Whether it’s for your home or your place of business, installing fibre optic cabling in a proper manner is extremely important. Incorrect installation could lead to poor performance, shortened cable lifespans, or even personal injury.
To avoid cabling problems, you need to be familiar with the different fibre installation methods. Once you understand the advantages of each one, you should be able to choose the one that’s most suitable for you.
To help you out, we’re going to cover five of the most common methods of installing fibre optics.
As its name suggests, aerial cabling is when the fibre optic cables are installed overhead via the utility poles. This method is often used when someone chooses to upgrade their existing overhead copper phone and internet lines with new fibre optic cables. Sometimes the copper line is completely replaced, other times the cable is replaced with a hybrid cable that’s composed of both copper and fibre.
Despite fibre being the more future-proof option, a lot of copper is still being used in Australia. Some telecommunications analysts believe that copper-based internet services are obsolete and that they should be phased out completely. However, if your premises has a copper-based service and you want to maintain it, a hybrid aerial cabling method might be ideal for you.
This method involves mounting the fibre cabling along a sturdy surface around your home. The surface could be fencing, a rail or a retaining wall. Essentially, any place that’s strong enough to support fibre can be a potential installation spot for surface mounted cabling.
The cables are usually installed in a safe, hidden location outside of your home. Hiding the cables in a discreet spot does two things: it allows you to maintain the outer aesthetics of your home and it protects the cabling from accidental damage. Since the cabling is going to inevitably be exposed to the weather, surface mounted cables are usually protected with a hard outer casing as well.
Sometimes old internet and phone lines are installed underneath the ground via an underground ducting system. Just like with aerial cabling, a technician can simply replace the old cables in these ducts with fibre optics. Since an existing ducting system already exists, the technicians should be able to run the fibre cable from the street and to your premises with no issues.
Unlike surface mounted cabling, you won’t have to worry about underground cabling being damaged by harsh weather conditions. Compared to methods in which the cabling is exposed, underground ducting is a much safer alternative.
If you don’t have an underground ducting system near your home, you can get the technicians to dig a shallow trench instead. With micro-trenching, you’ll be able to place your fibre optics cable underneath the ground without having to spend a lot of time planning and drilling holes. Indeed, micro-trenching is a much more efficient method compared to boring, which requires a lot of labour and runs the risk of damaging existing utilities underground.
Micro-trenching is ideal if you have a lawn that runs from the street to the premises. If you have paved surfaces around your home or place of business, this might not be the best option for you. Micro-trenching paved sidewalks or roads might cause problems when it comes time to repave the concrete or asphalt. Once the paths have been repaved the cabling will need to be installed again.
If the premises is surrounded by pavement, you will need to somehow install the cabling underneath it. There are a few ways you can do this. The most popular method is drilling a hole underneath the pavement via an installer drill bit. An installer drill bit is essentially an extended drill that creates the hole through which the cabling will be fed. Just like with other underground installation methods, the cabling underneath the concrete will be safe and protected from harsh weather conditions.
That being said, this method does not come without its risks. When you’re drilling a hole underneath the pavement, you run the risk of damaging existing pipes and cabling in the ground. So, if you’re wanting to get fibre cables buried underneath your pavement, make sure you hire a reliable and experienced telecommunications technician.
Hopefully, this blog gave you a better understanding of the different fibre installation methods and their advantages. If you’re unsure about anything regarding your cabling, we recommend consulting a local telecommunications technician and/or a cabling specialist.