Skip to Content

How Long Does It Take To Install Fiber Optic Internet?

Fiber optic is a widely used broadband connection because of its speed, which can reach up to 940 Mbps. It is the main reason most homeowners switch to this kind of internet. With that said, we have thoroughly researched the internet about how long it will take to install a fiber optic internet. And we've found the answer!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

The duration of the installation of fiber optic internet can vary depending if the contractor will install it underground or aerial. Expect that the process will take five to seven working days. 

Aside from knowing how long it will take to install fiber optic internet, it would also be best to be aware of its applications for installation. Learning about this broadband connection is necessary to make the most out of it. Let's delve into the details!

Let's Get Familiar With Fiber Optic Cable

fiber optical network cable

Fiber optic is just one of the two cable types that internet contractors use in sending internet signals. The other cable type is a copper wire. You are might be familiar with copper cable, especially since it is the most popular and people have used this the longest.

Coaxial and ethernet cables are two examples of low-voltage cabling used for signal transmission. These work with the help of the low-voltage electrical pulses that travel through the copper cables. And as they pass through the cables, they transform into binary information. After that, a computer will process it at the other end of the line.

On the other hand, fiber optic cable uses light pulses to transmit data; then, a computer will process it at the other end of the glass filament.

Why Do People Switch To Fiber Optic Internet?

Technicians installing optic fiber cable ties

Copper cable networks have outstanding backend support, but their low bandwidth can hinder an innovative company during this digital age. After the Coronavirus outbreak, it was more apparent than ever that the internet is a vital utility to our economy, on par with electricity and clean water.

Although a high-end copper network can send over low Gbps speeds, know that there are several things that it might experience, and they are the following:

  • There is an asymmetrical internet speed or transfer rate. You'll know this happens when the upload rate is slower than the download rate.
  • Diminishing returns in a signal.
  • Electrical interference.
  • Inefficiency.

Fiber optic internet can prove that it is way better than copper cable network because it can offer you the opposite, like having:

  • Reduced electricity consumption.
  • You won't experience electrical interference.
  • Durability against corrosion.
  • Appropriate transfer rates.

Additionally, fiber optic cables can transmit at more than 100 Gbps speeds.

Many data centers rely on a network of fiber optic connections, yet local areas are still slow to adopt this technology. But that's quickly changing as more cities and municipalities deploy fiber optic networks.

The mentioned advantages of fiber networks are becoming increasingly apparent to businesses, which are sometimes willing to foot the bill for their installation along public thoroughfares.

What Is Fiber Optic Installation?

internet connection engineer connecting fiber optic

Installation of fiber optic internet requires a residence to transition from the "home passed" phase of construction to the "connected" or "installed" stage. Learn the difference between these two below:

Home Passed

It refers to something that a house qualifies to obtain the connection and services from the fiber optic distribution plant. However, the provider cannot connect it yet. Additionally, it is when the fiber optic line "passes by" a house along the street.

Connected

A "drop" cable runs fiber optic from the nearest network node to the house. Fiber providers allow customers to call for and receive video, voice services, and data.

You can tell that utilizing fiber optic internet is one excellent move. It is because it is a cost-effective method of conveying network connectivity to locations with heavy data traffic, video, and voice from end users.

How Providers Construct Fiber Optic?

data transfer by optical fibre information

As already mentioned, the construction of fiber optic networks involves either underground or aerial cable insertion; it doesn't require burying fiber cables in all cases.

Underground Cable

laying fiber optic cable fast internet, How Long Does It Take To Install Fiber Optic Internet?

Providers will install the fiber cable underground using a conduit system. They will lay it through techniques such as:

  • jack and bore
  • trenching
  • multi-directional bore
  • directional bore
  • plowing

Aerial Cable

Fiber providers will install fiber optic lines along overhead telephone or utility poles.

How Long Is The Installation Process Of Fiber Optic Internet?

fusion splicing tool set fiberoptic splicers

Know that burying the fiber cables underground or running them aerially on overhead lines can affect the duration of the installation process.

It can take installing fiber optic internet for up to five working days if it is an aerial installation. On the other hand, installing underground fiber can take more than seven working days since it is more challenging and time-consuming.

What Are The Preparations For Fiber Optic Internet Installation?

Before the start of fiber-to-home installation, the fiber internet provider will need to be ready by obtaining work permits and conducting an on-site examination. Please check the following details:

1. Civil Engineering

The civil engineering process consists of the following:

  • mapping
  • site survey
  • inspection of the terrain
  • analyzing if there will be conflicts on utility, like water and electricity

2. Prepare Sufficiently

In this step, the fiber provider needs to conduct an on-site examination of the ground for a possible underground fiber or the poles for aerial installation. It goes from the street towards your house. 

3. Licensing Or Permitting

For this one, the provider will have to:

  • submit the engineering plans
  • provide the details of establishing or hauling equipment
  • ensuring access to public spaces or rights of way

When a customer requests FTTH, which stands for "fiber to the home" service, a fiber optic cable expert and a truck roll will go to the customer's residence to make the necessary connections and install the required supplies or equipment.

What Are The Applications Of Fiber Optic Internet?

interface fiberoptic connector channel switch disconnect

As long as the cost of installing the necessary equipment is reasonable, fiber optic cabling is the better alternative in virtually all situations.

In-building Cabling

You probably picture premises or in-building cabling when you assume a high-speed local network. It refers that the fiber provider will install fiber optic cable throughout a building.  

Due to shorter cable lengths and the lower price of multi-mode transceivers, multi-mode fiber optic installation is the more common choice for this type of installation.

Platform Cabling

Remote-scale applications, such as those found aboard an airplane or the International Space Station, may also benefit from using fiber optic cable.

Fiber optics is preferable over other networking options because of its superior performance in environments where electrical interference could enclose disastrous consequences. Fiber optics are also more secure since they are harder to hack.

OSP Or Outside Plant Installations

It is where the underground and aerial installation fall. 

These installation techniques allow for communication between transferring stations and central switches. Additionally, fiber providers typically measure it in miles of cable deployed. Internet service and community antenna television networks are viable options for this setup.

Furthermore, most OSP construction today utilizes single-mode fiber optic cable. It is because it can transmit signals outstandingly over long stretches.

Wiring Operations

Fiber optic cabling also has the edge of not necessitating any special equipment in telecommunication rooms or closets, such as:

  • cooling
  • power amplifiers
  • signal boosters
  • grounding

Since fiber-optic networks typically have a more significant upfront expense, you can use the reduced complexity of their operation to make up for this.

How Much Does A Fiber Optic Internet Installation Cost?

The final figure for a brand-new fiber optic installation depends on many factors.

The average cost to install one foot of fiber cable is between $1 and $6. And to give you an idea of the price range, a mile of 12-strand single-mode fiber cable will set you back around $8,500 to $10,000. On the other hand, a mile of 96-strand single-mode cable will set you back between $20,000 and $30,000.

Furthermore, the conduit is an additional expense that ranges from $2 to $4 per linear foot. And that will rely on duct length. While it's apparent that cable diameter will affect duct measure, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that a 40% fill ratio is optimal.

Why Is It Important To Hire A Professional Fiber Optic Installer?

Traditional low-voltage copper cable has been in use for quite some time, resulting in a sizable labor pool skilled in its installation.

On the other hand, you should hire expert fiber optic installers since fiber optic is a high-end technology that necessitates adequate tools and equipment, carefulness, and awareness of industry measures.

Additionally, although it is stronger in specific considerations, it is more delicate and requires expert understanding when terminated, routed through conduit, joined, and pulled. Incorrect installation techniques might ruin expensive materials.

So, if you want the installation to be successful, never hire an amateur or someone without complete knowledge of fiber optics. 

Professionals Can Ensure Safety

With the installation process of fiber optic cables, there are several hazards that it can produce, and these are:

  • occurrence of sparks because of fusion splicing
  • chemical issues
  • eye protection issues
  • fragment disposal

Keep in mind that you can save money in the long run by only hiring professional fiber optic installers, reducing the likelihood of costly accidents and mistakes on the job site.

Fiber Experts Are Knowledgeable Of City Regulations And Permits

The necessity for approval from local authorities can extend the duration of installing fiber optic internet by several weeks or months. Good thing that an expert installation will know how to work within these parameters, which will prevent holds.

Wrapping Things Up

laying fiber optic cable fast internet

Now you know everything about fiber optic internet, from its applications, installation duration, cost, and preparations. And as you have read in the entire post, fiber optic is challenging, takes longer to install, and is costly, but it is worth every penny.

You have finally made it to the end! Want more of our articles? Check these out!

How To Reroute Coaxial Cable

Braided Vs. Non-Braided Cable: Pros, Cons, & Differences

Schedule 40 Vs. 80 PVC Conduit – What Are The Differences?