How to maintain your fibre optic network

Fiber Optic cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables

Almost everything we own requires replacing or cleaning. From cars to our electronic devices, preventative maintenance is a necessary procedure to ensure our vehicles, devices and properties are all running smoothly.

But while fibre optic networks don’t require the same periodic maintenance as other devices and properties, preventing harmful factors is vital to keep your network performing at its peak and can help you save on costs and limit potential network outages.

We take a look at some of the most important factors that can impact your fibre optic network and how you can tackle these issues to keep your network running efficiently.

Clean up any excess dirt

Dirt is a problem for just about anything. But even the minutest amount of dirt can be a harmful issue when it comes to maintaining your fibre optic network. The ends of connectors in a fibre optic network are vital to the transmission of data. If any amount of dirt is present, it can scratch the ends of your connectors causing a high loss in mated pairs within the network.

Connectors can be cleaned with lint-free pads and isopropyl alcohol, however, it’s recommended to use solutions available at qualified solutions suppliers, like OSA, which are designed to clean fibre optic components.

Aside from cleaning the dirt, you can also store all of the unconnected cables and panels with dust caps to prevent dust and dirt building up and potentially harming the network.

If you’re installing fibre optic cables for the first time, make sure to clean them prior to the installation. This will ensure that your fibre optic cables will work properly once hooked up and can prevent damage from occurring.

Fiber optical Network Server

Avoid bending your cables too tightly

Even though fibre optic cables are very tough, it doesn’t mean bends and other materials lying on top of it won’t cause problems with the signal. The connectors on the end of the cable are the most vulnerable part. They cannot withstand the pulling or twisting that a cable can.

While the fibre will likely not break when the cables are bent too tightly or too much tension is applied, degradation could still occur. Bending the fibre too tightly can also cause light loss, with greater loss at higher wavelengths.

And even if your fibre optic cables are installed using careful techniques, they can still be damaged at a later point by later projects. Workers who are also removing old cables may kink or cut perfectly good cables by mistake.

Use an innerduct

Innerducts are a popular tool to help protect your fibre optic cables, especially if you are installing fibre optic cables in an area with an already high amount of cables.

The innerduct is a large plastic tube, usually in a bright orange colour designed to ease cable pulling and protect the fibre. With its large size, hardness and bright colour, innerducts are great insurance against harm from other objects or someone accidentally cutting the cable.

Your fibre optic cables are fed through the tubing during installation and can protect them from tight bends or too much tension.

Once your innerduct is installed, pulling your fibre optic cable is easy as the innerduct maintains a large bend radius for the cable and with a special low friction surface, you can also minimise pulling tension.

A yellow Fibre optic cable

Protect your connectors

Protecting your connectors is vital as they play an important role in the transmission of data.

To protect your connectors, use enclosed patch panels and doors that have locks.

This helps protect the connectors from accidental bumping that can break the fibre just behind the connectors where they are most vulnerable.

Maintain your network with OSA’s fibre optic solutions

Maintaining your fibre optic network with innovative solutions has never been more important. With our dedicated customer service, staging process and investment in R&D labs, OSA can help you stay ahead of the networking curve.

We have an extensive range of world-class fibre optic solutions including optical cables, connectorised systems and underground and IP rated joints, as well as best in class optical testing and measurement equipment available for purchase as well as for hire.

We also carry one of the largest ranges of WDM couplers, optical splitters, circulators and attenuators in Australia so we can offer high performance each and every time for our clients’ networks, regardless of the size of the job.

Learn more about our extensive range of fibre optic solutions.



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