While both fiber optic and copper cables each have their own advantages and deficits based on their individual characteristics, you can typically use either to get many jobs done. They even work in tandem for many of their applications.
That said, the cost of fiber optic cable is now more affordable than ever, and those in the know are taking a closer look at its usefulness, especially in a world that necessitates wider bandwidth by the year. Here are just four of the benefits that you can count on with fiber optic cables.
It’s Water and Temperature-Change Immune
Whether there is a massive storm, an increase in heat or cold, or moisture and humidity in the air, fiber optic cables continue to work as designed unhindered. They can even withstand lightning since there are no metallic components to the cable and the surge of electricity will not be propagated. This makes the material ideal for long-distance, industrial situations, and applications in outdoor, rugged terrain.
Data is transferred via light, not electricity, making fiber optics much safer to handle for those that are repairing or initially laying the cable. While glass fibers can damage the eye, or become embedded in and under the skin, the threat is mild compared to the danger of electrocution from copper cables. Fortunately, wearing safety glasses and protective gloves mitigates such risks.
It’s Resistant to Electromagnetic Interference
Electronic “crosstalk” between cables can occur when several copper cables, which carry electric current, are placed together in a small, densely packed area. This often happens when patch leads and other cables are placed close to one another. This means more data transmission issues and poorer performance compared to fiber optic cables, which do not produce any electromagnetic interference. They are also unaffected by the phenomenon, as well. No matter where they are placed, you will never have to worry about fiber optic cabling. This is even true when placed adjacent to industrial equipment.
It’s Much More Secure
Fiber optic cables do not emit signals, so it is nearly impossible to intercept data transmission by connecting taps. Conversely, each signal is contained inside each individual fiber strand as it travels through the fiber optic cable. You can only access it by cutting into the end of the cable, disabling the entire network. This means the problem will become transparent, and it will likely be immediately remedied.
In conclusion, it is likely that fiber optic cabling will work well for you and your project. If you are interested in having a safe, secure, and strong alternative to copper cabling, you should consider the advantages of fiber optic cabling outlined above.