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8 Advantages of Fibre-Optics vs. Copper Cable

Internet connectivity over fibre-optic networks has become the gold standard for fast, high-quality data transmission for businesses. The relatively new nature of this technology can leave some hesitant to invest in it for their business.

Fibre relies on light instead of electricity to transmit data, which facilitates much faster Internet connections that are capable of handling higher bandwidth.

Business Advantages of Fibre Optic Internet

While most business decision-makers are aware of the speed benefits of fibre, other advantages are less commonly understood. Spending on a newer technology can feel risky, especially for organisations who rely heavily on their Internet connectivity for customer communications, productivity, and collaboration.

In this article, you’ll learn a bit more about the various ways fibre-optic Internet compares to standard copper cable, including bandwidth potential, speed, reliability, among other factors.

  1. Bandwidth

Investing in fibre-optic internet can significantly increase your bandwidth potential. Copper wire infrastructure and TDM technology are limited in nature. Because it was originally designed for transmitting voice calls only, the demand for bandwidth wasn’t high. For instance, T-1 can only carry 1.5 Mbps of throughput. And because of how electrical signaling works, many types of connections over copper are limited by distance.

Ethernet over Copper service (EoC) is typically not available if the circuit is longer than 15,000 feet. For organisations considering shifting their voice communications to Voice-Over-IP (VoIP), having your bandwidth delivered over fibre can be an indispensable asset.

  1. Upload/Download Speed

Is the speed increase of fibre-optic internet noticeable compared to copper? Absolutely.

Many Interphone customers using fibre to connect to our network can transmit data at 1 gigabit per second. Downloads that take 22 minutes over most copper wire Internet connections, can take as little as 8 seconds on Internet connectivity delivered over fibre.

With this technological advancement, the concept of “waiting for things to load” is about to be a thing of the past.

  1. Distance

The signal for copper Internet networks degrades as the signal is carried from the exchange. Fibre was originally used for long haul networks. Mobile towers in remote locations use fibre optic cable to connect towers to the network.

Certain types of fibre connections can be transmitted for almost 40 km. While most business build outs won’t require similarly robust types of fibre connections, your signal isn’t in danger of degrading within metro fibre rings that would serve your business.

  1. Security

In an era of increased attention towards cyber security, fibre-optic internet is touted as a cost-effective way of instantly increasing your Internet security. Intercepting copper cable can be performed by connecting taps to a line to pick up the electronic signals.

Putting a tap on a fibre-optic internet cable to intercept data transmissions is incredibly difficult. It’s also easy to quickly identify compromised cables, which visibly emit light from transmissions.

  1. Reliability

There are a number of factors that can cause outages when an organization is reliant on copper cable-based internet. Temperature fluctuations, severe weather conditions, and moisture can all cause a loss of connectivity. Old or worn copper cable can even present a fire hazard, due to the fact it carries an electric current. Additional reliability concerns associated with copper include risks of interference from electronic or radio signals. Additionally, copper wires are accessed in the building by telephone company personnel and sometimes they can make mistakes and fiddle with the wrong wires. Also, copper wires all go back to the telephone company Central Office where disconnections can happen. Fibre is typically independent of the phone company, their equipment and their termination points.

  1. Cable Size

The speed of internet transmitted via copper cable is directly correlated with the weight of cable used. For a business to achieve a higher speeds, more cable must be used, which requires more space in a company’s telecommunications room.

Fibre cable’s speed is not connected to its size, and it’s far lighter weight than copper. This renders it easier to use, and less demanding of limited space in small rooms.

  1. Cost

Investing in fibre internet will cost more than copper in the short term though costs are drastically decreasing as this option becomes more commonplace. Ultimately, the total cost of ownership (TCO) over the lifetime of fibre is lower. It’s more durable, cheaper to maintain, and requires less hardware.

The advantages of fibre make it overall, a more cost-effective investment for organisations of all sizes.

  1. It’s Sturdier

Copper cable is a relatively delicate technology. Typically, it can sustain about 11 kg of pressure without being damaged, which means it can be compromised with relative ease during routine operations in a company’s telecommunications space.

In contrast, fibre can withstand about 45-90 kilograms of pressure, meaning it is far less likely to be damaged during routine operations in close proximity.

Investing in Fibre Optic Internet

While organisational information technology needs can vary drastically, the benefits of fibre-optic internet are making it an increasingly common choice for business data transmission. Companies who choose to invest in fibre typically find that the total cost of ownership, bandwidth potential, and speed gains are noticeable.

For more information on Interphone’s fibre internet solutions, click here to get in touch with us and one of our fibre experts will find a solution customised to your business’ needs.


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