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When you’re planning a new network cable installation or considering upgrades to an existing network, you might want to consider using fiber optic cables.

Network fiber cables have some definite advantages over copper cables.

Copper cables were originally designed for voice transmission and have a limited bandwidth. Fiber optic cables provide more bandwidth for carrying more data than copper cables of the same diameter. Within the fiber cable family, singlemode fiber delivers up to twice the throughput of multimode fiber.

2. Faster Speeds
Fiber optic cables have a core that carries light to transmit data. This allows fiber optic cables to carry signals at speeds that are only about 31 percent slower than the speed of light—faster than Cat5 or Cat6 copper cables. There is also less signal degradation with fiber cables.

3. Longer Distances
Fiber optic cables can carry signals much farther than the typical 328-foot limitation for copper cables. For example, some 10 Gbps singlemode fiber cables can carry signals almost 25 miles. The actual distance depends on the type of cable, the wavelength and the network.

4. Better Reliability
Fiber is immune to temperature changes, severe weather and moisture, all of which can hamper the connectivity of copper cable. Plus, fiber does not carry electric current, so it’s not bothered by electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can interrupt data transmission. It also does not present a fire hazard like old or worn copper cables can.

5. Thinner and Sturdier
Compared to copper cables, fiber optic cables are thinner and lighter in weight. Fiber can withstand more pull pressure than copper and is less prone to damage and breakage.

6. More Flexibility for the Future
Media converters make it possible to incorporate fiber into existing networks. The converters extend UTP Ethernet connections over fiber optic cable. Modular patch panel solutions integrate equipment with 10 Gb, 40 Gb and 100/120 Gb speeds to meet current needs and provide flexibility for future needs. The panels in these solutions accommodate a variety of cassettes for different types of fiber patch cables.

7. Lower Total Cost of Ownership
Although some fiber optic cables may have a higher initial cost than copper, the durability and reliability of fiber can make the total cost of ownership (TCO) lower. And, costs continue to decrease for fiber optic cables and related components as technology advances.

Single Mode cable is a single stand of glass fiber with a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns that has one mode of transmission. Single Mode Fiber with a relatively narrow diameter, through which only one mode will propagate typically 1310nm or 1550nm. Carries higher bandwidth than multimode fiber, but requires a light source with a narrow spectral width. Synonyms mono-mode optical fiber, single-mode fiber, single-mode optical waveguide, uni-mode fiber.
Single-mode fiber gives you a higher transmission rate and up to 50 times more distance than multimode, but it also costs more. Single-mode fiber has a much smaller core than multimode. The small core and single light-wave virtually eliminate any distortion that could result from overlapping light pulses, providing the least signal attenuation and the highest transmission speeds of any fiber cable type.
Single-mode optical fiber is an optical fiber in which only the lowest order bound mode can propagate at the wavelength of interest typically 1300 to 1320nm.

Multimode cable is made of of glass fibers, with a common diameters in the 50-to-100 micron range for the light carry component (the most common size is 62.5). POF is a newer plastic-based cable which promises performance similar to glass cable on very short runs, but at a lower cost.
Multimode fiber gives you high bandwidth at high speeds over medium distances. Light waves are dispersed into numerous paths, or modes, as they travel through the cable’s core typically 850 or 1300nm. Typical multimode fiber core diameters are 50, 62.5, and 100 micrometers. However, in long cable runs (greater than 3000 feet [914.4 ml), multiple paths of light can cause signal distortion at the receiving end, resulting in an unclear and incomplete data transmission.