I also had a great talk with Marc Stringer at the Belden booth about their tactical fiber products. One of the reasons for the term “tactical fiber” originated with the military. You don’t get much more tough a condition than the military can present and in the past years there was some concern about taking fiber optic cable on the road. Some figured that fiber wouldn’t be tough enough to stand up to the rigors of field use. In response to that and due to the fact that fiber has obvious advantages for military use, including the fact that it cannot be inductively tapped, “tactical” fiber with kevlar jacketing was developed and is now in wide use by TV trucks and other mobile users. Marc also told me about the lower bend radius that’s possible with the new stuff so it can actually be twisted around and crossed over itself rather tightly with no significant ill effects. The mobile uses of course benefit from the drastic reduction in weight over equivalent lengths of copper. Fuel costs going the way they are and copper costs, too, fiber is an increasingly attractive prospect for mobile field applications.