In most cases, the installation of optical fiber network cables is not a task that average home network users should attempt due to the delicate and complicated nature of the process. They will typically want contact a professional installer with Fiber Optic Association (FOA) certification. Installers have the training and qualifications necessary to do the job correctly and to take care of any unexpected issues that arise along the way.
However, if users would like to attempt a short cable run within their home or business, they will need some information about fiber optics networks and the process that is typically used to install them. This guide will define fiber optics and will also supply some guidelines for the installation of optical fiber network cables.
About Fiber Optics
Fiber optic cables are network cables with massive bandwidth capabilities and high functionality over long distances. Within the casing of a fiber optic network cable is a cluster of glass fibers. Light pulses traveling through these glass strands transmit data at ultra-fast speeds. Although fiber optic technology is expensive, it is becoming an increasingly popular network option for businesses and homes.
The Planning Phase
Before installing a fiber optic network in their home or in their business, users will need to ensure that there is fiber optic service available in their area from companies like AT&T and Verizon. If so, a distribution box should be located somewhere in the neighborhood. Users will need to locate the nearest box and run fiber optic cable from the box to their house or place of business.
Next, users will have to place an Optical Network Terminal in their home or on an exterior wall. Since all regular telephone lines within the home or business will need to be replaced with fiber optic cables, users should begin to plan for the installation of fiber optics cables within the building.
Drawing Schematics and Plans
Whether the user is conducting the installation for their own home or for a business, they should have a written plan and a carefully drawn schematic. Documentation of the design will help users identify any potential problems before they begin their installation. They will also be able to ensure that they meet all of the communication needs of the location. In addition, a design or plan keeps users on track as they move through the strenuous process of installing the cables.
Users will need to decide on the termination points and splice points, which are the points at which the fiber optic cabling will end or divide. They should know what paths the cables will follow and what, if any, type of construction or reconstruction will be necessary to get cables into the walls, under the ground, or through some other space or conduit.
Developing a Cost Estimate and Purchasing Supplies
In order to develop a cost estimate, users should know what kinds of supplies and hardware they will need, including the fiber optics cables, the cable ties, the connectors, the closures, the wall jacks, the splices, and other items to complete the installation. For more complex projects, they may need to create a chart listing where each piece of cable or other equipment will be used. Completing a fiber optics installation can be costly, so users should shop around for good quality paired with bargain prices. Since some manufacturers and sellers use jargon terms when referring to certain fiber optics specifications, buyers should be mindful that they will need to double-check for compatibility before purchasing each component.
When all of the parts and supplies are assembled, users should check everything to ensure that there is no damage done to any of the components. The items should be stored in a secure, dry location until the work begins. Since fiber optics cables tend to set in the contour in which they are stored, the cables should be coiled in a figure eight orientation to keep them flexible. Just before the job begins, the supplies can be sorted according to their purpose and placement for easy retrieval as needed.