Copper vs Fibre Optics

Introduction 

Assessing which type of network cable is optimal for a company requires consideration of several factors. Both copper and fibre optics have their advantages and unique characteristics. We have compared both copper and fibre to help you choose the best solution for your business.

Fibre Optics 

Fibre Optics as a data cabling solution has many advantages, Fibre is thinner, lighter and more durable than the equivalent copper cable. Its small size makes it easier to install and takes up less room in service ducts and conduits.

Fibre doesn’t radiate signals and is extremely difficult to tap. If the cable is tapped, it’s very easy to monitor because the cable leaks light, causing the entire system to fail. Fibre networks also enable you to put all your electronics and hardware in one central location, instead of having wiring closets with equipment throughout the building.

Fibre provides extremely reliable data transmission. It’s completely immune to many environmental factors that affect copper cable such as temperature and electromagnetic fluctuations – copper cannot stay the same, the core of fibre optics is made of glass, which is an insulator, so no electric current can flow through.

Fibre optic cable has become one of the most popular mediums for both innovative cabling installations and upgrades, including backbone, horizontal, and even desktop applications. And with the steadily lowering cost and intrinsic improvements made seemingly daily in fibre optic connectivity, fibre construction will become more convenient and cost-effective.

Copper 

It’s said that the fibre optic cabling has many advantages over any other form of data transmission; however, there are still some very solid reasons for choosing copper over fibre in some situations. Fibre optics in the workplace can be great, in terms of providing that extra bandwidth, but it is still true that desktop computers are mostly equipped with copper Network Interface Cards (NICs), and to outfit them with the fibre-compatible version would be a pretty fair expense.

Power over Ethernet is a technology which allows for both data and power to be carried over the same ethernet cable, either on the same wire or on two different wires. There are tremendous advantages to this kind of configuration, including the fact that it is fairly inexpensive to install. 

Having power provided over the network allows for easy installation and distribution of network connections all throughout a network setup. A central source of power also means that it is reliable and can easily be controlled. Because of these advantages, PoE is often used to power security cameras, Voice-over-IP phone systems, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.

Copper has already existed in many places and it is cheap in network devices connection. Those in rural areas where no fibre optics have been run may find copper the most cost effective, because they don’t have to pay to run new cabling.

What solution is best for your business?

For those in areas where fibre optic cable has been run already, such as urban and larger suburban areas, fibre seems like the choice for building for the future. Fibre offers speed and reliability, along with cost effectiveness.

For those in rural areas, copper-based connections may be the most cost effective and practical choice, because it’s already in existence in most places.

Your cabling backbone has to be the most robust part of your network infrastructure. At the Remark Group, our expert project managers and engineers know all the options and are trained to deliver the best structured cabling solution for you. This can be copper or fibre optic, depending on the requirement.

Our knowledge of the hardware options, backed up by our accreditations, enables us to deliver rapid, reliable and secure network backbones that take into account your current and future needs.

Get in touch with one of our experts today.