Even though many people are already enjoying fast internet, rural areas still look very gloomy. Out-of-the-way places still bother with internet speeds of 10 years ago, although technology has advanced. Others, however, the current Internet is not fast enough, they lay fiber optic cable on their own. This task is actually done by the Internet service providers or network operators.
The reason for the hunger for faster Internet is simple: The economy needs information highways, which are an important infrastructure in our lives today. More and more people are working from home – many of them need fast internet to upload large files to the company like Sopto. No wonder that more and more people lend a hand and lay fiber optic cables themselves.
Overview of fiber network architecture
Fiber optic cables play a key role in broadband infrastructure. The cable has been in use for many years, but it rarely came close to the customer. This has now changed, because with growing demands, the fiber optic cable has to be closer to the customer. Accordingly, network operators are building the “last mile”, which used to be made of copper cables.
On the way to “glazing”, there are several options that provide a combination of fiber optic and copper cables.
- FTTC – Fiber-to-the-Curb
- FTTB – Fiber-to-the-building
- FTTH – Fiber-to-the-Home
- FTTD – Fiber-to-the-desk
A typical fixed network, excluding the central office (VSt), is entirely made of copper cabling. The VSt is connected with fiber optics, at least since the digitization of the telephone network. From the subscriber terminal (TE) to the subscriber line (TA), connection point line technology (APL), cable divider (KvZ) on the roadside to the exchange runs exclusively copper cable.
- TE: PC, telephone, router
- TA junction box of the end customer
- APL: transfer point in buildings (subscriber lines converge here)
- KvZ distribution box at the roadside
With the fiber-to-the-curb , fiber goes to the roadside in a gray box (cable divider). From there, copper cables run to the individual customers. The replacement of the cable in rural areas is difficult because it is often in the ground. The costs amount to 50,000 to 100,000 euros per kilometer. Network operators are often unwilling to make such investments.
Fiber-to-the-building, the fiber optic cable extends to the building. The cable ends in or near the APL. An APL is usually located in the basement or a server room. From the line technology connection point, copper cables run to the end users.
Fiber-to-the-Home refers to the cabling where fiber extends all the way to the home and the cable terminates in the subscriber line. For single-family homes, there is basically no difference between FTTB and FTTH, since the fiber-optic cable ends up in the house anyway.
Fiber-to-the-desk is the ultimate solution for directing fiber to the desk. In this “full glazing”, the entire transmission path from the central office to the desk is made of fiberglass.
Lay glass fiber in the house
Consumers first have to find out which connection technology they have, ie FTTC, FTTB or FTTH. In the former, the cost is highest, but who has the distribution box on the doorstep, can probably pull a fiber optic cable relatively cheap to your own home. It is more difficult in multi-family houses; here all residents would have to merge. Here is a brief guide to laying fiber optics:
Fiber optic cables are sensitive to mechanical influences because, as the name implies, they consist of different types of glass. When installing this cable, you should always protect yourself. Contact with the ends of the cables should be avoided as the small glass particles may cause injury. How many fiber optic cables are needed, everyone should first calculate. Helpful is a detailed floor plan of the apartment.
No special tools are required for installation. Drill, hammer, screwdriver (or cordless screwdriver) and side cutters are already sufficient. For installation in a flush-mounted empty pipe system, a pull-in system or pull wire is necessary. For fixing the cable we recommend cable clamps.
Route fiber optic cable
When lying, there is one important rule: Do not kink the fiber optic cable; otherwise the cable could be damaged. As a rule of thumb, the bending radius should not be less than two centimeters.
Before lying, it is advisable to consult plans so as not to damage existing pipes or cables. At the same time, the cable should never be exposed to chemical or mechanical influences. The cable can be laid either under the plaster or on the plaster. The former method is of course more complex and requires that walls be torn open. But the cable is better protected.
The use of an existing empty pipe system is practical and fast: In this case, you only have to insert the pipe into the empty pipe with the aid of a pull-in system or puller wire. Again, apply as little mechanical stress as possible on the cable so as not to damage it.