Since the beginning of fiber optics, groups such as the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have worked to create standards. Standards are mandatory for technologies to move from R&D to large-scale commercial applications.
Contractors and installers generally are concerned with cabling, not networks. Installing and testing cabling to standards such as TIA-568 is the heart of their voice/data/video work. Cabling standards writers are primarily concerned with performance and interoperability.
Since the first installations of fiber optic networks more than 25 years ago, the goal of the fiber optic industry has been to install fiber optics all the way to the home. From an economic standpoint, fiber was most cost-effective in the long-distance networks.
Moving your network into the future takes time, initiative and planning. But most of all, it takes knowledge. Both the installer and the end-user need to understand what is available and what is feasible.
Use the Web to keep up with the latest information Most fiber optic installers get started by taking a short class or seminar that covers the basics. That usually means a half-hour lecture each on fiber optic technology, how it is used for networks and the various components.
The best method for fiber ending Fiber is no longer the cable of the big guys alone. Things have changed and fiber is more affordable and more popular than in the past—it has even reared its head in the home networking market. Like the tortoise, fiber has taken the slow-but-steady approach.
Signs, sensors and nondestructive testing Most contractors, as installers of building cabling systems and those involved with telephone companies, CATV or utility outside plant installations, are familiar with fiber optics.
Where did these terms come from? Rarely do I present a fiber optic seminar without getting some questions on what some connectors terminology means, and often I’m questioned on how such a term originated.
Low loss is still a big issue Terminating optical fibers by attaching connectors with epoxy adhesive and polishing the ferrules seems like an anachronism. That was how we started almost 25 years ago, so surely better methods have been developed by now.
Careful documentation can help Gone are the days when all fiber optic cables were the same. Most building cables had 62.5/125 micron multimode fibers for LANs or security systems, while outside plant cables were all single-mode fiber.
You get what you pay for Every fiber optic cable needs to be tested for loss with an optical loss test set (OLTS). The OLTS simulates the actual network hardware that will run on the cable so the test results will show if the network will work properly on the cable.
They can be useful—but only if used correctly There are two distinctly different fiber optic applications: premises cabling and outside plant (OSP) cabling. Premises cabling deals primarily with short multimode cables in buildings or between buildings in a campus.