- The most important thing you can do when searching for a structured cabling contractor or fiber optic company is make sure they have General Liability Insurance. If they don’t have at least 1 million of GL insurance they are not a professional company and you want to steer clear of them. It is very typical and common to just ask for the bidding companies proof of insurance when you get the quotes from them.
- The US Military, government and most large corporations do not allow fiber optic terminations using unicam connectors as a method. Unicam fiber optic terminations are not allowed not because the connectors per fiber strand are much more expensive but because in this method they are just butting to ends of unpolished glass together. The problem with this is that is causes light reflections witch cases packet loss and is not suitable for any fiber carrying an RF signal. The skill level of a fiber company that only has a unicam kit would be low. If you want to make sure you get a really good fiber termination for your business ask for specifically for anaerobic or a fusion splicer termination technique. If the Fiber Optic Contractor does not offer anaerobic or fusions splicing then find someone else.
- Very important when hiring a structured cabling contractor or fiber optic company is knowing what you are supposed to get. If the cabling contractor is legit they will provide you the following for free:
A free 30 year warranty on all the cabling, jacks and patch panels. Now obviously this is a limited warranty and does not include things caused by human errors and mother nature but making sure you get this is important. I personally have been working in the communications cabling field now for 20 years and have only heard of just a few cables being replaced because the technician that installed the Cat5e CMP cables laid them over a sharp metal edge on the top of a wall. So rare for a cable to go bad via the contractor but still good to have.
- Hire a structured cabling contractor or OSP (outside plant) fiber optic company that owns a Fluke 4600, Fluke DTX 1800 cable/ fiber tester certifier or newer. If they say they have to rent one steer clear of this company because that rental fee will be $580 or more. If the company is serious about what they do they will own one. Also ask your network wiring contractor before you hire them about getting test results for all the Cat5e, Cat6, SM (single mode) and MM (multi mode) fiber that was installed. This should be included for free and again if they won’t provide this for free and or don’t own these certification testers do not hire them.
- For bigger offices that are being network cabled it is important to get a set of as-built drawings of your network layout. These handwritten network as-builts will show just network data and network phone jack locations. Once you the as-builts from your structured cabling contractor or fiber optic company you should send them to your General Contractor, Architect or whomever did your blueprints and ask them to make them digital and add them to the telecom/ communications drawings. This way you will have a digital reference of all your network drop locations and your IT department will love you for it. If the cabling contractor does not know what as-built drawings are again do not hire them.
Please follow these steps to finding a great structured cabling contractor or fiber optic company and I’m sure you will have a good experience with your network buildout. If you have any questions about this topic we are happy to help at CMC Communications. You can contact us if you have questions or need services for structured cabling contractor or fiber optic company.
CMC Communications, LLC