5 reasons IT pros choose fiber optic cables
1. Fiber transmission is faster
The standard way to measure data transfer rate is by bandwidth. Today, it is measured in gigabits per second (Gbps) or even terabits per second (Tbps).
Currently, copper cables transmit at a maximum speed of 40 Gbps, while fiber optics can transmit data at nearly the speed of light. In fact, the bandwidth limits of fiber optics are mostly theoretical, but tested and measured to hundreds of terabits per second.
2. Optical fiber transmission can cover longer distances
Both copper and fiber optic signals suffer from attenuation, which is the weakening of the waveform signal over distance. However, fiber optic cables can transmit data over greater distances. In fact, the difference is huge.
According to regulatory standards, the length of copper cables is limited to 100 meters (~330 feet). Longer distances are theoretically possible, but may introduce other issues that prevent copper cables from being a reliable method of transmission over longer distances. Depending on signal transmission and cable type, fiber optic cabling can travel distances well in excess of 24 miles!
3. Fiber optic cables are immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI)
By their very nature, electrical signals in copper network connections create interference fields around the cables. When multiple cables are in close proximity to each other, this interference can filter through to nearby cables, preventing desired message delivery. This is called crosstalk and can force message retransmissions, which can be costly and even a security risk.
Light transmission in fiber does not generate any EMI, so fiber is safer and requires fewer retransmissions, ultimately resulting in a higher return on investment.
4. Save space and enhance cable management
Fiber bundles are very narrow. In fact, they are measured in microns, or millionths of a meter. The most common bundles of fiber optics are the same diameter as a human hair. However, as we've seen, they can transmit incredibly large amounts of data at higher speeds over longer distances than narrower copper cables. Fiber optic cables do require a protective jacket, which "widens" them to a width of at least two millimeters.
A standard Category 6 copper cable is about four times that wide and carries a small fraction of the data. When you use fiber it takes up much less space and is more flexible (and therefore easier to manage).
The reduction in the size of the cabling mass has additional benefits: the freed up space allows for better circulation of data center cooling air, easier access to plugged-in equipment, and is generally more aesthetically pleasing.
5. Optical fiber is future-proof
The amount of data we consume is increasing every year, as are bandwidth requirements. Investing in a modern fiber optic cabling infrastructure will enable your network to operate at future speeds without having to replace cabling.
Robust multi-fiber backbones in structured environments will last for years, if not decades, and will likely continue to support ever-increasing bandwidth demands. Copper category specifications, on the other hand, have an average lifespan of a little over five years.
Also keep in mind that the cost of the technology and equipment that uses the cabling (switches, signal optics, servers, etc.) generally decreases over time. Therefore, high-end connections may become cheaper in the future.
We are committed to providing high-performing fiber optic cables through professional and reliable capabilities.
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