Fiber-Optic Cables Cut: What are the Consequences and How to Fix It

In this day and age, it’s almost mandatory to be connected to the cloud at all times. That includes your phone, internet, and even tv cable service; it all connects to the internet now. Service providers and technicians now use fiber-optic cables cut, as they provide many benefits with almost no drawback. Unless a fiber-optic cable cut occurs; then it’s mayhem. In this article, you’ll learn what happens when fiber-optic cables cut, what causes it, and how to fix it.

1. How fiber-optic Cables Cut Outage Impact Daily Life

How fiber-optic Cables Cut Outage Impact Daily Life

When fiber-optic cables cut occurs, a data outage takes place. This translates into losing internet connection, data storage, and even cell phone-based voice connection in a certain area. Fiber-optic outages isolate people by slowing communication and work-related activities nowadays. But outages surely have more impact in life when in times of need. Imagine being in the middle of a storm and having no way to communicate with people to ask for help? Having access to the internet can turn a tragedy into a lifesaving situation.

Fiber-optic outages are easy to avoid when people take proper care of the infrastructure involved. For example, having a fiber-optic map at hand could help contractors, technicians, and common users to avoid cutting main cables.

2. What Causes Damages to Fiber-optic Networks

There are many ways in which a cable cut happens, whether it’s a fiber-optic, coaxial, or electrical cable. This is possible to occur inside the house when installing new wiring or when a shortcut shuts the house completely. However, for major fiber-optic cables cut to happen, sometimes it takes some higher power. 

Human 

Humans represent one of the biggest causes of cable cutting, as they often cause outages in their own house. However, it’s also possible to cut fiber-optic cables by accident and leave you without the internet.

Vehicle

Vehicle

It’s not anything related to cars cutting fiber-optic cables by driving over them or something like that. However, people with little to no spatial awareness when driving and drunk drivers are the main ones responsible for it. From people crashing their cars to poles to dump trucks taking down cables with their dump beds up, everything is possible.

Vandalism 

Vandalism

People vandalize private property for fun or to make companies spend their money fixing or changing things that worked fine already. Between 2007 and 2014, there were more than 1K severe fiber-optic cable cuts in the US alone. However, this number only reflects the cases that affect 911 calls or almost 1 million minutes of user calls.

Animals 

Animals

Animals like rabbits, rats, squirrels, and even monkeys represent a menace to fiber-optic cables. They like to chew on everything that’s in front of them and cables are just another item on their list.  Regardless of how high or low the cable is, monkeys usually cause fiber-optic outages in areas surrounding temples.

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters

Contractors know how to make their wire installments stable, reliable, and protected from weather changes like wind, rain, and snow. However, they cannot control if a hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami hits the infrastructure and causes outages. 

So-Called ‘Miracles’

Whether you consider the existence of miracles, sometimes things happen and seem more like miracles or magic than anything else. From boats cutting undersea cables to airplanes clipping wires as they try to land, fiber-optic cables cut may occur.

3. Simple Steps to Fix a Cut Fiber-optic Cable

However, you can fix any fiber-optic cables cut using specific tools and equipment. To fix it, you’ll need an OTDR, a fiber-optic cutter, a high-precision fiber-optic cleaver, and a fusion splicer. It may get pricey, as some of the tools cost more than $1K. However, it’s simple to do. 

Identify the Break in Fiber-optic Cable.

Identify the Break in Fiber-optic Cable

By using the OTDR, technicians can find breakages in the fiber-optic cable. This device sends light pulses to the cable and displays it on the screen as a radar would. With the help of the OTDR, you will have the exact position where the cable broke.

Cut Out the Damaged Fiber-Optic Cable

Cut Out the Damaged Fiber-Optic Cable

Now you know the exact location of the breakage, use the fiber-optic cable cutter to get rid of the damaged part of the cable. Simply dig or take the cable out and cut. Do it carefully but with confidence to avoid any rough cuts.

Strip the Fiber-Optic Cable

Strip the Fiber-Optic Cable

Then, get the fiber-optic cable stripper and strip away the cable to expose the fibers inside. Cut and peel the kevlar layer to only reveal the fine fibers inside.

Trim Any Damage on the Optical Fiber Ends

Fiber-Optic Cables Cut-- Trim Any Damage on the Optical Fiber Ends

By using the high-precision fiber-optic cable cleaver, trim away any damaged ends that the cutter couldn’t get. Open the body and place the stripped cable in it, close it, and move the slider to trim rough ends. Then, open it, check the ends, take it out, and toss the snippets of fiber in the trash.

Clean the Fiber

Using lint-free wipes and alcohol, clean the stripped fiber to ensure the connection will have a clean strip.

Splice the Fiber-Optic Cable

Splice the Fiber-Optic Cables cut

Now, you’re almost finished. To splice the fiber-optic cable, you have 2 different ways to do it. First, do mechanical splicing by placing quick-connect fiber-optic connectors, align the fibers, and clip them to seal the connection. Although it’s simple to do, it causes a loss of 0.3 dB. 

fiber-optic cables cut

econd, do a fusion splicing by using a fusion splicer. This device perfectly aligns the fibers to ensure proper wielding. Simply take both ends of the cable and place them in the device. Then, using heat or an electric arc, the device will fuse the fibers together, causing a loss of 0.1dB.

Perform Connection Test

Fiber-Optic Cables Cut

Finally, take the OTDR, make sure the cable is in the perfect estate before closing the enclosure, and bury them again.

4. Go With Coaxial Cables to Avoid Troubles

Fiber-Optic Cables Cut--Go With Coaxial Cables to Avoid Troubles

Despite fiber-optic cables being a wonderful invention, going coaxial may help you solve many issues. First, coaxial cable cuts are easier to repair. Second, although optical provides super-fast data connection/transfer capabilities, coaxial is stable when it comes to bandwidth.

Third, both methods cost almost the same. Fourth, you can do an entire house coaxial connection yourself while it’s recommended to hire someone to do fiber-optic.

Summary:

Fiber-optic cables offer many benefits you should know about. However, coaxial cables can do the same, offering great performance levels. If you want to get great coaxial cables, we provide cable assembly services to suit every need.

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