To use copper or to fibre optic cabling… This is the question. Before you decide to replace your old copper cabling, or install new fibre optical cabling, lets consider the pros and cons of fibre optic cabling technology.
Fibre optic cabling is becoming more and more popular for several reasons.
The first observable advantage of optical fibres is its ability to transmit greater amounts of data when compared to standard copper cables.
Second, fibre optic networks can reach distances in the kilometres with minimal loss of power. Versus copper cables that can, at best reach 100 meters.
Third, fibre optic cables are immune to electromagnetic interference. They can also be run in electrically noisy environments without the risk of interference.
Fourth, optical fibres save space. Fibre optic strands are thinner and lighter than copper wires, this save space and money – it requires less infra-structure to be in place.
Finally, optical fibres are provide greater data security, when compared to copper cables. This is due to the fact that the link cannot be “tapped into” – it has to have guaranteed integrity from end to end.
However, optical fibres also have its drawbacks. They cost more to install, are more susceptible to breakage, and need more protection from damage.
The first obvious disadvantage of fibre optics is the cost. Even though the price of fibre optical cabling components has been dropping steadily, they are still significantly more expensive than traditional copper cabling.
Second, fibre optic installations also require special testing equipment such as an OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer), to determine the length ion the cable or a Light Source and Power meter to confirm the link loss which also adds to the cost.
Finally, fibre optic cabling is also less resistant to breakage and damage compared to copper cabling. The glass strands require careful handling during installation because they break or lose transmission capacity due to micro fractures if the minimum bend radius of the cable is not maintained during installation.
With almost 20 years of fibre optic installation and design experience, Trojan TechGroup has the know how to reduce the risks associated to the installation of fibre optical cabling. We have all the right testing equipment, so there is not guess work if the installed cabling will work and what speeds it will support, this becomes even more important when using next generation cables (OM3 and OS2) to future proof your installation.