What is input data?

This article explains what input data is and what FOND requires. Before getting into that, we first cover why FOND needs input data.

Why does FOND need input data?

For FOND to create a design, it needs to know where to serve fiber, and where it can place cables and equipment. There are 5 main types of input data:

  • Addresses
  • Underground paths
  • Aerial spans
  • Poles
  • a Central office location

Please see the input data glossary page for more information about these data types. 

All of the information from the input data forms a candidate network. FOND uses this network to create the fiber network by placing cables and equipment at allowed locations in the candidate network. Every bit of input data is a candidate for a network design element.

As an example, in the image above, we can see by the Underground Path (orange lines) that FOND will only be able to create a design across the railway line at a single location. You can also see which buildings FOND will be delivering fiber to. This is how we tell FOND which parts of the road we can bore down, and which buildings need service.


Looking at the design now, we can see the way that FOND only followed the road where it was indicated it could, and then only where it was needed - FOND will use the minimum amount of candidate network.

So what is input data?

Input data is data provided to FOND in the form of GIS (Geographic Information System), a system that represents information in a 2D or 3D space. The GIS file formats that FOND accepts as input are Shapefile (.shp, .shx, .dbf), KML (.kml), or GeoJSON (.geojson).

The layers that FOND uses to create a network are the same as the five types of input data: 

  • Address
  • Underground path
  • Aerial span
  • Pole
  • Central office 

FOND can be used to source some of these layers (Addresses and Underground path). Currently, this is only available in the USA. See the article on Area Select for more information.

Description of layers


Address points represent the termination point of fiber. They also describe how much fiber and/or what type of service the address needs.

Geometry type: Point

Important attributes: Demand

Users can specify the Demand value, otherwise FOND will default to a value of 1.

Underground Path

The Underground path layer represents a potential underground path or route where cables may be placed. For FOND the underground path is a candidate underground network that it will use to optimize cable placement.

Geometry type: Linestring

Aerial Span

Aerial span represents potential aerial path or route where cables may be placed. It may symbolize either an existing aerial network or proposed depending on the nature of the input dataset.

Similar to the underground path, FOND will use the aerial span as part of the candidate aerial network that will be used to optimize cable placement.

Geometry type: Linestring


Poles represent the aerial infrastructure where equipment can be attached. FOND will utilize these poles to form candidate locations to place network equipment for an aerial design.

Geometry type: Point

Central Office

The central office represents the starting point of the highest tier of the network. For FOND, the central office is represented by the T3 Cabinet.

Geometry type: Point