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Legal considerations have to be kept in mind when installing fiber-optic cabling systems

By Max Burkhalter
July 5, 2012
In an age when bandwidth requirements are rising and new technologies are changing the way many businesses and consumers use computing devices, the need for large-scale networking upgrades is becoming clear. This often comes out in the form of new fiber-optic cabling installation, such as fiber to the home deployment. However, there are risks that come when deploying new optical cabling, particularly on the legal side of the project. A recent Cabling Installation and Maintenance report said these risks can be minimized by following a few best practices when installing new cabling lines.

One common problem during cabling installation is accidentally breaking other wires when using back hoes and other construction equipment to build the new optical network, the news source explained. Sometimes, installation companies that accidentally break a cable will simply snag it, break it and bury it - a process that hides the problem, but almost never actually works. Instead, organizations should take a more strategic approach to the situation.

Digging blindly is never a good idea. Installation companies will generally know where other cables are supposed to be when they work on their fiber-optic installation project, the report said. If they break another cable by accident, it is often best to identify if the wire they have broken is where it is supposed to be. It is not uncommon for installers to cut a wire with a back hoe, only to find out it was not buried as deep as they were told, or is a few feet away from markings. If this is the case, the installation company is not at fault and should photograph the incident to document that their construction processes were not at fault.

There is also the possibility that cabling installation will lead to breakage within a fiber-optic network line. According to the news source this leads to a complex and often expensive process of identifying how much revenue is lost from service outages and other processes. This makes clear documentation of the incident and strategic construction vital to a successful project.

The legal issues that surround a cabling installation can be complex and overwhelming, and they can also hold back innovation. Telecoms working to implement FTTH infrastructure have a lot to consider when developing their strategy, but it is vital that they do not rush through the construction processes and work to implement the solution too quickly. A legal battle can limit the pace of a project and create a divide between companies that often share cabling space, whether underground or on utility poles. Such problems are best avoided whenever possible.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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