Implementing High Speed Access

Some Common Challenges of Using Fiber

As Orion works with customers to provide enhanced technology services whether voice, data and/or Internet, a common implementation method is the utilization of fiber vs. traditional copper access facilities.  When available, these solutions provider faster and more reliable connections at a very cost effective price point.  However, there can be some challenges that likely need to be considered in the process to ensure expectations are met.

  • Solutions utilizing fiber access will take longer to implement. Since most buildings already have copper facilities installed, T1 based solutions can be installed in 30 to 45 days and ready for use.  In comparison, fiber based solutions can take 60 days and more likely 120 days to install.  And, in some cases, it can take up to six months when special construction is required.  It is vital this extended time frame is considered in your implementation plan.
  • If fiber must be delivered to a location, there are a number of physical requirements to be met. The carrier must interconnect fiber from its nearest access point to your property.  Then, trenching must be completed from the street to the inside of the building.  Once inside your building, it is likely the services will need to be extended from the demarcation point to where you ultimately need the service.  This can require conduit, both internally and externally, to be placed and can be at your expense.
  • As a subset to physical requirements, since fiber services are delivered optically vs. a traditional T1 smartjack, there are often power requirements that are necessary at the demarcation point along with the need for backboard space. This can sometimes be a challenge for multi tenant buildings.  In addition, the distance of the demarcation extension can be an issue if the distance exceeds normal Ethernet limitations.

It is important to note a physical site survey is often scheduled with most carriers to identify any of these potential physical challenges from which any additional onetime costs can be determined.  Most of the time, if the costs are excessive, the customer can cancel the order without liability.

As Orion works with customers to design voice, data and Internet solutions, we work with them to understand the monthly and upfront costs as well as the benefits of such solutions.  Overall, about 80% of the solutions that are selected do involve fiber access as the benefits deliver faster connections that are more reliable AND are cost effective.  Many times, bigger, faster can be delivered at a lower cost to traditional access methods, especially considering the carrier promotions that are available.  BUT, there are challenges that can arise in the process and need to be addressed quickly to keep your project on time and on budget.