Fiber U Basics

Lesson 9: Fiber Optic Network Design

How are fiber optic networks designed?
Objectives: From this lesson you should learn:
What Is Fiber Optic Network Design?
What is involved in fiber optic network design
What a designer needs to know
How a project develops from idea to installation
How to choose equipment and components for the network
How to create a loss budget for the design
How to plan for and complete an installation

This lesson will help you learn the process of designing a fiber optic network. Not everyone will design a fiber optic network, but understanding the process will make installing, testing and documenting a network easier.

Fiber optic network design refers to the specialized processes leading to a successful installation and operation of a fiber optic network. It includes determining the type of communication system(s) which will be carried over the network, the geographic layout (premises, campus, outside plant (OSP, etc.), the transmission equipment required and the fiber network over which it will operate.

Designing a fiber optic network usually also requires interfacing to other networks which may be connected over copper cabling and wireless. Next to consider are requirements for permits, easements, permissions and inspections. Once we get to that stage, we can consider actual component selection, placement, installation practices, testing, troubleshooting and network equipment installation and startup. Finally, we have to consider documentation, maintenance and planning for restoration in event of a future outage.

The design of the network must precede not only the installation itself, but it must be completed to estimate the cost of the project and, for the contractor, bid on the job. Design not only affects the technical aspects of the installation, but the business aspects also.

Want to study Design more? Fiber U has a complete online self-study program on design with numerous case studies.

Student Assignment:
Watch the videos, read the references and take the quizzes (Test Your Comprehension)

FOA YouTube Videos:
FOA Lecture 9: Fiber Optic Network Design, Part 1
FOA Lecture 10: Fiber Optic Network Design Part 2  
FOA Lecture 11: Fiber Optic Network Design Part 3  
FOA Lecture 26: Loss Budgets  

Online FOA Reference:
Fiber Optic Network Design  
Link Loss Budgets
Project Paperwork  

Book Chapter:
            FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, Chapter 9

Test Your Knowledge:
Online Quiz
Take the Quiz at the end of Chapter 9 and check your answers  

Optional - Extra Credit Reading

FOA Technical Bulletins
Designing Fiber Optic Networks, a reference guide for users, contractors, installers, etc. (PDF, 1.3 MB)  
Network User's Guide, covers design through maintenance for the user of fiber optic networks. (PDF 0.1 MB)  
Planning For Restoration (PDF, 0.1 MB) 
Fiber or Copper? Overview and Fiber LANs
Estimating Fiber Optic Installations  
Next: Lesson 10: Fiber Optic Network Installation 

Return to Lesson Plan


Table of Contents: The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

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