Rapid advancement in technology means that many of the most established and more traditional ways of transmitting data are now unsecure, outdated, and outmoded. Two shining examples of cable technologies which have recently fallen out of favor are copper wiring, such as that used by landline phone companies, and cat5 cables, used by many home and corporate network installations.
Both copper cable and cat5 cabling suffer from several disadvantages: they’re unsecure, they can be compromised by jolts of electricity, and they are severely limited when it comes to spanning long distances in an office environment or even between municipalities.
Fiber has three distinct advantages over more antiquated forms of cabling, and businesses are well-advised to consider switching to this newer alternative instead of their existing copper to cat5 cable installations.
Optic Don’t Radiate Signals
It’s been the subject of thousands of Hollywood films, and it’s still happening today in real life: nosy third parties, or government bodies, “tapping” traditional copper lines to spy on phone conversations and listen the goings-on of corporations and individuals. It’s a huge compromise of corporate security and even trade secrets, and hundreds — if not thousands — of businesses are subject to this type of invasion.
In contrast, fiber optics are immune from this rather large security vulnerability. Because fiber optic cabling uses glass, and does not use any electricity, it is simply impossible to tap into any corporate communications — phone calls, security cameras, or VoIP video chats. And this has the unique benefit of allowing it to be installed right next to copper wires without encountering any interference on those original copper lines.
Going the Distance
When it comes to spanning large distances, there simply is no comparison between copper or cat5 cable and the distance it can cover. Consider that copper lines, such as those used in landline telephone and network installations, have a limitation of roughly 100 meters, or 328 feet. After this length, data transmission rates begin to suffer on the network and business will find themselves subject to higher lag times and larger wait times when transmitting or receiving data.
Copper installations which span longer distances than 100 meters require the use of switches, connectors, and repeaters. These devices increase the risk that one point along the transmission route may fail, causing the entire installation to slow down or fail altogether.
Conversely, fiber optic installations can be installed in one single run, and they can span far longer distances. In fact, fiber optic cable currently spans the oceans between the continents — meaning your office should be just fine when upgrading to a copper installation.
Business owners will notice a dramatic jump in their bandwidth transmission rates. Copper wires typically max out at 10 gigabytes per second over 300 feet; fiber cables can carry 10 gigabytes over far longer distances — in fact, there is virtually no distance limit on the data transmission.
Furthermore, fiber optics has virtually unlimited transmission capacity over short distances, such as those on a business’ local, in-office network. This leads to quicker transmissions, increased productivity, and reduced costs over the long run.
As file sizes continue to increase, while demands on business and home networks rise, the only technology able to handle these increased data loads will be fiber. Getting into the game now will only enhance a business’ position and increase its technological advantages over copper-based competitors.