Your fiber optic cable is the lifeline of your network. If the cable installation is done poorly, the entire network suffers. Over many years, I’ve trained our partners and customers on the process of installing and maintaining Tellabs network equipment. I’ve learned from them that the biggest issue they experience is bad fiber cable connectivity. The truth is, this can all be avoided with proper training and planning.
So how can you ensure that best-practices are met and the fiber cable is installed correctly? Here are four critical elements of a successful installation that I stress to our partners and customers:
The installation needs to be thoughtfully planned and include a ‘loss budget’
A good installation starts with a good plan. The plan should include fiber cable routes as well as fiber distances, connection points, splitters and potential splice points. These data points all factor in to a loss budget – an estimate of the attenuation expected at each end of the fiber span.
The installation should follow industry standards
Not all cable is created the same. There is a stark difference in the way one installs fiber cable compared to common copper cabling. Fiber cable has different tolerances for pulling tension, crush loads, and bend radiuses. Simply put, you can’t install a fiber cable the same way you install a copper cable. It is imperative that industry standards for installation are understood and met to ensure a healthy fiber installation.
The installation should be thoroughly documented
From planning, to installation, to ongoing maintenance, proper documentation is essential. The loss budget in the planning phase is handed off to the installer. The installer documents the actual loss at each end point in the installation and compares it to the plan. The network technician uses this documentation to ensure that the cable is operating as it was intended and to help troubleshoot when problems arise.
The technicians need to be properly trained for fiber installation
This is very important, and that is why Tellabs offers a Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) course. This course is sanctioned by The FOA and participants are awarded the FOA’s CFOT certification upon successful completion. This class offers technicians the valuable tools they need to install and test the fiber optic plant according to standards, using the proper techniques and documentation.
The Tellabs CFOT course provides all the knowledge and skills required by the FOA and provides focused instruction on the Tellabs sytems fiber installation. For more information about this CFOT class, or to enroll, contact Vaughn.Hardman@tellabs.com.