With falling prices and increased demand, fiber to the home (FTTH) is becoming the new standard for data delivery for homes and businesses.  Install and repair teams need a variety of enclosures for these in-demand systems.

According to Broadband Communities Magazine, 2015 will see an increase in FTTH deployments for several reasons. For starters, FTTH is attractive to new homebuyers. A marketing analyst interviewed by the magazine confirms “that consumers are willing to pay a premium for fiber-connected housing both because FTTH allows them to work from home and because the in-home lifestyle is truly being transformed into an online-dominated experience.”

Another reason for the expected increase is that cable companies are planning to install FTTH, a service telcos have dominated for years.

Technicians installing fiber in new homes or multi-family dwellings (MDUs), should understand the main advantages it offers over traditional copper cabling solutions:

1. Greater capacity

Typically copper is limited to gigabit speed whereas fiber will handle at least 10 gigabit. This is becoming more of an issue as cloud computing demands shorter network response times.

2. Less signal degradation

Fiber can cover much greater distances without significant signal loss. This results in higher speed and dependability, and also reduces the amount of power needed to transmit data.

3. Stronger and more reliable

Fiber has a pull strength more than four times that of copper. Copper is very malleable and is susceptible to signal degradation due to being stretched, twisted or kinked. It requires insulation and shielding which are both vulnerable to damage

4. Secure and resistant to electrical noise

Fiber transmits light so it does not need shielding from electrical interference. It can be installed close to existing infrastructure such as transmission lines, cell phone repeaters or, on a smaller scale, WiFi hubs. Also, because of the use of light, it is more secure than copper as it is very difficult to tap into.

Choosing fiber enclosures for residential demarcation

Keep in mind that once the fiber reaches its destination point, the outside plant (OSP) near a home or business, connections need to be made to existing network cabling and this is where fiber becomes vulnerable.

As it transmits light instead of electricity the two pieces of optical fiber at any connection must be matched and the two cut faces (SC/APC) aligned perfectly in order to prevent any loss of signal at the splice or connection. Choosing the right enclosure is key to protecting the fiber.

Within the enclosure there is and Optical Network Terminal (ONT), which terminates the fiber then demultiplexes the signal into its component parts (voice telephone, television, and Internet). Often there is a fiber splice as well. There are two main types of fiber splices, fusion, where the two fibers are fused together, and mechanical, which is most often a temporary measure. The splice needs to be protected from the elements and from being damaged by being put into some kind of enclosure such as stackable splice trays and fiber transition outlets (FTO).

Other fiber management accessories like spools, clips and mounting brackets are essential for ensuring fiber protection within enclosures. Properly wrapping fiber around a spool maintains bend radius while clips and brackets keep the tangle at bay.

Fiber to the home is already here for many communities. If you don’t already have it then it is on its way. Proper installation is the key to success when rolling out fiber to the home and a good enclosure is an important part of that.