There can be fiber optic cabling insertion loss if the cables aren't installed correctly.

Why Is There Fiber Optic Insertion Loss in Your Cabling Infrastructure?

Over time, fiber optic construction has seen significant improvements in the areas of faster transmission, extended range, and more. However, the industry continues to see many inefficiencies in the system.

These inefficiencies may be because of poor or no structured cabling infrastructure, using damaged or improper wires, user error, or insertion loss in the cabling infrastructure.

Fiber optic cable insertion loss refers to the lost light or signals caused by a poor connection or link at the end of the (receiving) link. This loss is measured in decibels, and as more connections are introduced, the loss also increases proportionally.

Understanding Fiber Optic Insertion Loss – Common Causes

Fiber optic construction losses can be because of the five key issues:

A Contaminated Insertion Point

Glass is glass, and just like your window glass or a mirror, it won’t be able to perform its function property if there is dirt or grime on it. The fiber optic cable may be clean if you have to plug in and out of the system, but the insertion point may be a major problem.

The “inspect, clean, and insert” method once every month should be enough to help you eliminate fiber optic insertion loss here.

The Bend Radius

Fiber optic wires can bend, but it has a threshold. The wires have glass in them, and bending them beyond that point will lead to the glass shattering, introducing a lot of loss. Such damage occurs most commonly during the fiber optic construction process, which is why you need to get professionals to do it for you.

Jumper Issues

You may have seen structured cabling being managed with the help of zip ties. It is a great idea for power cables but not for fiber optic construction/management. This is because zip ties end up putting a lot of pressure at one point of the wire. The glass can shatter within the wire, and the worst part is that you won’t even know that the glass has been shattered!

Go with Velcro, where possible.

Connection Misalignment

Fiber optic insertion loss is most common at the insertion point, and this is not a secret. One of the most common yet easy to fix issues is the alignment of fiber optic cable cores with the insertion point. This is known as a ‘ferrule,’ the protruding portion of your connector.

If the insertion loss is too high, it could end up exceeding your ‘normal loss’ threshold and may introduce lag into the system. The amount of light being transferred would be less than what is outlined by TIA standards and may also impact your wireless services.

If you think your network is experiencing issues because of the fiber optic insertion point, feel free to reach out to our network experts and get your system diagnosed today!