Fiber Optic Cable Routing Paths
The first aspect of fiber cable management is cable routing paths. This aspect is related to fiber cable’s minimum bending radius as improper routing of fibers by technicians is one of the major causes of bend radius violations.
Routing paths should be clearly 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. Leaving cable routing to the technician’s imagination leads to an inconsistently routed, difficult-to-manage fiber network.
Improper cable routing also causes increased congestion in the termination panel and the cableways, increasing the possibility of bend radius violations and long-term failure. Well-defined routing paths, on the other hand, reduce the training time required for technicians and increase the uniformity of the work done. The routing paths also ensure that bend radius requirements are maintained at all points, improving network reliability.
Additionally, having defined routing paths makes accessing individual fibers easier, quicker and safer, reducing the time required for reconfigurations. Uniform routing paths reduce the twisting of fibers and make tracing a fiber for rerouting much easier.
Well-defined cable routing paths also greatly reduce the time required to route and reroute patch cords. This has a direct effect on network operating costs and the time required to turn-up or restore service.
Fiber Optic Cable Access
The second aspect of fiber cable management is the accessibility of the installed fibers. Allowing easy access to installed fibers is critical in maintaining proper bend radius protection. This accessibility should ensure that any fiber can be installed or removed without inducing a macrobend on an adjacent fiber.
The accessibility of the fibers in the fiber cable management system can mean the difference between a network reconfiguration time of 20 minutes per fiber and one of over 90 minutes per fiber. Accessibility is most critical during network reconfiguration operations and directly impacts operation costs and network reliability.
Optical Fiber Protection
The third aspect of fiber cable management is the physical protection of the installed fibers. All fibers should be protected throughout the network from accidental damage by technicians and equipment.
Fibers routed between pieces of equipment without proper protection are susceptible to damage, which can critically affect network reliability. The fiber cable management system should therefore ensure that every fiber is protected from physical damage.