Build Your Own Fiber Optic Network Like a Professional Network Engineer
What does an enterprise fiber optic network consist of?
The basic philosophy of modern LAN wiring is the concept of structured cabling. The
entire networking system is broken up into chunks that allow workstation wires to be
In a typical enterprise LAN system, the fiber optic network consists of
telecommunication rooms, backbone wiring, work areas and horizontal wiring.
Let's illustrate this with a 3 stories building.
On each floor, there will be a telecommunication room sitting on top of each other.
These telecommunication rooms hold all network equipment such as routers, servers and
switches. Telecommunication rooms are linked together with fiber optic cables passing
through vertical shafts which are called backbone wiring/cabling or vertical
The backbone fiber optic cables typically run at 10Gbps Ethernet speed to provide
enough bandwidth for the whole enterprise.
Work areas are work stations (PCs) divided into cubicles. These work areas are
connected to each floor's telecommunication room with horizontal cabling. These horizontal
copper/fiber optic cables typically run at 1Gbps Ethernet speed.
How to pull the fiber optic cable through vertical shaft
The backbone cabling used to be twisted pair copper cables. But now it is typically
multimode fibers or even single mode fibers.
There are many tools available to pull the vertical backbone fiber cables. These include
Gopher poles, cable caster pulling tools or fish tapes. And usually you need to install a
pulling eye to protect the fiber cables and connectors while pulling the fiber cables.
How to terminate a backbone vertical fiber optic cable?
The backbone fiber optic cables come in without termination (connector). You usually
need to terminate these fibers with fiber optic connectors such as ST, SC or LC connectors.
The termination steps are not extremely difficult but it does require some extensive
training before you can do a fairly good job.
Fiber optic termination tools
The tools needed for fiber terminations are fiber optic cable strippers, Kevlar
cutters, fiber cleavers, ST, SC, LC or MTRJ fiber optic connectors, fiber connector hand
polishing puck, fiber polishing films and fiber inspection microscope.
Fiber optic cable termination steps
1. Strip the fiber
Fiber cables come with 3mm jacket, Kevlar strength member and 0.9mm buffer coating. To
get to the 0.125mm fiber cladding, you need to remove the 3mm jacket with a fiber jacket
stripper, then cut the Kevlar fibers with a Kevlar cutter, finally strip the 0.9mm buffer
down to 0.125mm cladding with a fiber optic stripper.