Since its emergence, fiber optic internet has disrupted the communications industry. Using pulses of light to send data at high speed via robust cables, fiber connectivity is becoming more readily available. To help you decide whether fiber might be the right option for your business, we have outlined some of the pros and cons of the technology.
Pros of Fiber Optic Internet
Speed and Low Attenuation – Fiber optic technology utilizes pulses of light to carry data along strands of glass or plastic.
While the data does not travel at the speed of light, the packets are not far off at only 31% slower. This allows for speeds of up to 100Mbps to be all but guaranteed.
In addition, fiber loses only 3% of its signal strength when transmitting data over a distance of 100 meters. In comparison, copper loses 94% of its signal strength over the same distance.
Immunity and Reliability – With a glass core acting as an insulator to electricity, fiber is immune to electrometric interference (EMI), radio-frequency interference (RFI) and crosstalk.
These disturbances can impact traditional cable and wireless connections and are often caused by an object that carries electrical currents such as power lines.
Fiber optic internet is well-guarded against inclement weather. Fiber cables are also resistant to corrosion making it a viable option for properties that could be impacted by salt and seawater. These conditions can damage traditional copper cables and compromise the connection of some wireless solutions.
Security – Fiber optic cables carry data at high speeds in a safe and secure manner. With no microwave signals being sent, it’s near-enough impossible to tap into the information being passed through.
If a cable is cut or compromised, the whole system is impacted so it will be difficult for hackers to tap into the network in search of specific information.
Bandwidth and Scalability – Fiber is easily scalable as new equipment can be added over the original network making fiber a viable solution for growing businesses who need to might need to increase their capacity. Fiber optic cables are also 5 times smaller and 20 times lighter than copper meaning the network is easier to construct and manage.
Cons of Fiber Optic Internet
Expensive to Set Up – The build-out of a fiber network and subsequent installation require highly-skilled engineers and specialist equipment from testing right through to implementation. Although cost-effective in the long-term, fiber is not an ideal option for a short-term project. Setup costs will far outweigh the benefits experienced versus a more traditional short-term solution.
Physical Damage – Although the thinner and lighter fiber optic cables facilitate faster data transmission, they are also very delicate. During building renovations, construction or rewiring, these cables are more likely to be suffer damage than traditional cables.
This can have a damaging impact because the fiber lines transmit more data via fewer cables. Fewer cables servicing more buildings and businesses means that one breach can cause greater problems.
Ready for Fiber?
Although fiber has a couple of drawbacks, the promise of a high-speed connection, comprehensive security, and guaranteed reliability makes it an excellent choice for businesses seeking to improve efficiency in the office.