For years, the installation of cable networks’ field connectors was a fairly time-consuming process. To ensure the seamless flow of data-forming light, each hair-thin strand of glass fiber had to be glued into a connector. Technicians had to tote along portable ovens to heat-cure the special epoxy.
After waiting for the connector to finish curing, the technician would clean and polish the components by hand to ensure the pristine surface required for optical transmission.
On average, it took six to eight minutes to terminate a single connector. Results varied widely, based on the skill and experience of the technician. As recently as the mid-1990s, that’s just how it was.
But as carriers everywhere began to embrace the fast transmission capabilities of optical fiber networks, Corning engineers knew they had to find a better way.