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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Optical Fiber Cabling Technology and Its Associated Accessories.

Fiber to the Home (FTTH) refers to fiber optic cable that replaces the traditional wire to your home or business. Until recently, fib optic networks had been used primarily in the medical and engineering sectors. With the advancement of fiber technology and increasing consumer bandwidth demand, FTTH has become the best option for providing phone, digital TV, Internet and ot applications.

Fiber optics uses laser pulses to transmit billions of bits of data per second through strands of glass. These glass strands are so that the light emitted by a burning candle can be viewed 7 miles away! These light pulses transport electronic data up to 900 megabits per second. That’s more than 100 times faster than traditional, non-fiber methods. The light pulses are converted electronic signals via optical network terminals and distributed throughout the home as phone service, digital TV and Internet.

One word: Bandwidth. Current and developing technologies that people enjoy in their homes today require a lot of two-way da transfer. Examples include high-definition television, streaming video, online gaming, smart devices and video surveillance – all which require increasing amounts of bandwidth. These bandwidth requirements also increase in direct correlation to the numb users enjoying the services. Data transfer can be compared to traffic on a busy highway. As the traffic increases, movement slow bottlenecks occur. To alleviate the congestion, larger, more efficient highways are developed and implemented. Fiber to the Ho represents this new, faster and more efficient data highway.

  1. Faster connection speeds, downstream/upstream transmission and carrying capacity.
  2. More bandwidth and flexibility than other options at a similar price, making it more cost effective for current and developin applications.
  3. Highest quality connection.
  4. Fiber networks can connect to existing telephone lines and coax cable within the home.
  5. Most fiber networks reside underground, providing maximum stability.
  6. Can manage bandwidth requirements from current, developing and future technologies.
  7. Increases neighborhood and home values.

Cables are engineered with a minimum design life of 25 years, but there is nothing magical about this time span.

Cables may remain operational longer than 25 years, but they’re often retired earlier because they’re economically obsolete. They just can’t provide as much capacity as newer cables at a comparable cost, and are thus too expensive to keep in service.

When a cable is retired it could remain inactive on the ocean floor. Increasingly, there are companies that are gaining the rights to cables, pulling them up, and salvaging them for raw materials.

In some cases, retired cables are repositioned along other routes. To accomplish this task, ships recover the retired cable and then re-lay it along a new path. New terminal equipment is deployed at the landings stations. This approach can sometimes be a cost-effective method for countries with small capacity requirements and limited budgets.

Yes, cables go all the way down. Nearer to the shore cables are buried under the seabed for protection, which explains why you don’t see cables when you go the beach, but in the deep sea they are laid directly on the ocean floor.

Of course, considerable care is taken to ensure cables follow the safest path to avoid fault zones, fishing zones, anchoring areas, and other dangers. To reduce inadvertent damage, the undersea cable industry also spends a lot of time educating other marine industries on the location of cables

The length of fiber optic cable deployed can run from a few feet to thousands of miles depending on the application.

Fiber optic cables are very durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and conditions. The average life of a single strand is about 25 years. It will not break or deteriorate in the same way as copper wire. However, it may become brittle over time due to a phenomenon known as static fatigue. High tensile strength fibers and cable designs mitigate the adverse effect of static fatigue.

Specific installation practices are available from manufacturers depending on the type of fiber optic cable being installed. The installation of terrestrial fiber optic cables, for example, requires a great deal of skill and experience.

The process may begin with the excavation, trenching or boring and installation of an underground conduit to provide access for the installer’s equipment. Once this has been completed, the installer must then install the various components that make up the optical system: splices, connectors, etc. Finally, once all these elements have been properly connected, they are tested to ensure proper operation.

In the early years, fiber optic cables were expensive compared to copper cables especially when you included the cost of installation and the active components required to general the light pulses (LED and/or laser diodes). Over the years pricing on fiber optic systems has significantly dropped where they many times compete head-to-head price-wise with more traditional copper installations.

A service provider would install fiber optic cable when the demand for large quantities of data is required to be transmitted with little loss over significant distances. Optical fiber would also be used by OEM’s who need to transmit laser energy over a short distance. Optical fiber would be the choice if avoidance of EMI is a key requirement.

Single-mode optical fibers account for the largest volume of optical fiber manufactured today. Single-mode fiber optic cables link cities, regions, countries, continents. They are installed aerially, underground, and on the ocean floors.

Coaxial cables are used for long-distance transmission of television and radio signals. Fiber optic cables are replacing coaxial cables in most applications because they provide much higher bandwidth, greater reliability, lower cost per bit, longer distances between repeaters, and more flexibility in installation.

The main reason for the popularity of optical fiber in telecommunications and data transmission applications is that it offers a number of advantages over copper wire. These include: Optical fiber has no electrical resistance, so there are no losses due to heat generated by current flow through the conductor; The speed at which signals can be transmitted using optical fiber is much greater than with conventional conductors.

Optical fibers transmit data via photons (light particles) as opposed to copper cables which do so electronically. Data travels at the speed of light in fiber designed for long-distance networks. Data cannot travel as fast or as far in copper cables. Also, unlike copper cables, fiber optic cables are immune to EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). Fiber optic cables are used extensively throughout our society today because they provide the data speeds and bandwidth necessary to make the internet of things (IOT) possible.

Just like when a fiber optic cable fails when stored/operated above the maximum temperature recommended by the manufacturer, so too does it fail when stored/operated below the recommended low temperature. Cable jacket failure may result leading to damage to the optical fiber inside the cable. The result is a loss of signal.

Fiber optic cables are designed to operate in a wide range of temperatures. The manufacturer selects jacketing material based on the end-user’s environmental factors. The manufacturer will specify the storage and operating temperature range for the cable it produces. Storage and/or operating outside of the manufacturer’s temperature specification leads to failure of the optical fiber in terms of the jacket’s ability to protect the fiber and the fiber’s ability to carry a signal.

Fiber optic cables can be damaged by heat. If the temperature of the cable exceeds the manufacturer’s recommended temperature range for storage and operation, the cable jacket will no longer protect the fiber inside which could lead to increased attenuation (signal weakening) and possible breakage of the fiber.

No. Fiber optics are not heated by the light they carry, and therefore do not emit heat or cause any other type of heating effect.

Fiber optic cables are made up of glass fibers that transmit light signals over short and long distances. They are used in industrial communications settings as well as telecommunications networks for high-speed data transmission.

They are also used to transmit high-power laser energy in such applications as medical lasers for surgery and military laser defense systems. In communications applications, optical fibers are replacing copper wire because they can carry much more information than copper does and at much higher speeds.

Usually, the manufacturers indicate the recommended bend radius. But if there are no specifications, then the rule of thumb is that the minimum bend is 20 times the cable diameter for standard fiber optics. If you go too far, the bend can cause a loss in the signal and possibly permanently damage the fiber.

It is recommended to clean both ends before mating. There are special solvents, wipes and swabs for cleaning them, but is always best to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

YES! Dust is fiber optic worst enemy. Dust particles could block the optical signal completely. Here’s something impressive: the core of single mode fiber is equally sized or actually smaller than a dust particle.

The common types of fiber optic connectors are ST, SC, FC/PC, FC/APC, and LC. The most popular connector is LC due to its high performance, small size, and ease of use.

It’s all about manufacturing costs. The multimode fiber has a graded-index core with tight performance requirements that implies more costs, compared to the single mode fiber which has a step-index core.

True, you can use single mode connectors on multimode, but not the other way around.

Simplex cables consist of a single strand of glass fiber and is widely used when a single transmit/receive line is required between devices. Duplex cables consist of two strands of glass fiber and are used in situations where separate transmit and receive lines are required.

Common types of fiber optic connectors include the ST, SC, FC/PC, FC/APC, and LC. The LC connector is very popular due to its high performance, small size, and ease of use. Multi-fiber connectors are also gaining popularity. The MTP/MPO are the preferred connector type for 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps data transmission standards.

Developing a system that uses both single mode and multimode fiber is possible if using a switching system that supports both fiber types, such as the Extron FOX Matrix Series. single mode fiber must be connected to a single mode port, and multimode fiber must be connected to a multimode port. Directly connecting single mode and multimode fiber is not recommended as the difference in core sizes introduces losses into the system.

Laser light sources and photodetectors used for single mode applications are significantly more expensive than those used for multimode. This difference translates into higher equipment costs for single mode systems.

single mode fiber has a step index core, while multimode fiber has a graded index core with very tight performance requirements. Therefore, single mode fiber is less costly to manufacture.

Single mode fiber is optical fiber that allows light to travel down a single path known as the fundamental mode. It features a core diameter of 8 to 9 microns. single mode fiber can be used to transmit AV signals over extreme distances up to many miles or kilometers

Common types of fiber optic connectors include the ST, SC, FC/PC, FC/APC, and LC. The LC connector is very popular due to its high performance, small size, and ease of use. Multi-fiber connectors are also gaining popularity. The MTP/MPO are the preferred connector type for 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps data transmission standards.

Multimode fiber is optical fiber that allows light to travel down multiple paths, also referred to as modes. It features a core diameter of 50 to 62.5 microns. Multimode fiber can be used to transmit AV signals in short to intermediate-distance applications, such as within a building.

Commonly, repairing the fiber implies fusion splicing, mechanical splicing or connector splicing. It all depends on the application type, the available equipment, the skills of the technician and so on.