Cost of Fiber Optic Cable Indoor vs. Outdoor

July 28, 2021

In general, cost of fiber optic cable outdoor is higher than indoor fiber optic cable. But how can we get this conclusion? Is there any exception?

HOC (Hone Optical Communications) has 19+ year of experience on optical communications and FTTX. Let’s find out!

Indoor and Outdoor Fiber Cable

Optical cables are classified as two large categories, indoor and outdoor according to their cable application environment.

Indoor fiber optic cable is mainly used for wiring in buildings and the connection between network equipment, such as households, horizontal and vertical communication in buildings, trunk system of data center, etc.

On the contrary, outdoor fiber optic cable is a communication line to realize optical signal transmission in long distance and remote networks. So it is mostly used in outside environment such as inter buildings and fields. And it can be installed in outdoor with direct burial, pipeline, overhead and underwater laying.


As we learned about the different application for the indoor and outdoor fiber cable, we will know for sure that they must have characteristics of their own to meet the requirements of both environment and performance.

For cable used indoors, safety and high density network are the primary considerations. Therefore, indoor fiber optic cable often comes with high transmission rate, environmental friendly cable materials, and flexibility for small space cabling.

And outdoor fiber optic cables are mostly required to be secure and stable for long distance optical communications. So they often have strong strength member, armoring and thick cable jacket, protecting optical fiber from outside crush and tensile pressure.

Cost of Fiber Optic Cable

Now that we know the difference of characteristics between indoor and outdoor fiber optic cable, we can compare their cost for each part.

Optical Fiber

It’s optical fiber of high performance on flexibility and transmission rate that used for indoor cabling. And outdoor cabling only need to focus on the long distance transmission. The cost of indoor G.657, tight buffer fiber or multimode fiber is more expensive than outside G.652 single mode fiber. But outdoor cable fiber counts is normally 12 cores to 144 or 288 cores, and the cost of fiber optic cable outdoors increases.

Strength Member

The indoor optical cable is mainly using aramid yarn (Kevlar) as strength member. While outdoor fiber optic cables can be using aramid yarn, central strength member, metal armor, double sheath, steel wire armor, and water blocking materials. This certainly adds the cost of outdoor fiber optic cable.

Outer Jacket

Requirements on cable jacket indoor is safe, because it’s in buildings or houses. The fiber cable must be environment friendly and has fire rating. This high standard makes indoor fiber cable more cost in a certain degree.

For outdoors, cable jacket is still taken as an important protective layer for the long distance optical fiber. Specifications like thickness, anti-rodent, anti-birds are essential for the specific project.


Above all, we discussed indoor and outdoor fiber optic cable application and characteristics requirements on the cable structure and materials. And we have found out there are few exceptions like single optical fiber and cable jacket of indoor fiber cable are more expensive. But overall, costs of fiber optic cable in outdoors are higher than indoor fiber optic cable.

Have we covered everything you want to know about indoor and outdoor fiber cable costs? Write us email for more discussion.

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Tony Lau is technical manager and co-founder at HOC. He loves writing about content optical fiber communications, specializes in fiber optic cables, FTTH turnkey solutions, ADSS cable, and ODN networks.

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