Home > Technologies > FTTH > Optical fiber wiring process

Cities that are more connected on a daily basis need increasingly higher transmission speeds and infrastructures able to support higher bandwidths.

The network implemented by Open Fiber aims to ensure citizens, businesses and public administration an ultra-fast connection in FTTH – Fiber To The Home technology, thus providing access to the most innovative digital services.

The optical fiber cabling process starts by signing an agreement between the municipality involved in the implementation, management and maintenance of a new generation ultra-broadband optical fiber network infrastructure and Open Fiber.

The agreement, signed with local authorities, defines the work methods and timing (which may differ depending on the municipality), technical and safety standards to minimize inconvenience to citizens during the works and excavation methods for laying the optical fiber cables.

Traditional excavation is envisaged only when none of the other solutions can be used.

After having obtained all the administrative permits and authorizations, the activities that will bring optical fiber to the home begin.

Optical fiber step by step

 

  • the innovative “reduced mini-trench” technique, which also includes the suction of waste material, reducing dust and inconvenience for users;
  • the traditional mini-trench (a low environmental impact excavation technique which, thanks to the creation of 5 cm wide trenches, makes it possible to drastically reduce the time and cost of laying operations);
  • in no-dig (so without resorting to traditional open-cast excavations);
  • laying the aerial network.

  • PoPs (Points of Presence) are infrastructure nodes that host the fixed access and transport/backhauling network elements. The former are active elements that aggregate and distribute user traffic on the access network, while the latter transport traffic to the point of delivery.
  • PoPs can be divided into National PoPs, which constitute the Backbone network, and collection PoPs, according to the area in question (small and medium sized regional or urban).

Cabling process phases

In this phase, also called “walk out“, we carry out all the activities for collecting useful information for definition of the project, such as counting the buildings to be cabled, the number of property units (PU) in a building and the individual homes in a given street.

Subsequently, we evaluate the possibility of laying the fiber using the existing infrastructure (ducts, electricity lines, etc.) or the need to carry out new works. Also in this phase, the communication forms are issued (e.g. Notice of commencement of works, Authorisation to lay and operate the FTTH optical fiber network implemented in the municipality, Authorisation to access the building, etc.), some of which are addressed to local authorities while others to the condominium administrator or owner of the individual homes/ businesses.

Once the forms have been collected, the internal survey is carried out by inspecting the buildings. This phase is also called the “walk in”. If civil works are required, an authorization is issued which must be completed by the natural person or local authority concerned.

Once we have all the necessary information and documentation, we implemented a “preliminary project” in which we define the works to be carried out, the type of excavation, the dimensioning of the fiber cables and the location of the SFP – secondary flexibility point – street cabinet. With the approval of the project, the latter becomes final and authorization is requested from the competent offices.

 

The implementation of the FTTH connection system takes place in the Creation phase. This is a process through which the Points of Presence (PoP) are connected to specific Property Units (up to 90,000) using optical fiber.

In this phase, the work of laying the fiber, installing the SFP (secondary flexibility point) street cabinet and the Building Termination Point (BTP) or the Advanced Termination Point (ATP) to reach individual homes, offices, businesses and public administration is carried out.

What does the Creation phase consist of?

  • POP construction: the process takes from 6 to 12 months and can be of two types: one indoors (inside existing buildings), and the other outdoors (prefabricated structures called shelters and/or cabinets).
  • Construction of the optical fiber laying infrastructure is contained in cables, inserted in plastic pipes. These constitute a large part of the infrastructure and their maintenance is fundamental for the success of the network.

Section testing: the optical junctions are implemented to provide continuity from the PoP to all the PUs. The sections are then tested, followed by the delivery process, in which the optical fiber network is opened up to the operators.

The implementation of a full-fiber telecommunications infrastructure also includes a phase dedicated to the restoration of the road surface, This is a subsequent step that follows installation of the FTTH network and whose implementation will take place with minimum inconvenience to citizens, trying to be as noninvasive as possible, also at the environmental level.

 

How does restoration take place?

Restoration envisages two distinct phases:

  • One of a temporary nature, which follows the excavation works, and lasts at least 30 days. This is a necessary process to allow the ground to settle and consists of a pink mortar strip.
  • The second phase, on the other hand, is of a definitive nature and consists of milling a portion of the carriageway and hot asphalting the road.

 

What happens when the road is restored for optical fiber works?

Before starting any activity, it is essential to inform users about the phases and timing of the works to restore the road surface. The complete process envisages these well-defined steps:

  • Fiber laying, where possible existing cables and network infrastructures are used in order to minimize the environmental impact.
  • Temporary restoration, involves the laying of pink mortar for a period of not less than 30 days, weather conditions permitting.
  • Final restoration, during which a portion of the carriageway is milled and hot asphalted.
  • Roads restored, these are interventions fully paid for by Open Fiber which, therefore, do not involve any expenditure on the part of the municipal administration.

To activate the service, the end customer – depending on the city in which the latter is located – must directly contact the preferred operator (check our partners here), and choose among the various offers available. Once the contract has been concluded with the operator, it is up to the latter to contact Open Fiber to begin the last installation phase, i.e. to bring the fiber from the BTP to the customer’s home.

In the last phase of the process, Open Fiber receives an “Activation Request” from an operator with all the customer information, books the network resources and contacts the customer with an unencrypted number from the fixed network. Together they fix the date and time slot of the appointment for the technician to intervene at the user’s home. The duration of the intervention is approx. 2-3 hours. This time begins when the technician arrives at the customer’s home.

The activities at the customer’s home are the following:

  • Installation of the fiber terminator.
    A small white box (similar to a thermostat) that will be placed on the wall at the nearest point of access to the existing infrastructure, in accordance with the customer’s needs;
  • Testing using test equipment, with the support of the OF SOC, Services Operations Center.
    The technician installs the customer’s Modem/Router and connects it to the fiber terminator. After which he calls the Open Fiber SOC to verify proper functioning, carrying out a number of tests.