What You Need to Know Before Deploying Your FTTH Network
So you’ve chosen a design for your FTTH network. And you’ve evaluated it to ensure that it’s a good investment for you and your potential subscribers.
Now, it’s time to prep for deployment.
Here are a few other factors to consider before you begin rolling out cable:
Is your existing labor force skilled enough to build your proposed network?
When it comes to network deployment, you can either choose to manage the project in-house or go with a third-party developer. You typically pay a premium to go the outsourcing route. However, if your labor force isn’t well equipped to deploy the specific architecture you need, you risk investing significant time and capital on a network that won’t perform well.
Provide high-quality training and education for your critical personnel or bring in a fiber developer who specializes in building your particular type of architecture.
What fiber infrastructure already exists in the market?
Before spending any capital on network components, cables, and installation fees, see if there is any existing infrastructure in place that you can leverage. This could help you save labor and material costs, in addition to speeding up your time to deployment.
You must ensure that your hardware can integrate seamlessly with what already exists if you need to fill in gaps within the existing infrastructure. Otherwise, you could end up spending more to fix faulty connections and troubleshoot other issues.
What additional FTTH network developments do you have in process?
If you are planning to deploy several FTTH networks simultaneously, think about how you can leverage economies of scale across your different projects. Purchase essential fiber network components and cables in bulk and follow the same design standards from project-to-project.
This way, it’s much easier to manage multiple builds at once while also reducing your total implementation costs. If possible, streamline your training efforts and educate network technicians in the same way so that all developments follow the same design processes.
Can your network easily be integrated into a broader network?
We also touch on this particular point in our design evaluation article as it is a very important consideration for fiber operators. In the future, another FTTH network may want to purchase and absorb your existing network. Your network is more valuable if it can be easily integrated into someone else’s architecture.
You may also reach a point where you want to purchase someone else’s fiber network. Perform a thorough evaluation of what it would really cost to combine your network with someone else’s infrastructure. As FTTH deployments continue to increase nationwide and competition grows in individual markets, this is a critical consideration to keep in the back of your mind.
What are the government regulations around FTTH?
Before deploying your FTTH network, you also need to make sure you understand every government regulation in the local market that could impact your project. You should have a thorough understanding of the documents, permits, and easements you need before you break any ground.
Rules can differ drastically across municipalities and countries. For example, in some regions, you may need a “Certificate of Public Convenience.” Other areas may enforce “Dig Once” policies, preventing network developers from uprooting the same ground for incremental installations. “Pole Attachment Agreements” may be required for any FTTH projects involving aerial fiber use.
On top of documentation requirements, your field techs and designers should also understand all local fiber optic standards and codes. These details can impact which materials you are able to use. Stateside, cabling standards are set by Telcordia or TIA. Internationally, standards may be instituted by ITU or ISO/IEC depending on where you are.
You may also need sign-offs from local professional engineers, architects, and organizations for certain aspects of your development. Fiber installations in public areas may require supervision from local authorities in the form of traffic management or protection.
Turning Over Every Stone
FTTH network development is very exciting. However, you need to make sure you have considered every deployment variable, from existing infrastructure to local government regulations, before getting started. Turn over every stone now and mitigate future risk that could throw off your project.
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