Fiber Optic Cable Installation: How To Properly Install It

fiber optic cable installation

Installing Fiber Optic Cable

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 various fiber optic cable installation services to deliver the speed and reliability of service your business depends on. We offer fiber optic fusion splicing and cable repair, as well as regular network audits to ensure the integrity of your fiber optic cables. 

What Is Fiber Optic Installation?

Fiber optic installation involves fiber optic cable laying to deliver high-speed internet to a building. Much of the world’s internet connections are based on fiber optic cables running between cities and countries. However, fiber optic installation is also possible in residential 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 to your building. From here, optical network terminals convert the signal from optical to electrical. 
  • FTTB (fiber to the building or business) works as above. 
  • FTTC/N (fiber to the curb of the node) – fiber is laid to the node, but copper continues the fiber optic 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 optical fibers. 

What is fiber optic installation?

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 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 indoor cables in plenum spaces, suspended from the ceiling, or placed in cable trays beneath a raised floor. 

Whether ceiling or cable trays, you’ll need the experience of The Network Installers to develop a road map of your fiber optic installation.

Fiber optic installation requirement

fiber optic cabling

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 pulling tension and loads and staying within these limits (part of safety procedures)
  • Do not twist the cables, as this can damage the delicate fibers. 

Fiber Optic Installation Methods

Two main methods of installing optical fiber cables are pulling and blowing. Cable blowing is often preferred, but pulling may be used as a backup. The Network Installers will conduct a site survey beforehand to decide the best approach for your installation. 

How Fiber Optic Cable Works

A fiber optic cable is filled with strands of glass fibers 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 light pulses from 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). 

How fiber optic cable works

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 minimum bend radius, determining how tightly you can bend it around furniture or within a server cabinet.

fiber optic bend radius

Fiber optic cable bend radius.

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 process. A further benefit is less stress on the cable throughout the procedure.

Fiber optic cable blowing procedure

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. When the engineer must identify the correct connected fibers, they’re beneficial during fiber splicing. 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 cables underground is a standard 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 used as part of the installation process. It is where the cable is pulled into place using a winch or other mechanical device.

Alternatively, you can install fiber cable by cable blowing- it uses compressed air to push the cable into place. The Network Installers can advise on the best installation process 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 and then covered in a polyethylene outer jacket. This protects it from physical damage and makes it more durable.

This type of fiber cable is often used in industrial or commercial applications with a risk of cable tampering. It can be installed in various ways- ducts, underground conduits, or aerial installations.

Fiber Optic Cable Diameter

The cable diameter is an essential factor to consider when choosing which type of cable to use. A multimode fiber cable’s outer diameter (OD) is measured from one side of the cable to the other.

The core diameter (CD) measures the glass fibers, 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 fibers.

The cladding diameter is also critical 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 when you need to increase the fiber cable length, but using a standard fiber optic cable is not possible or practical.

Extenders can also be used in troubleshooting – for example, to repair a damaged cable or to connect two pieces of fiber optic cable.

Fiber optic installation process

Fiber Optic Cable Range

If you’re investing in fiber optic cabling, many single and multi-mode options are 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. 

Fiber optic cable range

Fiber Optic Cable Speed

One of the main benefits of fiber cable installation 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 multi-mode fiber.

Fiber optic cable speed

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 types

Fiber Optic Cable

How to Connect Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cables are typically connected using either a splice or a connector. A fusion splicer is used wherein two pieces of fiber optic cable are joined together using either a mechanical or fusion splice. A connector is a fiber optic cable 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 the fiber optic connection is secure and tight to prevent signal loss.

Once the fiber optic connection is made, the final step is to test it using an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) to ensure it works correctly. This device sends a light pulse down the fiber optic cable and measures the time it takes to reflect the light. 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 – two main methods are used. Your engineers will use fiber 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

For fiber optic cable installation, your engineers must install the fiber optic cable. The installation involves three main steps: running, connecting, and terminating the cable.

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

Once the fiber optic cable is installed, your engineers must test the connection to ensure it works correctly. This is achieved using an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR).

This device sends a light pulse down the fiber optic cable and measures the time it takes to reflect the light. This information is used to identify any problems with the optical fiber 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 fibers. Once fused, they can be covered with a plastic coating or a polyethylene outer 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 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 test for continuity and measure the cable’s attenuation or reflectance. These tests are carried out by sending a light pulse down the fiber optic cable. The measurements in each test can identify any problems with the power 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 more excellent 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 long distances.

As fiber optic cables are lightweight, they’re easy to install. But for the same reason, they can become damaged if they need to be installed or maintained correctly.

Also, when installing fiber optics, you need specialist equipment to test the cables. In summary, fiber optics have many benefits but are 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. Fiber optic cables are a clear choice if you’re building a long-distance network or require heavy bandwidth and high speeds.

Although a more significant upfront investment is often required with fiber optics cables, carrying light pulses 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 transmit data faster than traditional copper cables, making them ideal for 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

Standard fiber optic cabling applications include:

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

Fiber Optic Cable for Modem

Fiber optic cable modems differ from regular DSL modems because of how the signal is transmitted. A fiber optic cable modem connects an electronic device, such as a computer, to an internet network. The signal transmission is a fiber optic cable network, not via copper cables.

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 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 more extensive network that can span multiple locations. In a WAN environment, fiber optic cabling connects 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 where the conduit will take and dig a trench or hole. The conduit is placed in the hole and buried. Next, special equipment pulls a fiber optic cable through the conduit. 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 power cable television and telephone systems. Fiber optic cables can also connect computers 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 in a LAN or WAN. Alternatively, they can connect devices to the internet. A fiber optic cable to an Ethernet converter can connect a computer to an Ethernet network.

Fiber Optic Cable to Router

A fiber optic cable-to-router model can 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. 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 devices in a LAN.

Fiber Optic Cable to RJ45

An RJ45 is an 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 a 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 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 can transmit data much faster than copper cables. Fiber optic cables can transmit 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 (Cat6) is a data cabling used for Gigabit Ethernet and other network systems. The cables are made from four 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, fiber optic cabling is less effective than 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 than copper wire.

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 brittle. However, this should be a minor factor as the cables are typically installed in areas where they won’t be bent. Ethernet cables aren’t designed for long-distance transmission, unlike fiber optic cables.

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 are slower and resistant to interference. 

Fiber Optic Cable vs Coaxial

Coaxial cables are used for power 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 fiber optic.

Fiber Optic Cable vs CAT5

Cat5 cables are a type of data cabling used for Ethernet networks. They’re made from four twisted copper wires similar to Cat6 cables. They use wire rather than light to transmit data, so fiber optic cables are slower. 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 bandwidth of the cable determines the amount of data that can be transferred through a fiber optic cable per second. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transferred. The best fiber optic cable bandwidth available is currently around 100 Gbps.

Read this article to learn more about Fiber optic cable bandwidth.

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

Read this article to learn more about What Materials Are Fiber Optic Cables Made Of

Fiber Optic Installation Cost

The average cost of installing or burying fiber cable is around $1000 to $1500 per household or about $50000 to $80000 per route mile. The exact cost of your fiber cable installation will depend on multiple variables, including the excess length of the cable installed and how many strands are in the storage 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 fiber optic installation project quote. 

Fiber Optic Installation Price

Your actual installation cost will also be influenced by the labor required and your project’s complexity. To get an accurate quote for your project, contact 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 Price Guide

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 discuss all the options available. We understand the importance of budget in any cabling project, and we’ll help you weigh the advantages of using fiber optic cabling with the costs involved.

How Much Does A Fiber Optic Installation Cost

Read this article to learn more about Fiber optic installation cost

FAQs

What are the differences between aerial and underground fiber optic cable installation?

Aerial installation involves suspending fiber optic cables above the ground, typically on utility poles. Underground installation places the cables beneath the surface within conduits or direct burial.

What is the maximum distance for data transmission using fiber optic cables?

The maximum distance depends on the type of fiber and the equipment used. Single-mode fibers can transmit data over much longer distances than multi-mode fibers, with some reaching hundreds of kilometers.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to arrange your fiber optic installation, contact 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 that 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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