As observed in the past decade, converting from copper cable to fiber optic cable is necessary and more budget-friendly. Sometimes it’s done to make new technology function properly. But whatever the case, the process of conversion is both easy and inexpensive.
Converting to fiber optic cable is, most of the time, the only technical answer. If you are working in a setting that is surrounded by electromagnetic interference (EMI), which includes: heavy machinery, welding tools, big motors, motor controls, or anything that uses high voltage electricity. Copper wires – even the best and most competent Category 5 or Category 6 – will gather enough interference to prevent data transfer with low error rates. Fiber is not a conductor; so it doesn’t have any EMI pickup. That’s why high-voltage power transmission lines contain fiber optics in the middle.
Category 5e and Category 6 are only designed to run 100 meters (330 feet), but can be linked between buildings or in large plants that may go beyond that distance. Coax utilized in security television or CCTV systems are only around 300 meters (about 1,000 feet) long. Longer copper links need pricey repeaters and have depleted signal integrity.
Fiber optic cable connections of up to 100 megabits per second are usually made for distances of 2 km (6,600 feet) to hundreds of kilometers. Gigabit links may be used for shorter lengths, typically 250 to 550 meters (about 800 to 1,600 feet). Note that the length covered is much greater than copper. Schools, factories, and large facilities, such as airports, use huge amounts of fiber optic cable to link widely spaced areas.
Fiber Optic Cable Is Secure
Fiber optic cable provides security, which is very crucial to the government and military. The reason is fiber is very difficult to jam or tap. Data sent over fiber is safe, even without encryption. Since it does not need any repeaters, it is totally more reliable than copper cable. Aside from that, it emits no traceable signals, so it doesn’t give away any clue of its existence or location. All of these important security concerns are the reasons why every military and government agency uses fiber optic cable.
Fiber Optic Cable Saves Cost
Fiber can be the most pocket-friendly choice for simple premises networks, as well. According to certified fiber optic trainers, an all-fiber network eliminates the need to have traditional telecommunications closets, which is very expensive because of the cost needed for space, power grounds, and air conditioning. An intelligently planned all-fiber network can be more economical than the usual backbone/horizontal cabling setup needed for copper cable.
No matter if fiber optic cable is a technical need or a proven way to save money, you must change your network equipment to fiber. Most desktops are available with an Ethernet connection of 10 or 100 Mbps using Category 5 cabling, but can be switched to fiber with a plug-in network interface card. Affordable hubs are made for Category 5. Expensive hubs, switches, and routers offer either copper cable or fiber optic connections; but fiber optic connections are more expensive than copper cable.
Usually, it is best to convert from Category 5 to fiber optic with the use of “media converters.” There are many types to choose from, depending on your needs, based on network type, link speed, or even distance.