Up until a few years ago fibre optic technology was seen a costly commodity
and it is true to say that there was an air of mystique surrounding its
design, installation, termination and testing.
It is quite commonplace nowadays to have fibre optic backbone cables,
instead of or in addition to, copper links, both as intra-building and
inter-building backbone links.
These highways make provision for the desire for greater bandwidth and
speed across the network and enjoy many added benefits over its copper
With fewer design considerations having to be taken into account, fibre
offers some distinct advantages over copper; it is less susceptible to
sources of EMI, it provides more security, it is not as vulnerable to
lightning strikes; it negates any earth potential differences between
buildings; all of these are in addition to the more obvious length
limitations that unfortunately copper links attract.
There are of course, several factors that will help determine what type of
fibre should be deployed and the design and composite of the backbone links.
It should be stressed that this decision is not quite as straightforward as
it may at first seem.
These cables can be either multimode or singlemode. The industry has now
standardised on the core sizes of either 62.5/125mm
for multimode, whilst singlemode cables are 8 or 9/125mm,
dependant upon the manufacturer. There is also the range of laser optimised
cables in OM1, OM2 and OM3 grades for multimode and OS1 for singlemode.
multimode was considered as a data traffic conduit, whilst singlemode was
thought of more in terms of serving the voice sector with its capabilities
to cover longer distances.
In today’s converged arena, both have their rightful place in a Structured
Cabling System (SCS).
The deployment of Multimode cables in the backbone is declining, with
singlemode becoming more to the fore, given the need for greater bandwidth
and speed, especially over inter-building links that tend to be outside or
border line with the link length limitations for multimode when requiring
10Gb/s or higher.
In certain circumstances and certainly some customers dictate that, the
horizontal links, have to be Fibre To The Desk (FTTD) as opposed to copper,
but these are cost restrictive and are generally specified because of their
increased security aspects, rather than any technical advantages.
With the advent of the new-ish grades of fibres, are we seeing a return to
the old days and viewing optical fibre cabling as a “black art”?
Let Marlin help and guide you on the myriad of fibre cables available on the
market, contact us for more advice and further assistance.