Department for Education Fibre Specification.

The DfE have provided a document for schools and colleges which is a design brief for the installation of copper and fibre cables.

This document is not always adopted when contractors select new fibre optic cables within school and college premises.

So, what do the DfE require when fibre optic cabling is installed into schools and colleges, the information below is just snapshot of the installation requirements that should be met.

Where fibre cabling is used the following requirements shall be met:

a) The installation shall conform to the relevant sections within the BS EN50173.

b) Fibre shall be a minimum 16 core (per cable) multi-mode OM4 (50/125).

c) Each fibre connection shall consist of 2 x 16 core cables via separate, diverse, direct routes back to the server room to ensure that both cannot be severed at the same time.

d) Where fibre connects hub and/or server rooms in separate buildings, routes shall be in separate underground ducts, no less than 1m apart.

e) No intermediate patch panels or splices shall be used in the cable runs.

f) Cable manufacturer guidance on bend radii shall be adhered to.

g) Cables shall be a minimum of Euroclass Cca fire rating.

h) Sufficient slack of no less than 3m per cable shall be left at each end of the cable.

i) A minimum 20-year manufacturer’s warranty shall be provided.

Integral Networks during the recent summer holidays have installed 12 x fibres in accordance with the DfE Output Specification as well as copper cabling that also met the specification.

A copy of the specification can be found here - Part B: generic design brief (

fibre optics catergory 6a data cabling communications