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Niagara Falls Bridge Commission deploys Sumitomo’s FutureFLEX system

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave today announced the installation of its FutureFLEX Air-blown Fiber infrastructure for t...


October 25, 2005  


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Sumitomo Electric Lightwave today announced the installation of its FutureFLEX Air-blown Fiber infrastructure for the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s (NFBC) major expansion of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.

One of the largest hinge-less bridges in the world and the fourth busiest commercial border crossing between Canada and the U.S., the 10,000-foot fiber blow links the bridge to the border control plazas in the towns of Lewiston, N.Y. and Queenston, Ont.

The fiber path terminates at NFBC’s new operations centre headquartered in Lewiston to which security, video surveillance, toll facility and traffic systems data from the bridge are delivered.

Participating in the Canada-U.S. FAST program through which commercial drivers are pre-registered with Customs authorities, the NFBC has added a fifth lane to the bridge and also installed a new traffic control system to reconfigure the lanes for a faster and safer passage across the border.

According to Sumitomo, the infrastructure eliminates the crews that would otherwise have to close lanes and portions of the bridge to re-enter the conduit systems in order to pull additional fiber.

“With the air-blown fiber system, network moves, reconfigurations, and upgrades are achieved quickly and easily even in secure and limited access areas –typically taking hours rather than the days of work needed to accomplish the same project through conventional cabling methods.”

By adopting this infrastructure rather than a conventional fiber optic backbone, the NFBC says it can upgrade its network to quickly respond to changes in traffic, emerging technology and new security mandates.

“We’re not stuck with what could be obsolete fiber or waiting for long upgrade projects to happen,” said Michael O’Reilly, the commission’s IT manager.