Does Winter Weather Negatively Affect Fiber Optic Cables?

With winter on the horizon, temperatures will begin to take a dip towards freezing. It’s a time for bundling up at the office, hot coffee, and tackling your daily tasks as efficiently as possible. However, you notice that it has started to snow, and your fiber optic internet has started to slow down. What gives? Does the cold winter weather directly impact the quality of your fiber optic connection? Is it a crazy random happenstance? 

The cold weather has a habit of proving troublesome for data cabling in Mercer County, NJ and beyond, and whether it will impact you depends on a few factors. The good news is that the actual cold temperatures do not affect the quality of your connection. However, some of the byproducts of the cold can impact fiber optic cables. 

Infographic detailing how cold weather can affect fiber optic cables

Extreme Weather

Blizzards come with the territory of winters in the Northeastern United States. The temperature drops, the cold rolls in, and then the snow starts falling at a rapid pace. The snow accumulation can lead to outages that can affect your ability to get work done, but it doesn’t affect the fiber optic cables themselves. 

So When Do Cables Become Affected?

Fiber optic cabling problems with extreme cold happen when water finds a way into the ducts housing the cables. If water has the chance to enter into the housing of your cables and freeze, then your overall internet performance will deteriorate. The ice buildup can form around the cables and force them to bend in different directions. Depending on how extreme the bending is, your performance can range from minor disruptions to the signal being unable to pass through the cables at all. 

How Can You Protect Your Cables From Freezing?

The easiest way to protect your cables against potential freezing starts with where and how deep you install your fiber optic cables. As long as the cables are installed below the ground’s frost line, you should have reasonable protection from the cold. However, if you cannot install them at that depth, there are antifreeze gels and other preventative measures that can help prevent water from freezing inside the ducts. 

Are you in the market for structured cabling solutions in the South Jersey area? Network Drops can help you and your business install your fiber optic cabling and get you ready for winter. Contact our team today to learn more about our services and receive a free site survey with an estimate!