As the lead project manager for Innovative, I work on installing a lot of fiber orders. While fiber is a wonderful product that works for many businesses, it can be a complex install process with multiple factors that make it successful.
Generally, fiber takes 90-120 business days to install — a time frame that sometimes does not align with a customer’s expectation on when their new service will be up and running. It’s important to understand what goes into the process to grasp why it may take 4 months to install. Here we delve into the complexities of a fiber order so you can better understand the installation process.
Step 1: Site Surveys
The first thing that takes place is the site survey — even in “lit” buildings, meaning buildings that may already have a carrier’s fiber services available. The carrier will check the site for any build or construction costs and their central office which holds the fiber equipment.
Once the site survey is complete, the carrier should have a plan on what needs to be done for installation. However, even if the site already has fiber, that does not mean that the order will go in quickly. The equipment at the site or the central office may need to be upgraded to add another customer.
Step 2: Construction
When construction is needed by the carrier, it usually means they need to build conduit from the nearest point they have fiber to the pedestal outside the customer’s building. This process almost always requires digging up or under roads, parking lots, and railroad tracks which can be a time-consuming process. It also requires the carrier to pull permits for construction with the local city or town. During the fall and winter, permits can be delayed due to the cold weather and the ground freezing. The carrier does not have any control over when the city, CDOT, or railroad will provide the permits.
Most of the time, if construction is needed from the pedestal to the building, it’s usually because conduit needs to be installed. Conduit acts as a pipe to run the fiber through to the building. The customer will receive instructions from the carrier on what needs to be done to get the site ready and is responsible for finding contractors to do the work. The customer must also make sure the work is done within the requirements of the carrier. Only cable companies will install the fiber from the pedestal into the building.
Step 3: Installation
When construction is complete, the carrier will send out a technician and pull the fiber through the conduit to the customer’s building demarcation. Once the fiber hits the customer’s demarcation point, the carrier will send out a technician to install the equipment and test the fiber.
Most carriers will not extend the fiber into the customer suite. This — once again — becomes the customer’s responsibility, and is another reason we at Innovative prefer working with cable companies who do extend fiber to the customer suite.
Once the fiber is extended to the customer suite we can activate the service. Learn more about why cable is the industry gold standard here, and contact Innovative Business Solutions to find out how to best deliver fiber to your customers.