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Cable Blowing – 35-Year Historical Review

Back in 1986, the Netherlands PTT was facing major problems to install optical cables for the backbone network into ducts. This was the trigger to develop the blowing technique for cables, inspired by British Telecom’s blown fiber technology (1982) for flexible and lightweight fiber members. Now with recognition that fiber members do not need to be lightweight and flexible at all to benefit from air propelling forces. In fact a certain cable stiffness is needed, creating synergy of pushing and blowing (often called jetting), doubling installation lengths. The advantages are so clear that blowing has become the standard method for installation of optical cables into ducts. Improvement of cables, ducts and lubrication made blowing length increase and fiber count rise. The development of microduct cabling, relying heavily on blowing technology, has also been discussed, as well as some special spin-off applications.

IWCS 2022
Willem Griffioen, Michael van Moppes, Vitor Goncalves