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Fibre optic technology uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibres) to transmit data. Fibre optic cable typically consists of multiple glass threads, each of which is capable of transmitting messages modulated onto light waves.
Benefits of Fibre optics over traditional metal communications lines include:
- Fibre have a much greater bandwidth than metal cables and currently offer ultra-high speeds ranging from 1Mbps – 10Gbps symmetric (same download and upload speeds).
- Fibre is less susceptible to interference than metal cables which essentially means they can carry more data, offer high availability, minimal packet loss and low latency; ideal for growing networks.
- Fibre is much thinner and lighter than metal wires.
- Fibre transmits data digitally (the natural form of computer data) rather than analogically.
The main disadvantage of fibre optics in the past was the high cost of installation because it was considered more fragile and difficult to connect (splice) than metal cable. However advancements in technology have made the price much more affordable and in many cases fibre solutions are actually less costly than copper.
Once installed, there is little argument that fibre optics is more versatile and more cost effective than traditional metal cabling solutions.
Typical Fibre Optic Uses
These benefits of Fibre optics make it a particularly popular technology for local area networks (LAN).
Fibre Optic Internet would typically be used by businesses with greater than ten (10) end- users, for connection to common IT infrastructure or hosted applications (over the internet).
As bandwidth demands increase rapidly with technological advances, fibre will continue to play a vital role in the long-term success of more reliable telecommunications.
In addition, telephone companies and bandwidth carriers are steadily replacing traditional metal telephone lines with fibre optic cables. It is widely accepted that almost all future communications will utilise some form of fibre optics.