Business network configurations vary from one business to the other but the basics remain the same.
An internet service provider deliveries service to an office. The provider can deliver service with many types of media including: fiber, coax, microwave, etc. No matter how the internet service provider deliveries the service once it reaches a business it is connected to a device so that a customer can connect their network to the internet. This device, that is provided by the internet service provider, can be a modem, circuit or in some cases a modem/router combination (to be discussed in a later article). After the modem/circuit has been installed and the internet “turned up” the customer can now connect their network equipment. The first set is to connect a router/firewall to the modem/circuit. The router is the “brain” of a network. It is responsible for sending IP packets to and from the correct computer or device on the network. Arguably the router is most important component of a network. Larger more demanding networks require better preforming routers. The next step is to connect the switch(s). Network switches allows for multiple device and computers to be psychically connected to the network. In more advanced networks the switch can be used to logically and/or psychical segment the network (later
There are two ways to terminate fiber optics: mechanically and fusion splice. Whichever is used the end goal is to attach a connector. There are reasons to use one over the other but that is for another post. Here are the main differences between fusion splice and mechanical fiber termination.
Mechanical terminations are done by hand with hand tools. A qualified technician would prep the fiber strand, insert the strand in a connector then “crimp” the connector to lock the fiber strand in place. This will provide a working reliable connection but because the connection is done by hand it is nearly impossible to ensure perfect alignment. The result is a working connection with possible signal loss.
Fusion splice terminations require the use of a specially designed machine (Fusion Splicer) and connectors. There is no “crimp” in fusion splicing because a machine actually melts the fiber together. A qualified technician would need to input pertinent information in the fusion splicer and prep accordingly. When done correctly fusion splicing is the most reliable and effective way to terminate fiber.
It all starts with a phone service provider. Examples of a phone service providers include Verizon, AT&T and TimeWarner/Spectrum. Once a contract is signed the chosen phone service provider will delivery the service to a demarcation point. The demarcation point is the location on a property to where a phone service provider is responsible delivery of service. Examples: telephone box on the side of a building, telephone rooms and server rooms. There are three types of phone service; Analog, Digital and IP.
Analog Phone Lines – These are the oldest form of telephone line and are still in use. Now day these lines are not pure analog line because they transmitted/delivery not as analog but are only analog at the customers location (DEMARC). The reason for using analog today is simple…most phones and older phone systems are made to work with analog lines.
Digital Phone Lines – Surprise…digital lines are digitized. This means that voice calls are converted to 1’s and 0’s which shrinks the amount of “space” needed to transport a conversation. This allows phone service provides to use existing telephone infrastructure while increasing the number of lines it can handle. These type of lines do require interface devices to connect the provider with the phone system. Examples include: Prime Rate Interface (PRI) and T1s.
IP Phone Lines – Internet Protocol phone line are lines that are transmitted through the internet. Voice calls are broken down into IP packets and then sent back and forth across the world wide web. Then these packet reach their location (caller or receiver) they are reassemble back into voice calls. Some packets can be lost or delayed, this is what causes poor call quality at some sites. Phone systems that are capaible in using IP phone lines have a network interface card (NIC). Example Include: SIP Trunks and IP Gateways.