Fiber optic cables are used frequently for today’s telecommunication network because of their high bandwidth, high reliability and relatively low cost. To maximize the network performance, a good cable fiber management system must be in place. There are four fundamental principles for a good fiber cable management system:
1. Bend radius reduction
Fiber bends beyond the specified minimum bending radius can cause signal loss or even break the fiber, causing service disruption. Today, industry standards for traditional singlemode jumpers typically specify a minimum bend radius of ten times the outside diameter of the jacketed cable or 1.5″ (38 mm), whichever is greater. This new breed of flexible singlemode optical fiber has the potential to significantly reduce these minimum bend radius requirements to values as low as 0.6″ (15 mm), depending on the cable configuration, without increasing attenuation.
A reduced bend radius fiber is able to withstand tighter bends within frames, panels and pathways. It also enhances the reliability of a network and reduces network down time.
2. Well defined cable routing paths
The major reason of optical fiber cable minimum bend radius violation is improper routing of fibers by fiber installation technicians. Routing paths should be clearly pre-defined and easy to follow. In fact, these paths should be designed so that the technician has no other option than to route the cables properly. If an option is given to technician, inconsistent human decision could cause improper routing, and causes bend radius violation. Well defined routing paths can standardize fiber optic installation process, and less training time is required for fiber technicians.
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3. Easy access to installed optical fibers
Allowing easy access to installed fiber cable is essential for maintaining proper bend radius protection. The system should be designed to ensure that individual fibers can be installed or removed easily without negative effects on nearby fiber cable.
4. Physical protection of installed optical fibers
The management system must provide measures to physically protect fiber cables from accidental damage by technicians and equipments. Otherwise, the network reliability and performance will be adversely affected.