6 Pros and Cons of Fiber Optic Cable

The use of electrical signals have slowly become obsolete, with the proliferation of fiber optic cabling. This new technology has been able to send data via pulses of light. Such data are kept within the optical fiber core through the total internal reflection phenomenon. This is capable of providing virtually fast Internet speeds. In order to know more about this new technology, it might help to know some pros and cons first. Here are some of them.

List of Pros of Fiber Optic Cable

1. Capacity of Bandwidth.
The pulses of light being produced by fiber optic technology are used to transmit data via the filaments of plastic or silica. On the other hand, copper cables have been used in order to transmit electricity-based signals. The difference in data transmission is very obvious, as the copper wires can transmit 50Mbps (megabits per second) while the fastest recorded transmission via fiber optic cables has so far reached 1.05Pbps (petabits per second) in which 1 petabit is equal to 1,073,741,824 megabits. This is like sending 5,000 HD videos in a single second.

2. Reliability of Signal.
Fiber optic technology can allow the transfer of data covering longer distances than other forms of communication. On this end, copper cables are able to send data for DSL of up to 5km before it will require regeneration, while fiber optics spans about 200km. For this reason, it won’t be susceptible to attenuation of signals that are caused by electromagnetic interferences. As a result, it will bring about lower error rates.

3. Safe to Use Than Conventional Materials.
This new technology offers circuits to be electrically isolated, making it safer to use in unsecure environments. Thus, it can be used safely even in explosive environments as fiber optic technology doesn’t carry any current.

4. Lighter and Thinner Cables.
In comparison to regular copper cables, fiber optic cables are 5x smaller and 20x lighter. As a matter of fact, the center of the fiber optic cable measures only about 10-15 micrometers, which is about a fifth the thickness of the regular human hair.

List of Cons of Fiber Optic Cable

1. Expensive Form of Data Transmission.
Compared to copper cables, the use of fiber optic technology is a lot more expensive to set up. This is due to the application of special tools or equipment as well as skills in its installation. Therefore, such modern technologies are only being used in industries that require high-speed telecommunications, while most households only use digital lines.

2. Physical Limits of Fiber Optics.
The use of fiber optic technology has been more vulnerable to damage compared to copper wires. This is because of the fragile materials being used in this new technology. Thus, twisting and pulling of fiber optic cables can affect its functionality or light-emitting ability. Once the fiber optic cables are bent, it will no longer be functional. Homes are basically unable to fit in fiber optic technology because it will require them to be bent to fit into smaller spaces.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.