Feb. 4, 2021 - How can fiber optic cable make a difference in your home (FTTH) and premise (FTTP) installations? Fiber provides a high bandwidth, durable, and long-lasting solution.
High Bandwidth and Distance
As of March 2020, the average US household held over 10 connected devices. All those devices are vying for bandwidth, and the number of devices is only projected rise. For businesses, data demand is even higher – data requirements double approximately every 2 years, and that projection was made before COVID-19 forced remote work! The best connectivity solution or those ever-growing data demands? Fiber optic cable.
Fiber optic cables use pulses of light to transmit data. This allows optical fibers to transmit at much higher frequencies than copper cables, translating to far higher bandwidth and greater distance.
Multimode fiber optic cables can transmit 10 Gb Ethernet up to 1300 feet (300 meters), depending on the grade of multimode, or 100 Gb Ethernet as far as 500 feet (150 meters).
Single mode fiber can send data even farther. In fact, it has potentially infinite bandwidth, limited only by the electronics used. Comparatively, Category 6A can transmit 10 Gb Ethernet a maximum of 100 meters, with potential for EMI/RFI interference.
Durable and Compact
Although fiber optic cable is glass, it is extremely durable. Cleerline SSF™ fiber optic cable can tolerate up to 225 lbs of short-term load if pulled correctly, far above the tolerances of category cable. Fiber optic cables can also be extremely flexible, allowing bend radii far smaller than those of copper. Basically, when handled correctly, fiber will hold up better than copper or coaxial cables.
Fiber is also extremely compact. A cable jacket only 3 millimeters in diameter can contain up to 24 optical fibers, allowing an enormous amount of transmission capacity. In homes and businesses, the compact nature of fiber can be a huge plus in terms of efficient use of space.
Resistant to Lightning Strikes and Interference
Unlike copper, glass does not conduct electricity. This means that a lightning strike or power surge is far less likely to take out your fiber optic network, whereas lightning strikes are a constant concern with copper.
Similarly, as fiber is non-conductive, it is resistant to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. This translates to lower potential for interrupted signals, keeping transmissions consistent and secure. Less noise also leads to lower latency, meaning better quality transmission – no dropping downloads.
Fiber optic networks can use less power than copper installations. Transmitting data over 300 meters of fiber optic cable may take only 1 watt of energy. It may take 3.5 watts to send data one third of that distance via copper cable. Along similar lines, in high volume or data-center type environments, fiber optic cables do not generate heat, and, as they take up less space than copper cables, can allow better airflow. This allows more efficient cooling, requiring less energy.
Fiber optic cables not only offer future bandwidth capabilities, the cables themselves tend to be resistant to time. Most fiber cable manufacturers cover 25 years of operation under warranty, outpacing Cat 6 by at least five years. Under standard operating conditions, cables may last longer than 25 years. Fiber cables installed in the 1980s have still be found to be perfectly functional.
The bandwidth potential of fiber means that replacement due to technological obsolescence will likely not be necessary.
Supports Current & Future Technologies
Fiber in homes and business will help support 5G technologies. 5G requires many small cells or nodes to function. At high frequencies, even more cells are required, as those high frequencies have limited range and can be disrupted by walls, trees, and other obstacles. As 5G deals with such high bandwidth signals, the best medium for supporting additional 5G cells and as a result the usage of fiber worldwide is increasing exponentially.
Similarly, just as with current wireless coverage, there are certain to be locations where 5G may not be the best option. Without a doubt, fiber is the medium to consistently provide the highest quality, highest bandwidth signal transmission.
Not only have fiber optic cable and component costs decreased over the years, due to its long-lasting nature, fiber often has lower maintenance costs than copper. Additionally, fiber-compatible electronics and transceivers are now widely available, making it simple to set up new systems.
Fiber provides the best solution for long-term, high quality data transmission.