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Fibre optic cables are installed using various methods depending on the site-specific requirements and distances and also cost.
The most common installation methods are:
- On cable tray
- On cable tray
- In Conduit above ground
- In underground conduits and pit systems
- Direct buried
Using conduits fixed to walls ceilings or cable trays can be employed to provide added protection for the fibre optic cable as well as provide a path to haul the fibre optic cable through. This can improve efficiency by reducing the number of fixings required as well as speed up hauling times. It can also provide a hauling path at a later date for additional cable to be installed in the least amount of time.
Underground conduits and pit systems provide the main infrastructure of the Telstra, NBN and Optus networks. These systems of installation have been around for over 100 years and provide a path to haul cables and upgrade networks to the latest technologies well into the future. Although costly and time consuming to install, with having to dig up footpaths, roads and driveways with Excavators and Hydro Vac trucks, once installed they last decades.
In Suburban areas HydroVac trenching is used. Often referred to as Trenchless excavation, the Hydrovac uses high press water to dig instead of a mechanical digger. This reduces ground asset strikes and the costly process of repair these accidental damaged pipes, conduits, gas lines and power cables.
Optic cable is mainly used on long distance City to City installations. This can be over 1000kms. They involve using a specialised direct laying machine that digs and lays a fibre cable as well as back fills, at the same time. With the ability to lay over 5km per day they are the cheapest price per meter for long distance runs.