Fibre Optic advantages will see you listing many different ones. In this article, we will discuss some of them.
Fibre Optic Bandwidth
Fact, Bandwidth and speed are not the same. However, this remains a common assumption. Bandwidth refers to the maximum volume of data being sent in a given amount of time! Not the speed or transfer rate to the destination.
A good example to use is FTTH (Fibre to the home). Many Providers allow different bandwidth limits for uploads and downloads. The upload bandwidth is usually lower than the download bandwidth. This bandwidth is set and known. However, how fast you will be able to do this depends on the number of subscribers connected at the time.
In other words so even though the transfer media is big enough to download in a certain amount of time (bandwidth) this doesn’t mean you will achieve this full potential. It all depends on how long it takes to get to you (Speed). Think buffering when online streaming!
However, when it comes to Bandwidth, Fibre Optic Cables give your more bandwidth than Copper Cables. Which means you can carry more information at faster speeds and over longer distances than Copper Cables.
Electrons are used for data transmission over Copper and Photons are used for fibre. Light travels considerably faster than electrical pulses, therefore fibre is able to transmit more data per second and offers higher bandwidth.
Fibre vs Copper Bandwidth Comparison Chart
|Bandwidth||768 Tbps and beyond||40Gbps|
Fibre Optic Communication Quality
When it comes to Communication Quality, Fibre Optic Cables retain the signal within the core unlike the way copper cables works. Because these light signals don’t interfere with other fibres in the same cable, you get clearer conversations. Fibre does not conduct electrical currents which in itself has many advantages. Fibre optic cables are safe from lightning strikes or electromagnetic interference (EMI).
When you have multiple copper cables running near each other this interference can bleed into the nearby cables, hindering the desired messaging. This is referred to as crosstalk. This can force expensive retransmission of the message, or even pose security risks.
All of this means that the Quality of communication is at its highest when using Fibre Optic Cable.
Fibre Optic Height and Weight
There are height and weight difference as well. A fibre optic cable has a section smaller than a copper cable it replaces.
In fact, a Duplex Fibre Optic Cable has a size that is 15% less than a Copper Cable. If you utilise splitters through any form of Wave Division Multiplexing then the size benefits of Fibre Optic Cable multiply enormously. This reducing in size is in comparison with the decrease in weight.
Fibre Optic Security
In terms of security; Fibre Optic Cables are undetectable. Unlike a Copper Cable which can be detected.
Additionally, due to the fact that the light signals used in Fibre Optic Cables do not emit electromagnetic radiation and cannot be intercepted without being detected.
Copper signals can be scrambled through deliberate interference. Fibre doesn’t radiate signals which can be tapped, cannot be scrambled, and is resistant to interference attempts.
They are also better for the environment or “Greener”. Fibres are made from glass which comes from sand and is therefore non-intrusively manufactured compared with Copper which is mined and is available in reducing quantities.
What about the cost. With Fibre Optic Cables being installed for considerably longer periods of time (sometimes up to as much as 3-5 times longer) as compared to Copper there is a far lower lifetime installed cost.
Affordability when budgeting is critical. The cost of fibre is often more affordable than expected.
However if you are installing fibre for the first time or upgrading from copper the cost is usually greater than staying with copper. If fibre is already in place then you are well positioned.
Your physical location also has a lot to do with it. Copper may not be suitable and installing fibre may actually save you time, money and potential heartache in the long r un.
Another bonus is productivity increases due to reliable, therefore less downtime and high-speed internet, which translates to increased earning capacity.
Fibre Optic Distance
Have you ever wondered why fibre optic cables can transmit at higher speed for longer distances than copper cables? Copper cable uses electric waves to carry data. This works well for a small amount of data, but the copper cable will start to break down if you get to higher bandwidths and greater distances. As for fibre optic cable, it uses light to carry signals with transmitters and receivers at both ends. Light loses much less power than an electrical signal, so the fibre can send data over much greater distances.
Both cable types degrade over distance with fibre cable showing losses of 3% of signal over distances greater than 100 metres compared to copper of 94% of signal loss.
Internet speed is in bits per second (bps). The prefixes used are M, G, and T. They denote mega, giga, and tera respectively. One megabit is a million bits, there are a thousand megabits in a gigabit, and a thousand gigabits in a terabit.
Copper cable can be easily damaged. Either during an installation or by accident. Copper has an extremely low tolerance for tension.
Fiber optic cable is smaller, lighter, and more durable than copper cabling. Fibre optic cable provides far more reliable data transmissions due to its resistance to interference, temperature fluctuations, and moisture.
Pulling the cable is also easy – in fact it can be pulled at 8 times the pulling tension of Cat 5. Fibre optic cables are manufactured with a central strength member and plastic filler rods that make it hard to kink or damage.
Even though the fibre optic cable is lightweight and thin, it can be pulled through buildings with more force than copper. It can take a dunking in water and is much more flexible so you can negotiate tricky building geography.
As you can tell from the specifications example above if increasing the number of fibres from 72 to 96 fibres you are only marginally increasing the Cable Diameter from 10mm to 10.7mm, therefore maintaining the flexibility and benefits.
A lot has been said in regards to how fibre is the “Future Proof” media of data communications. But what is the future for fibre optics?
We currently deal with AON (all optical networks), WDM (wavelength division multiplexing and OAM (orbital angular momentum) each of these providing their own unique benefits!
Who knows what the future will bring? Let’s wait and see.
Increased demand for greater speed and efficiency for fibre optic technology ensures it will continue to develop.
New devices achieving unimaginable data rates may be just around the corner. One thing for sure though is that the fibre installed today will be able to cope with whatever the near future may offer it.