Outdoor Fiber Protection – An Introduction to Fiber Access Terminals

Deploying fiber optic networks requires protecting the fragile glass fibers and connections from the harsh outdoor environment. This is where the Fiber Access Terminal (FAT) Enclosure comes in. FAT enclosures provide hardened protection for fiber optic components in the last mile and fiber-to-the-premises architectures.

FAT enclosures are rugged, weatherproof boxes made of thermoplastic, metal or composite materials. They come in standard sizes like 8x20x6 or larger. FAT enclosures are suitable for wall, pole, or strand mounting at outdoor locations near end users.

Inside a FAT enclosure, fiber optic splices, splitters, connectors and slack cable are neatly organized and secured. Fiber splice trays, mounting brackets, and cable ports maintain organization while keeping dirt and moisture out. FAT enclosures allow fiber access terminals and distribution points to be deployed in neighborhoods and business parks.

With easy access via removable covers, technicians can safely enter the FAT enclosure to make configuration changes, new connections and splices. The FAT enclosure houses the fragile fiber optic links, keeping them accessible yet protected from weather, animals, debris and human interference.

For fiber networks to succeed, the outdoor plant needs to be maintained and protected. The Fiber Access Terminal Enclosure is a simple yet important building block, providing a hardy home for fiber optics in the last leg to end users. As fiber-to-the-premises rollouts accelerate, the lowly FAT enclosure will be essential to complete that final fiber connection.

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