Fiber Cables and their Quality – Commonly Asked Questions

1. Can fiber cables be repaired?

Yes. That typically requires splicing and should be done by professionals.

2. Do cables wear out and decline in performance and have to be replaced over time? What is the time frame?

Fiber cables are strong and resilient.  They typically perform optimally for at least 10 years and it’s not unusual for them to last for decades.

3. What would be the visible signs of cable failure? Does performance completely fail or partially fail?

If there’s a total break in the fiber, your connection will be lost.  If the cable is dirty or scratched, the connection is not necessarily lost but connection quality may be poor.

4. How frequently or how common a problem is cable failure or partial failure?

As the number of fibers in a cable goes up, the chance of fiber breaking also goes up. But fiber optics cables are fairly resilient.  Typically, damage to cables is the result of misuse or mishandling during installation.

5. How would you know the problem is the cable rather than other equipment you are using?

Network testing operators use professional monitoring tools which can identify throughputs going down or connections dropping.

6. What testing tool do many engineers recommend?

OTDR. For more details, read this article on verifying fiber cables.

7. When you buy a cable, does it come with a warranty period?

A few companies provide warranty information with purchase.  Vitex offers a two year warranty on cables.

8. How can you best assess the quality of the cable you are buying?

The quality of the cable is not necessarily visible to the eye.  Some defects, however, might be.  That is why you should do a quick visual test when you receive the cable.

As with any other specialized product you purchase, it is important to deal with a reputable company that has good reviews from customers.  In the event of a problem, it is best to deal with a company that can offer technical support, good customer support, and is based in the U.S.

With more than two decades of fiber optics experience, our team includes highly experienced engineers who can offer robust technical support and customize solutions to your business needs. Contact us if you have any questions on fiber cabling.

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