Fiber vs. Cable: Differences Between The Two Connectivity Technologies Of The Future

Network technologies that bring connectivity to our homes have evolved rapidly in recent years. In a little over a decade, we have gone from outdated analog modems to later different versions of xDSL (ADSL and VDSL) with maximum speeds of several tens of Mbps.

However, the rapid deployments in fiber optic and coaxial cable networks in multiple regions in recent months are reaching many of our homes (but not all) connections that exceed 100 Mbps, opening the door to new types of services beyond simple Internet access. What differences are there between these two technologies? Is fiber or cable better? Which one offers more possibilities?

Fiber Optics: A Bright Future

It is basically a thread made of a transparent material, usually glass or plastic, through which pulses of light are sent, representing the binary data to be transmitted. The theoretical principle on which the propagation of light along the fiber is based is known as Snell’s Law, which explains the refractive phenomena produced by light when passing through different media with different physical properties in

Coaxial Cable: Still A Lot To Say

Unlike fiber optics, in coaxial cables, data is transported by electrical signals, making them not at all immune to electromagnetic interference and much more susceptible to signal attenuation due to cable losses due to their length. Hence the need to place regenerators or amplifiers in each section of a few tens or hundreds of meters.

In most cases, coaxial cable is just the tip of the iceberg of the entire network installation. That is, it is the means used in the last section that reaches the customer’s home, in the last hundreds of meters, and that we connect to a cable-modem that usually acts as a router. This is what is known as HFC (Hybrid Coaxial Fiber) networks, which some operators try to sell as pure optical fiber, although they clearly are not.

However, today and taking into account the current real needs of domestic consumers, both technologies are very valid, being able to provide us with a good 1bet2u connection with speeds of more than 100, 200, or 300 Mbps without problems. However, the extensive capabilities of fiber optics will ensure that in a few years, we have at symmetrical home connections of more than 1 Gbps, although it is something else that we can take advantage of them.

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Types Of Electrical Cables

The power cord is a product made to conduct electricity in electrical installations. Mainly made of copper (sometimes also aluminum), it facilitates the transport of electricity and is highly conductive.

The electric cable is formed by the conductor on the inside, which is the part that carries electricity, the insulation that protects the conductor from electrical current leaks, and the filler and a cover layer, which protect the cable and provide a shape rounded and homogeneous.

Cable For Domestic Use

The cable for domestic use is designated with the initials H07V-K. Although there is a rigid cable, in recent times, only the flexible cable has been used; given the ease, it implies when passing the cable through the corrugated pipe or the ductwork.

They can be found in different colors; brown, blue, black, gray, yellow, and green and, in some cases, red and white. It comes presented in rolls of 100 or 200 meters and with a section ranging from 1.5mm to 6mm.

Uses of the electric cable of the different sections:

  • 1.5mm: lighting / automation
  • 2.5mm: general socket outlets
  • 4mm: average consumption as a washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher or thermos
  • 6mm: oven, cooker, air conditioning or heating

Halogen-Free Cable

The halogen-free cable is mandatory in new buildings and public places, such as offices, shops, airports, hospitals, museums, schools, parking lots, etc.

The main characteristic to highlight of the halogen-free electric cable is its resistance to fire and its ability not to spread it in case of fire. The initials that label it is H07Z1-K AS.

Main characteristics of the halogen-free cable

  • They don’t spread fire
  • They do not emit toxic substances in case of fire or smoke
  • They do not emit hydrochloric acid, which corrodes computers and electronic equipment

Cable section and maximum power allowed.

In the following list, we show the different maximum powers allowed according to the section of the electrical cable.

Cable Section – Maximum Power

  • 1.5mm: 2.420W
  • 2.5mm: 3,300W
  • 4mm: 4,400W
  • 6mm: 5,500W
  • 10mm: 7.480W
  • 16mm: 9,900W
  • 25mm: 12,980W

Some Tips To Improve Electrical Safety

After this short article on the most common electrical cables, some interesting tips on electrical safety. Some are completely obvious, but, from time to time, they are worth reminding us of.

  • If you live in an old house, think about checking the electrical installation from time to time
  • Avoid making an electrical consumption higher than the contracted power and above all, at the maximum power allowed by your electrical installation
  • Try not to make multiple connections on one outlet
  • Whenever you are going to manipulate the electrical installation, cut the electrical supply
  • Never do any work on the power cord with wet or damp hands
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