July 29, 2010

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Splicing Fiber Optic Cable

A little while back, I posted about the differences between coaxial and fiber-optic cable. One of our folks out in Southern California saw the post and brought this to my attention: a video of one of our technicians demonstrating how we splice fiber optic cable when it’s gotten cut or broken. I thought it was pretty interesting, maybe you will, too. Note that the embedded video is TINY here, too — click to see the video in full size here.

I really have fun figuring out how cable works and where it comes from, and I’m learning a lot by digging all this stuff up. If there’s some aspect of this technology that you’d like to learn about, please let me know in the comments.


  1. Kyle Reilly's reply

    Interesting to Watch.

  2. Christy's reply

    Great video! I worked for a cable company for almost 7 years and never got the chance to watch them splice fiber optic cable. Good to see it now!

  3. John Bramfeld's reply

    I am looking for a video that shows something other than a guy put two wires in a machine which magically splices the cable. I bet somewhere out there someone has figured out a manual method.

    I have an idea for a cooking show. A guy pours flour, yeast and water into a machine, turns it on, and bread comes out.

  4. Jeff Simmermon's reply

    @John – It’s my understanding that the machine applies intense heat to a form mold that causes the glass to melt together. That’s what fiber-optic cable is, glass. The “manual method” would involve a Zippo, or a magnifying glass and a sunny day — and there’s no guarantee that the data would be able to travel through that kind of a “fix.” Plus, there are hundreds of those hairlike cables in one thick inground cable casing. If there’s a fiber cut, each one of those has to be matched up to the right partner half — it already takes a long time, doing it manually would take even longer.

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