When it comes to the network connectivity of your business, the cables of your structured cabling have a vital role to play. They ensure that all your equipment, devices, and people remain connected to the outside world.
Within the cabling world, fiber optic cables, or simply fiber optics, have taken cables to new heights and are quickly becoming the most sought-after cabling solution, especially for businesses with high data transmission needs.
They are ideal for gigabit networks and provide a seamless connectivity experience for the most part. To fully understand just how good these cables are, we are sharing the pros and cons of using fiber optics.
However, before we start, you must always remember to consult professionals like Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida, regarding your cabling and structured cabling needs. They are experts primed to meet any network requirements and solve cabling issues your business may have.
That being said, let’s begin.
It is no secret that fiber optic cables are superior to typical Ethernet or copper cables regarding data transmission speeds and bandwidth capabilities. Still, these aren’t the only advantages or “pros.”
· Faster Speeds
Transmission speed is a key highlight of fiber optic technology. Unlike copper cables that use electrons to transmit data, fiber optic cables use light pulses. Hence, data is transmitted at nearly 70 percent the speed of light.
Typically, available fiber optic cables offer up to 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) speeds. However, lab tests of fiber optics have shown fiber optics to transfer data at record speeds of 1-2 petabits per second. For comparison, 1 petabyte is 1000 terabits, and 1 terabit is 1000 gigabits.
Therefore, lab testing can transmit data at 1 million gigabits per second through fiber optics. This capability makes fiber optic cables the future of high-speed network cabling.
· Greater Bandwidth
Fiber optic cables support extremely high bandwidth. Bandwidth has to do with speed, which we already discussed, and the range of frequencies over which data can travel without attenuation.
Fiber optics can transmit a large amount of data or information per unit of optical fiber cable, one of its most significant advantages. Businesses with high data transmission needs can rely on fiber optics to meet their demands without loss of information during transmissions.
· Relatively Inexpensive
When it comes to large distances, fiber optics offer a cost-effective solution. Running long, continuous miles of optical fiber cables may be less expensive than equivalent lengths of copper cables. This is simply because of the intrinsic value of copper, which is expensive.
Fiber optic cables use a fiberglass core, which can be far less expensive. As demand for fiber optic grows, so does its supply and race for market share. As a result, the price of fiber optic cables will decrease over time, making it even more inexpensive.
· Lightweight and Thin
Often, businesses find it difficult to run cabling where space is limited. Fiber optic cables can be a great solution for such scenarios. They are thinner than comparable Ethernet or copper cables and can run in tight spaces.
Their relative thinness also means they can be drawn into smaller diameters than other cables because as the cable gets thinner, its bend radius becomes smaller. Besides, fiber optic cables are more lightweight, and you get a more easy-to-manage cable overall.
· Greater Capacity
Since fiber optics are thinner than similar copper counterparts, more fibers can be bundled together into a given-diameter fiber optic cable. This offers businesses the advantage of running more lines to go over the same cable, offering more channels and bandwidth than in the same space.
· Better Signal Retention
The signal loss or dB loss of fiber optic cables is far less than any Ethernet or copper cable. So, data transmitted over fiber optics has a greater chance of being delivered without losses than any other type of network cable.
· No Noise or Interference
Typical copper wires transmit electrical signals that suffer from EMF, or electromagnetic interference, from other nearby electronics and EMF emitting items. They may also suffer from internal interference or noise when signals from one line in a copper cable interfere with another.
These problems are eliminated in fiber optic cables. Since they use light signals, EMF is not a concern, whether external or internal. This means there is no noise when businesses use fiber optics for their networks and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) devices.
Cons of Fiber Optics
Despite all its incredible benefits, there are a few drawbacks of fiber optic cables as well.
Copper cables can last up to 100 years when used with care, whereas fiber optic cables may only last for a few decades. However, fiber optics can also last up to 100 years with proper care, but this is unlikely in real-world applications.
Similarly, in real-world applications, copper cables may also only last half of their maximum lifespan of 100 years.
· Low Power
Light-emitting sources in fiber optic cables are limited to low power. Businesses can opt for high power emitters to enhance the power supply, which would mean additional expenses.
Unless you are using fiber optic cables with shielding, typical fiber optics are more fragile and vulnerable to damage than typical copper cables. If you bend them beyond their bend radius, pinch them, or twist them during installation, they are likely to get damaged beyond repair.
When running fiber optics over long distances, the distance between the transmitter and receiver needs to be short to maintain the integrity of data transmissions. Hence, businesses may require the use of repeaters to boost the fiber optic signal at intervals between lengthy distances.
As with any cable, fiber optics have their own advantages and disadvantages, which we have closely covered in our pros and cons. Compared to other cable types, the pros heavily outnumber and overshadow the cons, making fiber optic cables one of the best solutions for business networks and structures cabling.
However, it will mostly depend on factors like your business needs, usage, budget, and environment. To get the best advice on networks, cables, and structured cabling, we highly recommend Communications Solutions Inc. in Jacksonville, as they are the best professionals in Florida.
To learn more about the pros and cons of fiber optics or for the best business network and structured cabling solutions in Jacksonville, Florida, Contact Us Today.