Training the Next Generation of Cable Installers

Training the Next Generation of Cable Installers

Written by Jeff Dominique, FNT Consulting & Training

With fiber optics now classified as the preferred high bandwidth long haul media, new installations for this technology are peaking in virtually every industry.


Once upon a time, the requirements for quality in fiber optic installations were mediocre at best, due to lack luster data rates ranging from low end baud rates to a measly 10 megabits per second transmission.  During the old days, we never paid much attention to polish and connector characteristics, such as Ultra-polish Physical Contact UPC and Angle Polish Physical Contact APC connectors, each of which has unique applications that require their specified use.  Also, when it came to variables in polished connectors, a pre-radius convex dome configuration, free of inclusions was never heard of.  So why all of a sudden did things get more complicated?  Well, you can pretty much chalk that up to two human driven factors, speed and convenience both in the installation and for the end users. The more data capacity we demand as users, the greater the tax on the system that supplies it. The greater the requirements on system performance, the more installers look to high quality alternatives with low chances of error. 

To eliminate the guessing game, many installers turned to factory terminated fusion splice pigtails and splice connectors rather than traditional hand polished connectors.  This helps better align the designers loss budget calculations with the installation performed.  Industry standard pigtail max losses are 1.25dB and 0.1dB for a fusion splice.


In the past, we never worried about issues such as Optical Return Loss ORL, Polarization Mode Dispersion PMD, Chromatic Dispersion CD or inconsistency in Mode Fields, all of which are now critical in the functionality of high bandwidth multiplexed and distributed feedback systems.  At one time, these specific design parameters were isolated to long haul carrier systems that utilized sophisticated lasers and combined multiple wavelengths on a single fiber.  As those wavelengths were compressed and combined, the closer proximity of one wavelength to the other required fewer signal path circuit disruptions and the need for much quicker signal recoveries after a disruption.  In order to accomplish this, the best possible solution was to improve the installation quality and in essence, reduce or totally eliminate the disruptions in the first place.  These disruptions come from both design and installation inconsistencies and can only be corrected when the designers and installers know where and how the inconsistencies occurred in the first place.


This is where Training the Next Generation Cable Installer comes into place. 


FNT Training programs are continuously evaluated and upgraded to include the latest parameters for fiber optic design and installation, as they relate to all industries. These training programs are a compilation of the latest requirements in fiber optics.  Along with the "always up to date training”, FNT’s Distribution company continuously evaluates, updates and maintains modernized inventory to support the latest designs in fiber deployment technology. 


In the past ten years, things have changed drastically and that concept of change seems to re-generate every twelve to twenty-four months as new and more bandwidth rich concepts are developed.  In essence, the fiber optic circuit represents only part of the large and complex puzzle that is tasked with delivering an ever increasing amount of bandwidth.  When multiplexing entered the picture in order to increase network bandwidth, both in long haul and local area networks, the entire game changed and those lesser quality installations that worked just fine in the past are now considered unacceptable by today’s standards.  Increased bandwidth, passive and active multiplexing, distributed feedback transmitters and so on, have forced designers and installers back to school in order to learn the minimum acceptable conditions for design, installation and testing of today’s more complex network environment.

So if your training and knowledge of today's requirements is lacking, the place to find this out is not at your customer's site.  Conditions and standards change rapidly in the fiber telecom industry, keep yourself in front of the curve and competition, contact an FNT representative today at 1-866-818-8050 or visit our website, for additional information.

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