What is a fiber network capacity report?
One of the most valuable tools for fiber optic network developers is the fiber capacity report.
As the name suggests, a capacity report provides a real-time view of how much open capacity exists across the cables within a fiber network, all of the way down to the individual strand.
Fiber strands that are actively transmitting digital data are referred to as “lit” strands while those that sit unused are “unlit” or “dark.” When combined with a software-based fiber network map, the capacity report helps network managers visualize where they have high and low concentrations of dark strands across a geographic region.
Capacity reports can also be pulled at different times, allowing network developers to run analyses and extract insights on where demand for fiber optic service is growing and shrinking. With this information, business development leaders can make strategically sound decisions and invest appropriately for the future.
Why is it useful?
With capacity reports, network developers can deploy their finite resources more effectively, as they know how much capacity they have left to sell or lease out for new developments.
For example, let’s say you have a 144-count fiber cable running 20 miles from Salt Lake City to South Jordan where a new business center is being developed. Your capacity report tells you that 89% of your strands are lit today, which could mean that you should install new cable along this route so that you can fully serve the new complex when it goes live.
On the flip side, if your report shows that you are only using 30 of your 144 fiber strands in the cable today, it probably makes more sense to light up some of the 114 dark strands and save your budget for a future installation elsewhere.
Now, it’s important to remember that although valuable, the capacity report is really just one component of a successful fiber network growth strategy. Yes, these reports point you in the right direction on where and when you should invest, but the logistics of actually installing new cable or cutting and splicing existing cable requires an entirely different set of tools and resources.
The capacity report paints the big picture. Next, you have to get tactical.
To see a fiber capacity report in action, you'll want to look into a Fiber Management System.