A Beginner’s Guide to Fiber Optic Installation

fiber optic cable installation

Fiber Optic Installation 

Fiber optic installation offers high-performance networking for your business. It delivers greater bandwidth capacity and less chance of the electromagnetic interference you receive with a copper cable. The Network Installers specialize in a variety of cable installation services to deliver the speed and reliability of service your business depends on. We offer fiber optic fusion splicing, cable repair and also carry out regular audits of the network to ensure the integrity of your fiber optic cables. 

What is fiber optic installation?

Fiber optic installation involves laying fiber optic cables to deliver high-speed internet to a building. Much of the world’s internet connections are based on fiber optic cables, which run between cities and countries. However, fiber optic installation is also possible in residential areas and business districts. 

Fiber optic network installation

There are different types of fiber optic network installation including: 

  • FTTP (fiber to the premises) – optical fiber is laid all the way to your building. From here, optical network terminals convert the signal from optical to electrical. 
  • FTTB (fiber to the building or business) – this works as above. 
  • FTTC/N (fiber to the curb of node) – fiber is laid to the node, but copper continues the connection within the building. 
  • Direct fiber – this is recommended for small service areas where excellent bandwidth is required. 
  • Shared fiber – an Active Optical Network or Passive Optical Network splits a fiber into customer-specific fibers. 

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Fiber optic installation requirements

Fiber optic cables are laid outdoors or indoors, depending on your requirements. For outdoor fiber optic installation, fiber optic cable is often run in ducts or directly buried. You may need fiber to be run across a bridge, road, or waterway; in this scenario, fiber optic cables can withstand the elements as they rely on light beams rather than electric transmission.

For indoor fiber optic installation, fiber optic cable is often run through an existing conduit. You can also install it in plenum spaces, suspended from the ceiling, or placed in cable trays beneath a raised floor. 

In either case, you’ll need the experience of The Network Installers to develop a road map of your fiber optic installation.

fiber optic cabling

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What is fiber optic cable used for? 

Fiber optic cables are essential in the running of our day-to-day lives. We use them for:

  • Internet and computer networking 
  • Telecommunications 
  • Cable TV 
  • Military and space applications

Fiber optic installation best practices

The Network Installers always follow best practices for a safe and efficient fiber optic cable installation. These include: 

  • Determining how much cable is required–remember you don’t want your cable pulled too tight.
  • Building a port map to identify what each port connects to. 
  • Checking the cable’s tension and pull loads and stay within these limits 
  • Not twisting the cables as this can damage the delicate fibers within. 

Fiber optic installation methods

There are two main methods of installing optical fiber cables: the pulling and blowing methods. Often, cable blowing is the preferred method but pulling may be used as a backup. The Network Installers will conduct a site survey beforehand to decide the best approach for your individual installation. 

How fiber optic cable works

A fiber optic cable is filled with strands of glass fibers contained within the insulated casing. Each strand is a similar thickness to a human hair, but at the core of each is a pathway for light to travel. The cable uses pulses of light generated by lasers to carry communication signals from one destination to the next. You can choose between single-mode or multi-mode cables–the single-mode fiber requires a laser to generate light, whereas multi-mode cables rely on light-emitting diodes (LEDs). 

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Fiber optic cable bend radius

Bend radius should be a key feature of your cable management. This measurement determines how far a fiber optic cable can bend without causing damage to the glass fibers within. If the fibers become damaged, this can disrupt the transmission of light along the cable and negatively impact the quality of data transmission. Therefore, each cable has a bend radius, determining how tightly you can bend it around furniture or within a server cabinet.

fiber optic bend radius

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Fiber optic cable blowing procedure

One of the more efficient methods of installing fiber optic cable is to move it into place using a pressurized blowing system. This is far quicker than using cable pulling and offers faster installation speeds. A further benefit is less stress on the cable throughout the procedure. 

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Fiber optic cable color code

Color codes are used in fiber optics to help installers identify components, including the outer jacket of the cable, the inner cable, and the connector. They’re beneficial during cable splicing when the engineer needs to identify the correct fibers to connect. EIA/TIA-598 is the recognized fiber color-coding system used for this purpose. 

How Does the Fiber Optic Color Code System Work

Fiber optic installation underground

Installing fiber optic cable underground is a common method of installation. The cable is placed into ducts within an underground conduit. This protects the cables from environmental changes such as shifting rocks, rodent dens, or landscaping tools like shovels. If you need to replace the cables in the future, it’s straightforward to access them within the conduit and maintain or upgrade them as required.

Fiber optic installation process

Fiber optic cables are usually installed using either a pulling or blowing technique. Cable pulling is where the cable is pulled into place using a winch or other mechanical device. Alternatively, cable blowing uses compressed air to push the cable into place. The Network Installers can advise on the best method for your project. 

Fiber optic cable armored

Armored fiber optic cable is a type of cable designed to withstand harsh environments. The cable is encased in a steel or aluminum sheath then covered in a polyethylene cable jacket. This protects it from physical damage and makes it more durable. This type of cable is often used in industrial or commercial applications with a risk of cable tampering. It can be installed in various ways, including in ducts, in underground conduits, or aerially. 

Fiber optic cable diameter

The diameter of a fiber optic cable is an important factor to consider when choosing which type of cable to use. The outer diameter (OD) of a cable is measured from one side of the cable to the other. The core diameter (CD) measures the glass fibers themselves, while the cladding diameter (CCD) measures the material surrounding the glass fibers. 

The larger the core diameter, the more light can be transmitted. Therefore, single-mode fiber has a much thinner core than multi-mode fiber. The cladding diameter is also important as it determines the amount of light reflected into the core. This is known as the reflectance coefficient. A low reflectance coefficient means less light is reflected, and more is transmitted, resulting in a higher quality signal. 

Fiber optic cable extender

A fiber optic cable extender is a device used to extend the length of a fiber optic cable. This is commonly used in situations where you need to increase the cable length, but it is not possible or practical to do so using a standard fiber optic cable. Extenders can also be used in troubleshooting – for example, to repair a damaged cable or to connect two pieces of fiber optic cable.

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Fiber optic cable range

If you’re investing in fiber optic cabling, there are many single and multi-mode options available. The single-mode fiber is OS2, while the multi-mode fibers range from OM1 to OM5 inclusive. Single-mode offers a longer distance than multi-mode but lacks the higher data rate provided by multi-mode fiber cabling. 

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Fiber optic cable speed

One of the main benefits of fiber optic cables is the fast speed of transmission in comparison to copper wires. This is because fiber optic cables are made from glass or plastic, allowing light signals to be transmitted at high speeds. The transmission speed depends on the type of fiber, but you can expect speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s with multimode fiber.

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Fiber optic cable types

There are a wide variety of optical fiber cables in the market. Our fiber optic installers routinely use some of the following brands:

  • Cisco Meraki 
  • Aruba
  • Rucks
Fiber Optic Cable

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How to connect fiber optic cable

Fiber optic cables are typically connected using either a splice or a connector. A splice is where two pieces of fiber optic cable are joined together using either a mechanical or fusion splice. A connector is where a piece of fiber optic cable is joined to another device such as a switch or router. The most common connector type is the LC (Lucent Connector) which uses a push-pull mechanism to connect and disconnect the cable. 

The Network Installers use professional technicians who ensure the end of the cable is clean and free from damage. If there is any dirt or debris on the end of the cable, it can cause signal loss. It’s also essential to ensure that the connection is secure and tight to prevent signal loss. 

Once the connection is made, the final step is to test the connection to ensure it is working correctly by using an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR). This device sends a pulse of light down the fiber optic cable and measures the time it takes for the light to be reflected. This information can then be used to identify any problems with the cable or connection. 

How to terminate fiber optic cable

Fiber optic cable termination involves connecting a fiber optic cable to a communication device or network – there are two main methods used. Your engineers will either use splicing where the two bare ends of the fiber are connected directly. The second method is to use connectors to create a temporary joint.

How to fiber optic installation

To set up a fiber optic network, your engineers must install the fiber optic cable. This process involves three main steps: running the cable, connecting the cable, and terminating the cable. 

After determining your cable routes, running the cable is done by either pulling it through an existing conduit or by trenching. Connecting the cable involves using either a splice or a connector; terminating the cable is the process of connecting it to a communication device or data network. 

Once the fiber optic cable is installed, your engineers will need to test the connection to ensure it is working correctly. This is achieved using an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR). This device sends a pulse of light down the fiber optic cable and measures the time it takes for the light to be reflected. This information is used to identify any problems with the cable or connection. 

Installing Fiber Optic

How to splice fiber optic cable

The Network Installers offers a spliced fiber-optic service, which uses a fusion technique to produce a long-term connection between two thermally-joined fibers. An electrical instrument forms an electric arc and provides a thermal connection between the two fibers. Once they’re fused, they can be covered with a plastic coating or a polyethylene jacket to protect them. 

How long does it take to splice a fiber optic cable? 

Splicing a fiber optic cable is a relatively quick procedure. Experienced fiber optic technicians can splice two fibers together in just a few minutes. 

Fiber optic cable tester

A fiber optic cable tester is a device used to test the quality of a fiber optic cable. It can be used to test for continuity, measure the attenuation of the cable, or measure the reflectance. These tests are carried out by sending a pulse of light down the fiber optic cable. The measurements in each test can identify any problems with the cable or connection.  

What is fiber optic cable advantages and disadvantages? 

Fiber optical cable offers a distinct advantage over traditional copper cables as the bandwidth is significantly higher. There’s greater resistance to electromagnetic interference, which can be a problem for copper wires. Additionally, you can expect lower power loss rates and secure data transmission at longer distances. 

As fiber optic cables are lightweight, they’re easy to install. But for the same reason, they can become damaged if they’re not installed or maintained correctly. You also need specialist equipment to test the cables. In summary, fiber optics have many benefits, but they’re often more expensive than copper wires. 

Why fiber optic cable is used

Networking professionals choose fiber optic cables over copper due to the promise of a reliable service. If you’re building a long-distance network or require heavy bandwidth and high speeds, then fiber optic cables are the clear choice. Although a greater upfront investment is often required with fiber optics cables, carrying pulses of light rather than electrical pulses creates a secure and more efficient service.

fiber optic cable repair

Fiber optic cable application

Fiber optic cables are used in a variety of applications in business. The Network Installers commonly set up fiber optic infrastructures in the following industries: 

  • Commercial 
  • Office
  • Warehouse 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Construction 
  • Education 
  • Healthcare 
  • Government 
  • Technology 
  • Cannabis 
  • Hospitality 
  • Retail 

Fiber optic cable for Internet

One of the most common uses for fiber optic cables is broadband connectivity. Fiber optic cables can transmit data at much higher speeds than traditional copper cables, making them ideal for use in high-speed internet connections. Fiber optic cables are also much less susceptible to interference than copper cables, making them more reliable for data transmission.

Fiber optic cable for TV 

Fiber optic cable is the best way to receive a high-definition television signal. Light signals travel along these strands and are converted into electrical signals your TV can understand. Fiber optic cables carry more information than traditional copper cables, and can carry a high-definition signal with no loss of quality. 

Fiber optic cable for router

Fiber optic cables don’t require a separate router. You can use any compatible Wi-Fi router you already have. But if your fiber connection offers faster speeds than your old internet service, you may need to upgrade your wireless router to get the best performance from your new internet service.

Fiber optic cable for internet connection

Common fiber optic cabling applications include :

  • Data centers
  • Telecom installations 
  • Internet service provider (ISPs)
  • Enterprise networks 

Fiber optic cable for modem

Fiber optic cable modems are different than regular DSL modems because of how the signal is transmitted. A fiber optic cable modem is a device connecting an electronic device, such as a computer, to an internet network. The signal transmission is not via copper cables but instead uses a fiber optic cable network. 

Fiber optic cable for ethernet

You can incorporate fiber optic cabling within an ethernet network, often to extend a LAN beyond its limit. To connect a fiber optic cable, you’ll need a fiber modem to change the digital signal to an analog form that can be transported over fiber. 

Fiber optic cable in computer network

Fiber optic cables can be used in computer networking for both local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). A LAN is a collection of devices, such as computers and printers, that are all connected and share resources. 

A WAN is a much larger network that can span multiple locations. In a WAN environment, fiber optic cabling is used to connect different LANs. This type of connection is known as a backbone connection. These are typically made between two buildings or over long distances. Your fiber optic cabling will carry data between them. 

Fiber optic cable and conduit

Fiber optic cabling can be installed within a conduit. Your engineers must decide the route the conduit will take, and then dig a trench or hole. The conduit is placed in the hole and buried. Next, a fiber optic cable is pulled through the conduit using special equipment. Finally, the ends of the fiber optic cable are terminated. 

Where fiber optic cable is used

Fiber optic cable is used in networking applications but may also be used in cable television and telephone systems. Fiber optic cable can also connect computers to each other and the internet.

Fiber optic cable is used in many industrial applications including: 

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive
  • Computer and Peripherals
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Energy
  • Environmental Monitoring 
  • Industrial Controls and Robotics
  • Medical Devices
  • Telecommunications
fiber optic engineer

Fiber optic cable to ethernet converter

When fiber optic cables are used in networking, they can connect computers to each other in a LAN or WAN. Alternatively, they can connect devices to the internet. A fiber optic cable to Ethernet converter can be used to connect a computer to an Ethernet network.

Fiber optic cable to router

A fiber optic cable to router model can be used if you need to connect a computer to a router. This is useful if you want to set up a home network or if you want to connect to the internet. 

Fiber optic cable for LAN 

A LAN or local area network is a group of computers and other devices connected to each other. Traditionally, LANs use copper cables, but there are disadvantages to this setup because of the interference and lack of speed. As an alternative, fiber optic cables may connect all of the devices in a LAN. 

Fiber optic cable to RJ45

An RJ45 is a type of Ethernet port, often used to connect computers to the internet. A fiber optic cable to RJ45 may connect a computer to an Ethernet network. 

Fiber optic cable to modem

A fiber optic cable to modem can connect a computer to the internet. But a standard modem won’t work as fiber optics rely on light pulses. Instead, you’ll need a fiber optic modem acting as a connecting interface between an electronic device and an internet network.

Why are fiber optic cables better than copper? 

Fiber optic cables are made of glass and can transmit data much faster than the alternative of copper cables. They are also more resistant to interference. Fiber optic cables can also carry more data than copper cables. Finally, fiber optic cables are much thinner than copper cables, which take up less space.

fiber optic vs copper cable

To learn more about this check out this blog that explains Why fiber optic cables are better than copper

Is fiber optic faster than copper? 

Yes, fiber optic cables are capable of transmitting data much faster than copper cables. Fiber optic cables can transmit data at speeds of up to ten gigabits per second. This is because fiber optic cables transmit data as light, while copper cables transmit data as electricity. Since light travels much faster than electricity, data will travel faster through a fiber optic cable than a copper cable.

Fiber optic cable versus ethernet

Fiber optic cables are better than ethernet cables because they’re faster, more resistant to interference, and can carry more data. However, fiber optic cables are more expensive than ethernet cables. The Network Installers can discuss the best options based on your requirements and budget. 

Fiber optic cable vs cat6

Category 6 cabling (Cat6) is a type of data cabling used for Gigabit Ethernet and a few other network systems. The cables are made from four sets of twisted copper wires, similar to Cat5 cabling. However, the difference between Cat5 and Cat6 is the latter has a thicker sheath and is made from a different type of copper. Cat6 cables are also more expensive than Cat5 cables. 

While Cat6 is an advanced form of copper cable, it’s not as effective as fiber optic cabling which uses light to transmit data. This is faster and more efficient than using copper. 

Fiber optic cable vs copper

As the speed of light is greater than the speed of electrons, fiber optic cabling is superior to copper wires. You can also expect a better bandwidth with fiber optics compared to copper. 

Fiber optic cable vs ethernet

One comparison between fiber optic cable and ethernet is bendability. Ethernet cables are much more flexible and can bend around corners. Fiber optic cables are made of glass which makes them more brittle. However, this shouldn’t be a deciding factor as the cables are typically installed in areas where they won’t be bent. Additionally, ethernet cables aren’t designed for long-distance transmission while fiber optic cables are.

Fiber optic cable vs twisted pair

Twisted pair cabling is a type of data cabling used for Ethernet networks. It consists of two copper wires that are twisted around each other. The twisting helps to cancel out interference. Twisted pair cables are typically cheaper than fiber optic cables, but they’re not as fast or resistant to interference. 

Fiber optic cable vs coaxial

Coaxial cables are used for cable television and some types of Ethernet networks. They consist of a copper wire surrounded by an insulating material which helps to reduce interference. As with many other types of cabling, they’re less efficient but cheaper than using fiber optic.

Fiber optic cable vs cat5

Cat5 cables are a type of data cabling used for Ethernet networks. They’re made from four sets of twisted copper wires and are similar to Cat6 cables. As they use wire rather than light to transmit data, they’re not as fast as fiber optic cables. However, they are cheaper and more flexible. 

Fiber optic cable bandwidth

Fiber optic cabling bandwidth is measured in gigabits per second (Gbps). This is because fiber optic cables can transmit large amounts of data at high speeds. There are two main types of fiber optic cabling: single-mode and multi-mode, with the latter offering greater bandwidth. 

The amount of data that can be transferred through a fiber optic cable per second is determined by the bandwidth of the cable. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transferred. The best fiber optic cable bandwidth available in the market is currently around 100 Gbps.

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What materials are fiber optic cables made of? 

Fiber optic cables are made of glass. The core of the cable is typically made of a very pure form of silica, while the cladding surrounding the core is made of a less pure form of silica. This combination of materials ensures light can travel through the fiber optic cable without being scattered. 

fiber optic installation

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Fiber optic installation cost

The exact cost of your fiber cable installation will depend on multiple variables, including the length of the cable installed and how many strands are in the cable. For example, a 96-strand cable will be more expensive than a 12-strand cable. You must also factor in the price of the conduit which will be based on the duct size. Contact The Network Installers for an accurate quote for your fiber optic installation project. 

Fiber optic installation price

Your actual installation cost will also be influenced by the level of labor required and the complexity of your project. To get an accurate quote for your project, get in touch with The Network Installers, and we’ll conduct a thorough site survey.

Fiber optic cable repair cost

Fiber optic cables are fragile and can become damaged. However, they can also be repaired or replaced. The Network Installers offers a reliable fiber optic cable repair service. The cost of this service will depend on the extent of the damage and the type of cabling affected. We use tools such as Optical Time Domain Reflectometer, fiber optic cutters and strippers, and a fusion splicer to complete our repair work. 

Fiber optic installation cost

The exact price of your fiber optic installation will depend on:

  • the length of cabling required 
  • single or multi-mode cabling 
  • the cost of machinery used during installation 
  • the cost of protecting a property 
  • labor costs.

The best way to obtain an accurate quote for your fiber optic cabling project is to contact The Network Installers. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive report and no-obligation quote. 

Fiber optic cable for Internet price

Are you interested in purchasing fiber optic cable for an internet installation project? Contact our team, and we’ll talk through all the options available to you. We understand the importance of budget in any cabling project and we’ll help you weigh up the advantages of using fiber optic cabling with the costs involved.  

How Much Does A Fiber Optic Installation Cost

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How to buy fiber optic cable

If you’re looking to arrange your fiber optic installation, get in touch with The Network Installers today. We’ll provide you with a competitive quote and all the information you need to make an informed decision about your cabling project. We only use high-quality fiber optic cable from leading manufacturers, so you can be sure of a durable and reliable product. 

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About Us
The Network Installers is a low voltage electrical contractor that provides data cabling, network installation, fiberoptic installation, and WIFI installation. We've been serving commercial customers since 2008 with exceptional quality, consistency, and professionalism.


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