March 16, 2017

Behind the Scenes – How Do We Build Your Fiber Network?

1.Start the planning process with strategic goals.

Before a design is made for the network, strategic goals need to be set that determine whether we will focus on business or residential areas, budget restraints (if any), and if there are additional institutions or organizations that need to be included in the network.

 2. Design the network.

When designing the network, various components must be determined such as the path and size of fiber cables in the network, the size and location of connection points (where homes and businesses will connect to the network), and the location of the electronics that will light the fiber and connect to the internet.

3. Pole licensing and ordering materials.

In order to use utility poles owned by the telephone and power companies, communications organizations must apply and pay a fee to attach. During the application process is the most ideal time to order supplies, seeing that some materials need long lead times for delivery.

4. Make-ready

The most expensive and time-consuming component of the project. “Make-ready” refers to the process of adding lines to existing poles. TV and phone lines are usually already connected, so this process may require moving lines to make room for ours. If there is no room, poles may have to be replaced, which is extremely expensive.

5. Hang strands on utility poles.

A steel cable is required to support fiber optic cables. Installers drill a hole through poles and install bolts that attach steel strands to the pole. Strands are then able to hang on the pole.

6. Lash fiber cable to strand.

Fiber optic cables are attached to the strand by being lashed on with wire.A cable lasher is used and pulled along the length of the fiber cable and strand.

7. Add splice and connection points.

Splice cases and slack loops are added at various points along the network. A splice case is where each section of the fiber optic cable is joined together. While the slack loop provides extra fiber cable to facilitate restoration of service in an event that the cable is damages. The splice case also provides a location where strands serving individual customers can be connected to the backbone fiber.

8. Splice fiber segments.

A skilled technician heats the ends of the fiber strands and fuses them together to for a single strand.

9. Install electronics and light the network.

Specialized electronics are needed at both ends of the fiber optic cable to “light” the fiber and provide a usable internet connection. Once necessary deices are placed, engineers program and activate the service so it can be connected to