Fiber optic networks offer many benefits for businesses, including reliability, security, greater bandwidth, and faster internet service. At The Network Installers, we have a dedicated team of highly-skilled contractors available to integrate fiber optic cabling into new or existing buildings. Our fiber optic installation process covers everything from planning and preparation to termination and testing. But how does it work?
How fiber-optic internet works
Fiber optic internet is transmitted through thin strands of glass, which send digital information using pulses of light. When these pulses reach your computer, they’re converted into an electronic signal your device can understand. This means you can enjoy faster speeds over longer distances with more reliability than traditional copper cables or DSL connections.
How fiber optic is installed
The fiber optic installation process begins with thoroughly planning your infrastructure and cable design. Our team will work with you to identify the best way to run fiber cables through your building and determine the optimal cable routing for your network.
Determining fiber optic bend radius
Unlike copper wires, which are a little more robust, fiber optic cables are delicate. Therefore, it’s important to handle them carefully and avoid bending or swiveling them. Your installer will work with the minimum bend radius of the new fiber to ensure the cables are positioned in such a way to maximize performance.
They’ll also know the pulling tension the cable can handle before the cable jacket and interior becomes damaged. Once the plan is finalized, we will begin prep work for installation.
Preparing your site
Before any fiber optic cables can be laid, it may be necessary to excavate trenches and install conduits if you’re laying underground fiber optic cables. Alternatively, your installers may mount poles for an aerial installation.
This additional telecommunications infrastructure could be required because fiber optics are a delicate type of cable and can be easily damaged if they are not adequately protected. Our team will take all the necessary precautions to ensure your cables are safe and secure, often beneath the ground in a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) or fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) installation.
Laying the cable
Once the prep work is complete, our technicians will begin laying the fiber optic cable. This process can be quite time-consuming, so be prepared for a few days of work. The cables are laid using one of two techniques: blowing or pulling. In a blowing installation, the cable is inserted into a tube and blown through the length of the duct with compressed air. Alternatively, the technician pulls the cable through the duct by hand in a pulling installation.
Terminating the cable
Once the cables have been laid, it’s time to terminate them. This process involves attaching connectors to the ends of the fibers and polishing them, so they are ready to use. Using fiber optic fusion splicers is also an option that allows for combining two or more fibers into a single strand.
Testing and certification
After termination, the fiber optic cables must be tested and certified to meet all the necessary requirements. Our team will perform a series of tests on each cable, including insertion loss, return loss, and OTDR testing. Only once all the tests have been passed will your network be ready for use.
Powering up your network box
When your cables are in place, your technician will connect your network box to your optical network terminal using an ethernet cable. Your network box can be powered up, and you’ll connect devices such as your desktops, servers, router, laptops, and printers to the wi-fi network.
Securing your fiber optic network
Securing your fiber optic network is a critical step, so you must set up password-protected user accounts and configure your firewall to protect your data.
What fiber optic installation tools are needed?
Fiber optic technicians rely on a range of kit during the installation process. This includes:
- fiber optic cleavers
- strippers, pulling eye and polishers
- fiber optic connectors
- cable ties and clamps
Testing equipment will also be required, such as an OTDR, light source, and power meter.
What are the fiber optic installation standards?
The Fiber Optic Association, or FOA sets out the minimum requirements that must be met for your fiber optic premises cabling to be considered safe and reliable. These standards are defined for the following areas of the fiber optic installation process:
- Fiber optic cable installation
- Connector inspection and cleaning
- OTDR testing
- Fiber optic splicing
- Labeling and documentation
The FOA also provides certification for fiber optic technicians, which is recognized worldwide.
Why should you avoid fiber optic self-installation?
While it may be tempting to install fiber optics yourself, this is not recommended. Several things can go wrong during an installation, which could lead to a sub-standard network and possible data loss and attenuation.
It’s also important to note that fiber optic cables are different from traditional copper cables. They require a different type of installation and should only be handled by qualified technicians.
How much does it cost to install fiber optic internet?
The exact cost of your fiber optic installation will be based on various factors. For example, the level of excavation or amount of infrastructure that needs to be installed will have a bearing on the overall cost. You can also expect the length and type of fiber optic cabling to determine the price of your installation project, with multimode fiber often being more expensive than single mode fiber.
Generally, the installation cost for fiber optic internet will be higher than for traditional broadband, but you will enjoy much faster speeds and a more reliable connection.
When will my fiber optic network be ready?
This depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the installation, liaising with your service provider, and the availability of technicians. However, our team will work as quickly as possible to get your network up and running.
Start your fiber optic installation process
The Network Installers provides fiber optic installation for businesses of many shapes and sizes. If you’re ready to switch to a faster, more reliable internet connection, our team can help. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate.