The Future Of Cabling: Fiber Optics Or Copper Cabling

What will be the next technological trend that changes the way we do business mmc996? It’s easy to look at the next five years and say, for example, that cloud, co-location data centers, and IoT will continue to drive the changes. But what comes next? The short answer is that no one knows. Companies must focus their efforts on the future and prepare for it.

Cabling is the infrastructure that supports today’s business operations and will continue to be an increasingly important element. One thing is clear about the future of cabling; bandwidth requirements will continue to increase. While some think cables will go away with the wireless connection, they forget that those wireless units (access points) should still be connected and powered. Therefore, while wiring needs and designs will change, the importance of wiring will continue to grow.

Today’s best copper cable, category 6a, can withstand a speed of 10 Gbps at 100 meters. That’s a lot. It’s crazy to think that we will always need more than that. On the other hand, in 1990, when a Category 3 cable was created and supported 10 Mbps, 10 Mbps was thought to be a fast speed back then. At that time, few devices supported that speed.

The main difference between Category 6a and Category 6 cable is the diameter. Category 6a has essentially more copper, which increases its capacity. Category 7, which is not yet available, will be even thicker, with more copper to further support distance and higher speed.

Fiber Optic Cable

As is already well known, the fiber is made of thin glass threads, through this physical medium, bursts of light are sent to transport information. This cable construction allows the fiber to have much greater bandwidth for signal transport and fewer distance limitations compared to copper.

Today, we mainly use fiber for underground cables (external plant) or for spinal cables (vertical pipes) for the construction of New Generation Networks in the Financial Sectors, the Private Industry, and Public Entities. The trigger for the increasingly frequent adoption of this infrastructure is related to cost since it has always been more than a conventional copper installation. That is still the case today; however, the difference between the two is narrowing and has never been as close as today. The price will continue to drop as more is produced. At some point, the cost will not be a factor. The other factor in how fiber is used is the end devices.

Today’s devices do not support a fiber connection. Look on the back of your computer and see if there is a fiber port. Since the end devices do not connect directly to the fiber, a copper conversion must occur at some point.

As the cost continues to drop and more devices have a direct fiber connection, you will see an increase in the use of fiber cabling as the deployment of network infrastructure. Some wireless access points and security cameras already have a native fiber connection; in perspective, it is only a matter of time until this becomes a standard. The fiber can withstand speeds of over 100 Gbps, and tests are even being done at speeds of one terabyte per second. That is crazy, and again it is difficult to imagine that in the near future, all that bandwidth will be needed.

As a low-voltage contractor, much of our work involves removing and replacing old cables with new ones. I encourage clients to look ahead and see if there is a better way to do it. While a fiber installation today might cost a little more, it will save money in the long run. You don’t need a special company to take advantage of fiber infrastructure, just a company that is willing to ask, “Is there a better way to do this?”

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