Fiber Optic Cable Assembly: Is it Better Than Copper Cables?

Due to potential future increases in transportation costs, online meetings, education, and sales call participation will likely grow in importance. Costs associated with travel and training might be drastically cut. Some businesses have looked into this but decided against it due to the large increase in the capacity needed to stream high-definition video over cable. However, optical fiber networks can carry a frequency band significantly greater than cable internet, which greatly improves the feasibility. Today, we will have a clear comparison of the fiber optic cable assembly and the copper cable assembly.

What is the copper cable?

Cable internet is a high-speed service delivered to your home or business using primary Cable lines (coaxial cables). Coaxial cables have aluminum and copper shielding, an insulation sheath, and a plastics outer layer, with the core made of copper (or copper-clad steel). The copper core sends data waves by riding on top of customized radio waves that travel through empty cable TV channels.

Coax cable connector

Caption: Coax cable connector

What are optical cable assemblies?

The ones and zeroes that make up data are represented in fiber by pulses of light from LEDs or lasers. Optical cables use a single glass or polymer core to transmit data. The light signals are protected from damage and can be sent across the cable’s twists and turn due to reflecting covering. Moreover, lightweight buffers and jackets shield the wires easily.

Fiber Optic Cable Types

Caption: Fiber Optic Cable Types

Cable vs. Fiber: What’s the difference?

Both copper cable and fiber are trustworthy options for internet service. However, they are different in speed, dependability, availability, and cost differences.

Cable vs. Fiber: Speed

Although cable internet may theoretically reach the same rates as fiber connection, operators are throttling speeds due to inefficient network resource use.

Cable internet download speeds are capped at 1,200 Mbps since the underlying infrastructure was designed for cable TV and did not support speeds greater than 1,200 Mbps. Now, it’s also used to get online, but cable companies can only provide you with so much speed before you have to pay more.

In most cases, upload and download speeds on fiber networks are identical. But most users download much more than they upload, so this difference in bandwidth isn’t usually a deal-breaker. However, suppose several individuals in the home are working from home or attending school online and need to live conference at once. In that case, symmetrical rates can be a godsend.

Cable vs. Fiber: Signal Strength

The term “signal strength” describes the reliability of a data connection. Internet service likely enters your building through a single point. There is a distance beyond which the signal quality starts to decrease as it travels down the wires across your property. Some regions of a large campus, facility or other building’s workplace may have slower internet speeds than others. Fiber optic networks experience far less transmission loss than their cable counterparts.

Cable vs. Fiber: Distance

Compared to electrical signals transmitted via cable, fiber’s construction is unquestionably superior when transmitting data across great distances. Because no signals are sent, fiber cables are not susceptible to interference. They may transport significantly more data than copper cables. Further, since all networking is done passively, no electronic devices along the wires could fail and disrupt your connection.

Cable vs. Fiber: Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the maximum number of bytes that can simultaneously be sent down a cable.

When comparing copper and fiber network lines, copper has a physical limit to the number of electrical impulses that can pass through the wire simultaneously. In contrast, fiber optic network lines can simultaneously transmit much more streaming data.

Cable vs. Fiber: Latency

Internet latency affects various web-based programs. It talks about the small delays that happen when computers on different ends of a link send and receive data. The functionality will degrade for users as latency grows.

As far as latency goes, fiber optic networks are ahead of their cable counterparts. Your employees will be more sure they can use web-based apps, communications, and file transfers.

Cable vs. Fiber: Availability

The fiber optic residential internet availability is currently deficient.

In big cities, cable and fiber internet is much more common, but the fiber is still the more common option. However, residential fiber infrastructure does not yet exist in many parts of the United States, especially rural areas. To avoid the time and cost of installing fiber internet infrastructure, cable internet companies use the copper coaxial connections already in place instead of putting in new lines for each user.

Cable vs. Fiber: Reliability

You can’t use an unreliable ISP if the success of your business depends on how quickly your customers get their items, services, or help.

Because they transmit light rather than electricity, fiber optic networks are typically operational even amid electrical interference (such as thunderstorms). In particular, the network’s performance won’t suffer even during periods of heavy traffic.

Cable vs. Fiber: Data Security

Do you believe you can afford a security breach in your data? The majority of micro, small, and medium-sized businesses cannot. Hackers are good at listening in on electronic signals and can easily pick up cable internet, which is a scary development. There is a risk of fines and consumer defection if someone steals your data.

Although a fiber optic network’s infrastructure alone cannot ensure data integrity, it does represent a significant step in the right direction. Because hackers cannot penetrate fiber optic cables, fiber networks offer many benefits. Nothing can be hacked about the light signals traveling through the fiber optic cable. There is nothing to steal if the fiber is severed because the signal is immediately terminated.

Cable vs. Fiber: Price

Cable and fiber Packages that provide gigabit speeds for Internet access typically cost the same. Although there are exceptions, the going rate for gigabit services is often between $60 and $90 per month. Gigabit internet options are available over cable and fiber, but fiber is the better value and provides fast upload speed.

True, not everyone has a use for a gigabit connection. High-speed gigabit connections are typically the most expensive option. Unlike fiber providers, cable internet providers typically offer a wider range of high-speed packages, from 100 Mbps to 900 Mbps.

Cable vs. Fiber: Connection to Cloud Storage

Many smaller and medium-sized businesses lack the resources to maintain large data centers. There is a limit to the number of hard disks any office may keep in stock, despite the necessity of storing vital information.

Alternatively, you may back up an infinite quantity of data by keeping it in the cloud. However, there is a restriction due to your bandwidth limitations. Your information might not be accessible if there is a high probability that your connection may unexpectedly go down.

Fiber internet is advantageous because of its better reliability, which allows you to stay online on the cloud. There will rarely be a time when you can’t access your crucial business documents, spreadsheets, stock lists, client information, etc.

Cable vs. Fiber: Setup and equipment

Expert installation is available for cable and fiber internet. Customers can save money on cable internet by installing it themselves. If your home already has coaxial cables installed, perhaps because you had cable internet from a different carrier in the past, then DIY installation should be a breeze.

Few homes are pre-wired for fiber-to-the-home internet. Therefore, you require a professional installation. To implement this, you will lay fiber optic cable from the street to the house, and an optical network terminal (ONT) would convert light signals into data suitable for a home network. Fiber jacks can be added to your home for newer configurations, while older setups can still use the existing coaxial connections.

A cable modem that you can rent from or purchase from your internet service provider performs the necessary translation when using cable internet. Providers now provide the option to rent wireless gateways, which perform modem and router functions. The router takes over where the modem leaves off, setting up a wireless network and distributing data to your home’s WiFi and cellular devices. Typically, monthly rent ranges from $5 to $15.

Cable connection with internet equipment

Caption: Cable connection with internet equipment

Conclusion

To keep costs down, leading cable ISPs use hybrid networks that rely primarily on fiber optics but also retain coax cable lines for such “last mile.” Compared to fiber-to-the-home options, cable internet is the clear winner in price. However, fiber optic connections are much faster. Choose cable assembly solutions depending on your application.

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

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