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I am getting a subcontracting company to provide terminated fibre connections between two points, and I want to say what they are expected to do and what certificate they are expected to supply. This is intended to cover mistermination, damaged cable in the duct, wrong choice of fibre, etc.

I'm expecting an LC-duplex terminated pair of fibres which I'm going to plug into 850 nm SFP modules and run at 1 Gbit/sec. The cable run is approx 200 metres. The site is in the European Union.

What do I ask for?

  • "N pairs of SWA-protected OM3 fibre terminated in LC-duplex connectors for use with 850 nm SFPs at 1 Gbit/sec, and certification to XYZ standard."

Could someone tell me the appropriate standard? Is it ANSI/TIA-568.3-D?

Is there a normal way for the fibre to be left (coiled near entrance?) or is there are normal kind of mounting I should specify? We intend to wall-mount a switch immediately nearby.

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ANSI/TIA-568.3-D is the appropriate and up-to-date standard for fiber installations. You should ask your contractor to comply with these guidelines.

When we hire a subcontractor, we always ask for the fiber technician to be Fiber Optics Technician-Inside Plant (FOT-ISP) certified. This means:

A Fiber Optics Technician – Inside Plant (FOT-ISP) must be able to accurately install, terminate, test, and troubleshoot fiber optic communication systems used in premises, LANs, enterprise and data center installations. Included are various techniques applicable to gigabit multimode and single-mode systems consisting of unique test requirements in Ethernet and Fibre Channel, but also pertinent to FTTx, security systems, and CATV networks. As many inside plant installations use multimode fiber, the FOT-ISP technician must recognize the various types - IEC defined OM2, 3, 4 & 5 multimode - and OS2 single-mode fibers along with the various proper launch conditions used when testing fiber spans as also defined by the TIA-568 and TIA-942 standards. Technicians must similarly comprehend various fiber optic cable connector types and termination used in these networks, using best practices for installing and testing fiber links.

An FOT-ISP technician has the knowledge and skills required for proper installation, preparing optical loss budgets, splicing, repairing, terminating, connecting, testing and troubleshooting of multimode and single-mode fiber optic links. Additional knowledge and skills include identifying the roles of attenuation, dispersion and reflection by optical loss testing of transmission equipment along with an understanding of OTDRs including acceptance testing and troubleshooting fiber optic elements and spans. The FOT-ISP should have a basic understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC®) and all safety conditions specific to the inside plant and campus applications.

This certification is accredited by the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC).

We always terminate fiber in a wiring closet, where the switch/router etc. can be mounted close to the cable installations with proper power, security etc. The fiber is always terminated in a fiber panel that uses LC/PC duplex connectors. We would always ask the technician to install at least 6 pairs (12 fiber strands) and at least 5 extra meters of fiber cable should be left (coiled) and mounted at the back of the wiring closet with Velcro, so that it can be moved or spliced again in case of cable damage.

That's how we do it.

  • Thanks that's very helpful. The fibre is going between a buried chamber to a room in a small building, through 200 metres of underground ducting. Is FOT-ISP correct for this? – jonathanjo May 2 at 14:35
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    Yes, as long as the fiber never resides outside, that certification would be appropriate. The FOT-OSP is mainly focused on technicians splicing large cross-country cables or sea cables. – user56700 May 2 at 14:38
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In addition to previous answer, depending on the exact products being used, you may want to also ask for manufacturer certification from your installers of fiber runs and terminations.

Some fiber manufacturers will only provide warranty coverage on an installation when it is performed by installers that have been manufacturer certified. Or they may provide a "better" (enhanced, extended, etc) warranty when it is done by manufacturer certified installers.

  • Thanks that's very helpful.. We in fact are only responsible for specification, and as the fibre subcontractor will be commissioned directly by our client, warrantes and pricing will be their responsibility. – jonathanjo May 3 at 3:51
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    @jonathanjo, often I will also specify the manufacturer and/or products to be used for a job before requesting any quotes/bids. Consider a vendor who quotes using "name brand" (i.e. Corning, CommScope, Prysmian, etc) components won't be able to underbid another vendor using generic components. Of course with the first you will have much greater confidence in the product and the company being around in x years to support their products. – YLearn May 3 at 4:46

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