5 Reasons IT Pros Choose Fiber Optic Cables Over Copper

There is no doubt that fiber optic cables will prevail when you are constructing a network that calls for vast distances, fast speeds, and/or huge capacity connections. It’s crucial to comprehend the distinctions between the two to better understand why and situations in which copper cables may still be the best option.

While they do it very differently, both cable types convey data. Along its metal strands, copper transmits electrical pulses. On the other hand, fiber optics transmit light pulses along flexible glass threads. Due to this distinction, fiber is frequently the best option for a new or updated network and is thus worth the higher initial expenditure.

5 Factors fiber optic cables are picked by IT Pros

Faster Fiber Optic Transmission.  Data transmission speeds are often measured using bandwidth. Gigabits of data per second (Gbps) or even terabits per second are being used as the units of measurement (Tbps).  Fiber optics can transmit data at speeds that are almost equal to the speed of light, while copper-based communications currently have a 40 Gbps limit. Although they have been tested to be quantifiable in hundreds of terabits per second, the bandwidth restrictions placed on fiber are mostly theoretical in nature.

Greater Distances Can Be Covered by Fiber Optic Transmission.  There is attenuation, or a weakening of the waveform signal over distance, in both copper- and fiber-based signaling. But fiber optic cables have a significantly greater range for data transmission. In truth, there are a lot of variances.

As per regulating regulations, copper wires are only permitted to be as long as 100 meters (330 feet). Although longer lengths are theoretically feasible, they could cause additional issues that would make copper an unreliable transmission technology. Depending on the signaling and kind of cable, fiber optic cables may transmit up to well over 24 miles!

Electromagnetic Interference Has No Effect on Fiber Optic Cables (EMI). The electrical signaling in a copper network connection creates an interference area surrounding the wires by nature. When there are several cables running close together, this interference may seep into those connections and obstruct the intended messaging. Crosstalk is a phenomenon that may require a costly message resend or possibly provide security problems.  Since fiber optics’ light transmission doesn’t cause any EMI, it’s more secure, requires less retransmission, and has a higher return on investment.

Improve Cable Management and Save Space. The fiber optic strands are quite small. They are really quantified in microns, or millionths of a meter. The most typical fiber optic strand has a diameter identical to that of a human hair. Yet, as we’ve shown, they are significantly more capable than their less constrained copper counterparts in terms of data transmission, speed, and distance. Protective sheathing is necessary for fiber optic cables, which “fattens” them up to a minimum of two millimeters in width.  Around four times as wide as that is a single conventional Category 6 copper cable, which only transmits a little amount of data. Fiber is far more flexible and takes up much less room (and, therefore, easier to manage).

Fiber Optics Are Proof for The Future. The quantity of data we use each year grows, as do our bandwidth needs. Your network will be able to function at future speeds without having to replace the cabling if you invest in a contemporary fiber optic cable architecture.  In a structured context, a strong multi fiber backbone will persist for years, if not decades, and most likely continue to handle growing bandwidth requirements. On the other hand, a copper category standard has an average lifespan of little over five years.  Remember that the cost of technologies and apparatus that rely on cabling (such as switches, signaling optics, servers, etc.) normally tends to reduce with time. So, it is likely that premium connectivity will continue to drop in price.

Bonus: Copper Counterpoint Cable

Fiber optic cables are not a magic fix. Since it is more costly than copper, it should only be used when necessary. The optimum situations for it to be used are frequently while connecting equipment, across buildings, and between levels of a building.

Due to its cheaper price, copper is more suitable for applications with modest requirements, such as computers and appliances. Copper applications benefit from smaller networks, wire closets, and lower priority traffic. Additionally, consider the possibility that large copper may already be present in some of these situations, significantly lowering overall cost.

IT Pros’ Lesson in Selecting Fiber Or Copper Cables

IT relies on your network’s demands to choose the best media. Yet, spending money on a strong, scalable infrastructure will pay for itself if you have high bandwidth requirements.

As we’ve seen, the quicker speeds, enhanced durability, clearer signaling, and lower physical footprint of fiber optic cabling provide higher ROI. Copper wires have numerous uses and can lower initial costs. You will benefit from a multifaceted strategy with future growth in mind.