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Fiber Strands

I am trying to get a grasp on the different fiber strands. What is the difference or why would you choose 4, 6, 12, or 24 strand fiber?

2 Solutions
I would think that total data capacity vs. price would help deciding what is best.

I hope this helps !
basically the more strands you have the more connections you have available. Depending on your equipment you will use 1 fiber strand per connection (transmit and receive on different wavelenghts) in which case each strand is one connection or you could use 2 strands (1 transmit and one receive) in which case 2 strands are used per connection.
The second option is more comon as the equipment is less expensive
The more strands in a fiber the more expensive the fiber and if you use structured fiber connections a breakout box to a 24 port fiber cassette is much more expensive than say terminating two fiber connections on a 1 pair fiber strand.

If you need 6 pairs run from location 1 to location 2 a 6 pair fiber will take up far less space in conduit and will be far easier to dress neatly than 6 single pair strands.

If you are planning or even think that there is a possibility of expanding to more pairs needed between these locations in the future then you should run as many strands as you might possible ever need on long runs. The manpower to pull and terminate usually more expensive than the fiber costs.
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Not much to add here, but just to say from experience that if you think you only need 2 pairs (4 strands) today, then you should run at least 12 strands for expansion. It is always better to over-build up front than to have to run more a couple years later.
heydudeAuthor Commented:
Ok, I'm still kind of confused about the strands. I'm going to put out a simple example to see if I am understanding. Two buildings, 100feet away from each other. 6 strand fiber run between them. If two of the strands get plugged in at both ends to connect the buildings, what would the other 4 strands do? You don't need 6 strands to connect the buildings correct? I guess that is really where I am just not clicking with it.
So you terminate two strands of the fiber, and run a 1 Gig link between the building. Later you want to make it fault tolerant by adding another gigabit link, or want to allow a different network to be linked via these rooms. If you only have a single pair of fiber, you need to tun another connection. If you already have the fiber in place you just need to terminate it. If you have both sides terminated to a 6pack, you can just put new patch cables on either side and connect the equipment.

It is just a matter of reducing future labor costs. If the run is down a hall and you are doing it in house, no big deal. If it is a link between two buildings, then the price diference in fiber is minimal compared to the labor of having installers return.

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