a blog from CenturyLink

Building fiber optic infrastructure

by | Aug 23, 2021


Fiber internet has become a popular internet service due to its speed and reliability. With fast download speeds and higher reliability, there are many benefits of fiber internet. But what is fiber internet and what needs to happen to bring it to your city?

Building fiber-optic infrastructure takes a lot of planning.

Fiber-optic internet, commonly referred to as fiber internet, is a broadband connection that uses fiber-optic cables. Tiny optical fibers make up these cables and move data at incredibly high speeds. Fiber internet can reach speeds of up to 940 Megabits per second (Mbps) with low lag time. Because fiber-optic cables are less susceptible to severe weather conditions than other types of internet cables, fiber internet is typically a more reliable internet option.

CenturyLink Fiber Internet service is available in many cities and towns and is rapidly expanding into new areas each month. To bring fiber internet to you, there are several stages of building fiber-optic infrastructure. Read on to learn how CenturyLink builds fiber-optic infrastructure, from fiber construction to installing it into your home or business.

Identifying a city

Before fiber construction can begin, we must choose our next city or area for expansion.  A variety of factors play into the decision to bring fiber infrastructure to an area, including:

  • Public interest and demand for fiber internet is an important consideration when choosing a new area to expand our fiber network.
  • Existing infrastructure can make building a fiber network easier—or more challenging. When choosing a city, the type of existing telecommunications infrastructure is considered.
  • The number of homes and businesses in one area can determine when an area is selected.
  • The type of terrain in an area, such as mountain terrains or deserts, can impact the cost and difficulty of building fiber infrastructure.

Planning for fiber-optic infrastructure includes designing the network.

Planning for fiber

Once a city is identified as a good option for fiber-optic infrastructure, we can start planning and designing our fiber network. At this stage, CenturyLink looks at existing infrastructure, explores permitting options and plans construction methods.

Each town or city in which we build fiber infrastructure uses a different construction method based on their needs, existing infrastructure and geography. While some areas may be able to run fiber through conduit underground, others may require aerial installation.

Mapping out the route of our fiber network is another important part of the planning stage. To set a city up for fiber internet, thousands of miles of fiber optic cables must be built. It’s necessary to avoid water, sewer and electric lines while making sure our fiber network can connect to existing utility poles and conduits.

Fiber construction

After carefully planning and designing our fiber network, construction can begin. Fiber construction is executed efficiently. But construction timelines can vary in each city based on permits and existing utilities and infrastructure.

The two main stages of the construction process include:

  • Building fiber networks. The two ways to build fiber-optic infrastructure include aerial building and underground building. When building aerial fiber, fiber-optic cables are strung above ground, usually on utility poles. To build fiber underground, fiber is buried in new or existing conduit, tubes made of metal, plastic or fiber that protects electrical wiring.
  • Connecting to you. Once a fiber network is built, our team can connect fiber-optic cables to homes and businesses.

Fiber internet installation is typically a simple and efficient process.

Installing fiber

After our fiber-optic infrastructure has been built, the last step is installing fiber at your home or business. Once you sign up for fiber internet service, you’ll be instructed to make an installation appointment.

During the fiber installation appointment, our CenturyLink technician will install a small utility box called an optical network terminal (ONT) outside or inside your home. Our technician will then run a cable from a nearby equipment box to the ONT, which will carry the fiber-optic connection from the larger network to your home or business. Once the terminal box is hooked up to the network, it will be linked to your router through an Ethernet connection.

Fiber internet installation is typically a simple and efficient process. You will need to be home for the installation appointment, as the technician will need access to both the outside and inside of your home.

Bringing fiber internet to you

From selecting a city to installing fiber, each step of the fiber construction process is carefully completed so you can rely on your internet connection. CenturyLink Fiber Internet service provides fast and reliable fiber internet to your home or business. With fiber internet, you won’t need to worry about losing connection during an important meeting or lagging during an intense video game. Our robust, secure fiber optic infrastructure is rapidly expanding and bringing fiber internet to more areas.

CenturyLink Fiber Internet service is already available in many cities around the globe. Check to find out if you can get fiber internet in your area.

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