Outside plant installation (OSP) of fiber optic cables can be a more diverse process than premises installations. OSP installs may include placing aerial or direct-buried cable, cable in conduit or installing conduit or innerduct and then pulling cable. A single link may use several types of installation. Cables may end when pulled into buildings or terminated at the top of poles where surveillance cameras or wireless access points are located. Splices where cables are concatenated can be placed in pedestals, buried underground or hung in aerial splice closures.

Even within communications applications, we have applications that differ widely in usage and in methods of installation. We have “outside plant” fiber optics as used in telephone networks, CATV, metropolitan networks, utilities, etc. or “premises” fiber optics as found in buildings and campuses. We have fiber on “platforms” like cars, planes and ships (and the space station.) Just like “wire” which can mean lots of different things – power, security, HVAC, CCTV, LAN or telephone – fiber optics is not all the same. Since all these applications require different installation procedures, this section will focus on OSP installation in more detail.