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Working from home has brought to light a lot of interesting situations, including the number one complaint of internet woes.
Fibre optic cable can fix all of those problems and more. By no means is it a new or immature technology anymore. Fibre optic internet service used to seem impossible to afford — only for commercial use and the rich or famous.
Those days are over and it’s available for you today. Want to know more about why you should switch to fibre?
Keep reading to find out!
Greater Bandwidth, Faster Speeds, Longer Distances
Fibre optic cable can reach speeds of 60 Tbps — that’s not Gigabits per second, but Terabits per second. Copper wires, on the other hand, top out at about 10 Gbps.
This is bandwidth, or how much information can be transferred per second. The real test of “speed” is latency, which fibre optic also delivers on.
An electrical signal does travel through copper faster than light in a vacuum bounces off the vitreous cladding on the inside of fibre optic cables. The caveat here is that it only does so for about 300 feet in copper.
That means the signal must be received, amplified, and sent again. This degrades the signal over time, and reduces its speed with every handover. That’s why once your copper hits the cable company’s telecom hub they send everything by — you guessed it, fibre optic cable transmission lines.
Now to the numbers. Signals in fibre optic travel from point A to point B at 2/3 the speed of light, while copper is transmitting a signal at very close to the speed of light. Again, the distance is the problem.
If point A and B are a mile away, you won’t notice the difference of a few thousandths of a second — even as a gamer. If point A and B are between the USA and, say, Germany with clients on a video call you’ll have a lag of half a second or more. Going even further afield to Asian countries, and you’ll have seconds of delay.
Why not do fibre through the house and be done with it? The chances are good that you’ll increase your property value with the home improvements as well.
The Fibre Optic Difference
This technology is crucial for gaming, teleconferencing for work or school, and sharing your network connection with the rest of the family moving into the future. Not only is the bandwidth orders of magnitude above copper wires, but the speed and effectiveness are as well.
Fibre optic cables and internet have what is called “symmetrical” characteristics. It’s the same bandwidth and latency for downstream and upstream information. That means your downloads and uploads will be the same speed.
Signal integrity over distance is another benefit of fibre optic that just can’t be compared. Fibre only loses about 3% of a signal past 100 meters, while copper loses 94% information.
More Secure Transmissions
Another of the benefits of fibre optic cable is more secure transmissions. Signals are encrypted over WiFi, but what about when they leave your router and make their way to the internet?
Copper cables can and are tapped, and steal your information. While it’s encrypted, the data can be extracted and the key cracked to decrypt your data.
With fibre optic, not only would the provider know someone is tampering with the line instantly, only governments feasibly have the capability to effectively “tap” a fibre optic cable.
There is no transmission or EM leakage outside of the fibre optic cable, only a pure signal of light shooting through it like a bullet through a barrel. Another benefit to this barrier to the outside world is that there is no “noise” to disrupt a signal from outside.
Because it’s a beam of light, not electricity, there is no EM or RF interference.
Fibre optic cable has a lifecycle of between 30-50 years depending on the type of cable installed in your housing upgrade, or to the main service line. Not only that, it’s smaller, and about one-tenth the weight of copper wires.
It uses less energy and has a stronger pulling strength when installing. Copper wires tend to stretch easily, which instantly invalidates any signal going through. Not so with fibre optic cables, though if they crack, they’re done.
This isn’t such a big deal though, since you can just remove the one that isn’t performing and pull a new cable. Since we already mentioned a signal can go for a dozen miles in fibre optic, you can imagine it could take a while.
Copper is expensive as a raw material, and even more expensive to work with. But pulling a new fibre optic cable has a much lower raw material cost, and takes less time overall.
No more structured cabling problems for engineers and IT network designers.
How’s The Weather?
Short of an earthquake or physical shift of the earth or building that a fibre optic cable is installed in, it’s fairly impervious to environmental factors. While it will physically degrade over the decades, just as any other material, it’s much slower to do so.
Extreme cold or heat does not affect the light passing through a cable, neither does any powerful electromagnetic source cause interference such as lightning strikes or EMPs.
This gives it a lot of industrial applications, and use in high-energy facilities such as power generation plants.
The Many Benefits of Fibre Optic
As you can see, the benefits of fibre optic cable are many. If we were to focus on only one area you could fill volumes — and some have. The technical information can be dizzying, so it’s good to have a down-to-earth comparison like this.
At Four Square Construction we’re dedicated to bringing you the best DIY and home improvement tips like this one to upgrade your home to fibre optic.
Want to know what else you can do to help future-proof your home? Keep browsing to find out more!