Fiber Optic Network Maintenance Tips: What Your Team Should Focus On

For the past decades, fiber optics has become a reliable medium in which large volumes of data can be transmitted quickly. As its name implies, the technology uses glass or plastic threads commonly referred to as fibers.

With the increase of this technology’s popularity, several firms have developed and offered the market their own fiber optic mapping software. There are tools of this kind that can offer awesome benefits — from providing a single source for your enterprises’ OSP assets, delivering detailed reports about your network to giving web-based access to users for easy browsing from any device.

If your team utilizes a fiber optic mapping software, it is a must-know how essential a preventive maintenance is as this procedure prolongs the life of fiber optics. Fiber optic networks are prone to damage and different kinds of environmental influences.

Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your own network well-functioning:

Regularly clean your connectors

When exposed, dirt can easily get on the ends of your connectors. To prevent damage, make sure you regularly clean them using lint-free pads and cleaning solutions specifically made for computer parts. Though an isopropyl alcohol can do the trick, trusting cleaning agents from your favorite office supply provider is still the best option.

Protect your cables and connectors

Cables and connectors are vital in any kind of fiber optic network. As they are an important investment, it is but logical to protect them than let them wear out and be eventually replaced in the future.

If you are installing cables in an area filled with other cables, make sure to install them inside an innerduct. Also, use enclosed patch panels — with doors that can be locked — to protect your connectors. This feature will prevent it from being damaged caused by accidental bumps and other unprecedented incidents.

Do not bend cables tightly

Though they are considerably tough, fiber optic cables can cause light loss if they are bent too tightly. A bend happens when the fiber is pulled around the corners.

Bending can also cause degradation and in some case, can lead to the breakage of the glass fiber.

If the splices are wet, don’t forget to dry them out

Water can cause a long-term damage on affected splices, which are considered as the weakest point of a fiber optic network. Don’t forget to dry these out and reseal them to prevent harmful effects.

Make it a habit to inspect your outside plant

Especially during the winter season, your outside plant is subject to different damage-causing situations. As handholes are filled with water and then freeze afterward, splice enclosures can leak on an occasional basis.

Inspecting ground rods also help protect your network. These rods take on the vital role of locating signals that travel along your infrastructure’s metallic conductor.

And although it can’t be considered as a maintenance activity per se, locates are significant in protecting your outside plant. Besides decreasing your network’s downtime, they also help propel the longevity of your plant.
3-GIS offers fiber management solutions to help companies deliver uninterrupted services through complex telecom networks. Contact us and learn more about our fiber optic mapping software today.