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Six Reasons to Choose Fiber Optic Cable Over Copper Cable

When installing a network, one of the first decisions that technicians need to make is if they will be using fiber optic cable or copper cable. Although both copper cable and fiber optic cable can transmit an acceptable signal, fiber optic cable is the most desired choice with today’s growing bandwidth requirements over large distances. Below are six reasons why technicians should choose optical fiber over copper cable when installing their network.

High bandwidth capability
Now more than ever, having the ability to transmit massive amounts of data over large distances is a must-have in today’s environment. Fortunately, fiber optic cable has a higher bandwidth capability than copper cable, making it the most popular option among technicians.

Low attenuation
While the fiber optic signal can be transmitted across great distances, it’s important that the signal doesn’t get lost when being circulated. Since optical fiber has lower attenuation, or loss of light, than copper cable, it allows for longer distances between regeneration points.

Light weight and small size
Fiber optic cable is also lighter in weight, smaller in size and more durable than copper cable. These characteristics make installing and handling the cable much easier.

No metallic conductors provide security
Unlike copper cables which conduct electricity, fiber optic cables do not have any metallic conductors for transmission, so they are not prone to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Since they don’t radiate EMI, tampering with the signal is almost impossible, making these cables a very secure medium in which to transmit information.

Passive media
Fiber optic cable is considered a passive media since it doesn’t have any on-line power requirements, nor does it have any circuit protection concerns.

Universal media
Lastly, fiber optic cable is known as a universal media because not only can it transmit data, but it can also transmit voice and video through binary code.

To learn more about fiber optic cable, check out this presentation from Patrick Dobbins, Director of Applications Engineering and Field Engineering for AFL.

For more information on the basics of fiber optic cable, check out the following blogs:

The Basic Structure of Optical Fiber

Single-mode vs. Multimode Fiber

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Attenuation in Fiber Optic Cables