I have aerial fiber optic cable only. Can I use this cable underground because I have excess aerial cable but I have no underground cable?

In short, is aerial fiber optic cable insulated enough to be used under ground?

  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 21, 2018 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


You should never do something like you intend. OSP (Outside Plant) cabling is a specialty that many cable installers do not do because there are some serious life/safety implications. For example, grounding and bonding. You need an electrician to make sure that the OSP cable is properly grounded and bonded, and has proper lightning protection. Also, underground cable needs to be gel-filled, loose-tube cable, and armored if it directly buried. It must be buried at least 24", or below the frost line, to the top of the cable or conduit whichever is deeper.

OSP cabling is something that you should really leave to professionals because you can expose yourself to serious civil and possibly criminal problems in the case of some type of disaster, e.g. a fire.

  • 1
    Yes, aerial fibre cabling can be run through underground duct. That's how aerial cabling gets to pits to be spliced. No, if you had to ask then as Ron says you aren't trained nor capable of doing the task or aware of the legal risks. The legal risks are large: you are doing what we call a "cowboy install". For those we show no mercy (unlike, say, someone doing domestic gardening) and if you hit any of my plant then our lawyers will be told to extract the full amount of our repair costs, plus damages for the useful work that fibre crew would have otherwise been doing.
    – vk5tu
    Aug 3, 2017 at 7:17

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