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Cable Blowing Revolution - How it All Started and How we Benefit from it Now

Long time ago, in 1986, the Netherlands PTT was facing major problems to install their optical cables for the backbone network into ducts. This was the trigger to develop the blowing technique for cables, inspired by the blown fiber technology for flexible and lightweight fiber members, developed by British Telecom in 1982. But, this was now done 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, to make possible the synergy of pushing and blowing (often called jetting), amply doubling the installation length. 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 the blowing length increase and the fiber count in a duct rise. The development of microduct cabling, relying heavily on blowing technology, has also been discussed, as well as some special applications.


Willem Griffioen, Michael van Moppes, Vitor Goncalves