Fiber optics can repaired by several methods. Splicing allows two fiber optic cables to be joined together. Splicing enables the joining of broken cables or two different types of cables, The process is done with fusion splicing or mechanical splicing.
Fusion splicing joins two cable optic lengths together with electric arc welding. Fusion splices generally cost from $0.50 to $1.50 each (as of 2011). However the splicing machine costs from $15,000 to $50,000 depending upon the level of accuracy required.
Mechanical splicing is done with a device that fits between two cables being spliced and aligns the fiber ends. Mechanical splices cost between $12 and $50 each. However, the initial investment is $1,000 to $2,000. The choice of the method can be based upon precision. Fusion splicing provides lower feedback reflection and less loss of signal. Some companies use each method depending upon whether precision digital signals are being sent or less precise analog signals.
In most cases, there will not be sufficient slack in a broken cable to allow splicing without additional cable. After determining that a patch cable will work in the system, a temporary length of cable can be mechanically spliced and laid on the ground if temperatures do not fall below freezing. Outdoor repairs should be done in a temporary shelter, such as a tent, if possible, to protect the work from the elements.