Why is proper fiber optic cable management so critical?
Service providers have deployed more and more fiber optic cables for their high bandwidth, low costs, greater reliability and flexibility. But just deploying is not enough; a successful fiber network also requires a solid infrastructure based on a cable management system.
Cable management affects a network's reliability, performance, cost and maintenance. It provides the ability to reconfigure network, restore service and implement new services quickly.
Four goals to achieve
Microbends are small deformities in the optical fiber and macrobends are larger bends of the fiber cable. Fiber bends beyond the specified minimum bending radius can cause signal loss or even break the fiber, causing service disruption.
As a rule of thumb, the minimum bending radius should be bigger than ten times the outer diameter of the fiber cable. Telcordia recommends a minimum 38mm bending radius for 3mm fiber optic patch cords.
Fiber cable management system should provide bend radius protection at all points where a fiber optic cable makes a bend. This helps ensure the network's long-term reliability; thus reduces the network operation cost by reducing network down time.
The leading cause of fiber optic cable minimum bend radius violation is improper routing of fibers by fiber installation technicians.
In a proper cable management system, routing paths are clearly defined and easy to follow; such that the technician has no other option but to route the cables properly.
Well defined routing paths reduce the training time required for technicians and increase the uniformity of work done. It also makes accessing individual fibers easier, quicker and safer.
Allowing easy access to installed fibers is critical in maintaining proper bend radius protection. The system should be designed to ensure that individual fibers can be installed or removed without inducing a macrobend on an adjacent fiber. Accessibility is critical during network reconfiguration.
Well defined fiber optic cable management system physically protects the fibers from accidental damage by technicians and equipment throughout the network.
When making the decision on purchasing your cable management system, the goal is getting the most cost-effective system that provides the best cable management, flexibility, and growth capabilities.
Going with the cheapest approaches can cost more money in the long run. A strong fiber cable management system will enable you to extract the maximum value from your installed optical fiber networks.