16:52:32+00:00

Atlantis is fully UK WRAS approved and certified (WRAS approval reference 1011024). This certification is de facto accepted in many European countries, and other locations around the world. Atlantis Hydrotec will help work with any individual local regulatory authority, on a case-by-case basis to achieve compliance should this be required.

Is the Atlantis system safe to use, given it is installed within the drinking water supply? 2017-09-06T16:51:18+00:00

All components are made with virgin grade materials, which have been tested approved by the UK Water Regulator and have full WRAS approval to ensure that they are 100% safe for use in drinking water systems. In the UK, and many other territories, it is not actually a requirement to sanitise fittings on the domestic side of the supply, however it is recommended that all parts are sanitised by immersed in a chlorine solution on-site prior to installation, and the same hygiene standards are applied as those used by the local Water Authorities during installation and repairs on the non-domestic side of the supply. As an option, Atlantis Hydrotec can supply all fittings including pre-cut lengths of micro-duct as vacuum packed and pre-sterilised. Also key to note is that the fibre is completely contained within the HDPE polymer micro-duct and can never be in contact with the water.

Can the Atlantis D Series provide fixed price installations? 2017-09-06T16:50:12+00:00

Yes, in principle. Prime contractors for FFTH works generally wish to avoid the variable costs associated with long runs from the road to the home, and specifically to avoid the potentially substantial liability costs associated with re-instatement of expensive or ornate drive finishes or gardens. As such an installer/subcontractor may consider offering a fixed price install contract to a prime contractor, since mostly the only variable element is the length of micro-duct, which is in itself a very inexpensive item and a small element in the cost mixture of labour and product.

Can the excavated material be re-used to re-instate the small pits that are dug? 2017-09-06T16:49:10+00:00

Legislation varies, however in virtually every case the excavated spoil can be used since it is not in the roadway and so is not subject to heavy load. Pea gravel is recommended for bedding to and around the actual Atlantis fitting. The surface level may require additional re-instatement material, such as asphalt/tarmac, though in most cases the surface will be either soil/turf or paving stones that would be replaced.

Are specialist tools required to install the Atlantis D Series? 2017-09-06T16:48:12+00:00

No special tools are needed. Normal small civil works dig tools are used to excavate the pits. A small section of pipe is removed at each end using a saw or pipe cutter and the ‘Y’ shaped branches are connected using standard screw/compression style fittings. In some cases a standard pipe tracer/sonde may be needed to follow a water pipe route up to the wall of a property, if the run is not clear. Also in cases of longer runs, either a cobra rod or draw wire blowing tool may be needed to assist in the Atlantis micro-duct install aspect, such equipment is standard fare for fibre cable installers.

What is involved with the Atlantis installation? 2017-09-06T16:47:12+00:00

The work requires the excavation of two small holes, typically 600mm square, one at the water stopcock in the footway and one at the property wall, to expose the existing water delivery pipe. A small section (c. 60mm) of the water pipe is removed at each end, and a special ‘Y’ shaped fitting is attached which allows a 5mm micro-duct to the introduced connecting the two locations.

How long does it take to install the Atlantis D Series system? 2017-09-06T15:43:19+00:00

A typical installation should take between one and two hours to complete, for a team of two comprising one trained person and one labourer (varying mainly on the time to dig and re-instate the two small pits). The timescales however are broadly independent on the intervening terrain, surface finishes or distance of run.

Why use the Atlantis D Series rather than other installation methods? 2017-09-06T14:42:51+00:00

The Atlantis D Series has been developed to be used as one of a set of techniques that could be employed to deliver FTTH to a property, allowing the selection of the optimum and most cost-effective method for any given set of circumstances. It is ideal for installations where it would be costly or difficult to utilise other more traditional civil methods (e.g. hard dig or directional drilling), whilst minimising the disruption and liability for damage reparation. For deployment lengths over c. 15m long then Atlantis is almost always more cost-effective in any case, regardless of the terrain to be covered.

What is the advantage to using the Atlantis D Series system? 2017-09-06T14:43:41+00:00

Utilising the water supply pipe reduces the work to two small excavations. This minimises installation time and cost, and mitigates the risks of encountering unknown services and poor ground conditions. Most importantly it minimises the risk of damage and high re-instatement liability to expensive or specialist driveway surfaces, or ornate and elaborate gardens.

What is the Atlantis D Series system? 2017-09-06T14:44:14+00:00

The Atlantis D Series is a unique and patented system that has been developed to permit a cost effective installation of fibre optic cable from the footway/road to a homeowners property whilst minimising damage and disruption, by utilising the domestic water supply pipe as a conduit for a blown-fibre micro-duct which is installed between two special branch fittings.