Advantages of Fiber Optic over Copper wiring

When setting up your new network you have two basic choices: fiber or copper. Both offer superior data transmission. The decision on which one to use may be difficult. It will often depend on your current network, your future networking needs, and your particular application, including bandwidth, distances, environment, and cost. In some cases, copper may be a better choice; in other situations, fiber has big advantages.

Fiber optic cable is becoming one of the fastest-growing transmission mediums for new cabling installations and upgrades, including backbone, horizontal, and even desktop applications. Fiber optic cable is favored for applications that need high bandwidth, long distances, and complete immunity to electrical interference. It’s ideal for high data-rate systems such as Gigabit Ethernet, FDDI, multimedia, ATM, SONET, Fiber Channel, or any other network that requires the transfer of large, bandwidth-consuming data files, particularly over long distances. A common application for fiber optic cable is as a network backbone, where huge amounts of data are transmitted. To show the comparison here is a chart.

  COPPER FIBER
BANDWIDTH MAX. IS 1 GIGABIT 10 GIGABIT AND CLIMBING
FUTURE NEEDS CAT 7 IS STILL BEING DEFINED VERY EXPANDABLE AND IS EVOLVING
DISTANCE 100 METERS @ 1000 Mbps 40 km+ @ 10,000 Mbps
NOISE Negative response to EMI/RFI and Voltage surges No Effect
SECURITY Easily tapped into Almost impossible to tap
PULL-STRENGTH 25 pounds 100-200 pounds


50 vs. 62.5 micron cable.

Although 50-micron fiber cable features a smaller core, which is the light-carrying portion of the fiber, both 62.5- and 50-micron cable feature the same glass cladding diameter of 125 microns. You can use both in the same types of networks, although 50-micron cable is recommended for premise applications: backbone, horizontal, and intrabuilding connections, and should be considered especially for any new construction and installations. And both can use either LED or laser light sources.
The big difference between 50-micron and 62.5-micron cable is in bandwidth-50-micron cable features three times the bandwidth of standard 62.5-micron cable, particularly at 850 nm. The 850-nm wavelength is becoming more important as lasers are being used more frequently as a light source.
Other differences are distance and speed. 50-micron cable provides longer link lengths and/or higher speeds in the 850-nm wavelength. See the Chart below.

  Max. Length
@1310 nm
Max. Length
@850 nm
Bandwidth
62.5/125 um 500 meters 220 meters 160 Mhz/km
50/125 um 500 meters 500 meters 500 Mhz/km


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