Success Story

Clear verdict in Schleswig-Holstein: FTTO is ideally suited for the Ministry of Justice

Fiber optics to the workplace - when the judicial authorities in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein realised this almost twenty years ago they really were part of a trend. To this day, glass fiber technology still offers essential advantages - although the expectations placed on the large-scale spread of Fiber-to-the-Desk (FTTD) failed to materialise. Together with the Schleswig-Holstein federal state building management authority (GMSH), in 2008 the Ministry of Justice decided to successively modernise the infrastructure in all its buildings. Fiber optics to the workplace was superseded stepwise by the Fiber-to-the-Office concept. By installing Microsens Micro Switches, the departments still profit from the advantages of glass fiber technology, while at the same time the IT costs have dropped tremendously.

Universal and fast

"Once we had thoroughly analysed the starting situation, it was clear to us that the Fiber-to-the-Office concept was ideal for us", explains Dirk Strehl from the state construction / technical equipment department of the GMSH. The entire existing glass fiber infrastructure continues to be used, but the connections in the individual offices are replaced. This is possible with a Micro Switch, which is installed in the individual offices and takes care of the transition of the fiber-optic infrastructure to the copper cabling. The Microsens Micro Switches won the contract after the very first tender. As a result of the standardised 45 x 45 design, they can be installed without special tools. At the same time, they support Power-over-Ethernet, i.e. terminal devices can be supplied with electrical power directly via the data line, rendering an additional mains connection superfluous. On the output side, per Micro Switch four standardised RJ-45 connections with a 100Base-TX and a 100 Base-FX fiber-optic port are available for the users. Additional media converters are not required and after conversion all new terminal devices only need the copper-based LAN ports installed as standard. The Switches met a further criterion of the tender, as they support quality of service (QoS) and can therefore transmit Voice-over-IP. The central management of the Switches enables an integrated network management agent that supports SNMP.

Experience in handling glass fibers also played a major role in the selection of the service provider. Pigtails break very easily over the years if they are not used properly and a splice tray was not yet available at the time of initial installation. Here an IT service provider from Kiel won the contract in the first year; since 2009 euromicron systems GmbH has managed to secure the contracts.  

Organisation is everything

In order to ensure the minimum disturbance to operation in the authorities, the conversions required exact planning. Since 2008, over 4,800 Microsens Switches have been installed. The course of events was always the same: The authorities involved were informed about the project with a lead time of several weeks. GMSH converted 150-250 ports per property. The changeover period was a maximum of three weeks in total. Conversion took around two hours per office. There were no impairments for the employees, as they were informed in good time and could coordinate their workflows accordingly.

Fast, clean, future-oriented

Looking back over the course of the project, the predominant impression is the straightforwardness and the smooth progress. 11 projects were realised in 2011 alone. Fiber-to-the-Office really did offer the best combination of modernisation and investment protection. Copper cabling would have caused a considerably greater structural engineering and organisational expense. In addition, the present solution also saves long-term operating costs. The Power-over-Ethernet function obviated several power supplies for the terminal devices and also the electrical power they generate. The power consumption of the Switch is also limited by integrating a 2-pole switch with which the Switch and telephone can be switched off when leaving the office. And the judicial authorities can also can be relaxed in the face of the introduction of Voice-over-IP. Sometimes it does simply work out.

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Transmitting information via fiber optic connections offers numerous benefits. MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG recognised this very early on. As one of the pioneers, the company has developed and produced high-performance communications and transmission systems in Germany since 1993. Individually matched to the demands of diverse usage areas and embedded in comprehensive concepts for individual sectors. But, above all, close to the customer. Technical challenges from customer projects are incorporated directly into product development. This way, IP-based automation solutions are created for modern buildings, cost-efficient network concepts for the office and workspace, robust and fail-safe solutions for industrial environments, optical transport systems future-oriented wide area networks and efficient coupling of sites and computer centres.