Fiber Optic Carries Data Better over Long Distances
Data can sometimes be affected when it travels long distances. Not even electricity and light are immune to damage from long-distance travel. The signal you get at the other end can be of lower bandwidth. There is a limit to how far copper cables are laid, because beyond a distance of 328 feet, they fail to maintain signal strength. In contrast, fiber optic cables can preserve signal strength for up to 25 miles, which is a lot better than what a cable setup can do.
Electrical or Radio Interference is Not a Problem
Copper conducts electricity very well, although it cannot form a closed system. That means radio or electromagnetic interference can have a negative effect on the signals. For one, it can reduce the strength of the signal, and sometimes even cut the signal completely. Fiber optic lines use glass and plastic in a way that insulates from outside interference, so that the signal stays secure.
Damage is Less Likely
Copper, being a soft metal and a good conductor, can take damage from the surrounding environment, and over time, break down. Fiber lines do not have this problem, in that despite being extremely small, they are more resistant as well as harder. Copper can only take a maximum of 25 pounds of pressure without sustaining damage, but fiber lines can stand between 100 to 200 pounds.
When considering reliability, efficiency, and sheer speed of data transmission, fiber internet is one of the best choices. This, however, does not mean that it has no drawbacks.
- The speeds may be wasted. Most people fail to make full use of the high speeds which fiber optic internet providers offer, with FCC’s findings showing that the average person needs just 1 Mbps for web browsing. This may go up to 4 Mbps as their needs go on into gaming or HD streaming, but that’s about as far as it goes. Several cable internet providers already offer 25 Mbps in their upper tiers.
- Availability is limited – Search for “fiber optic internet in my area” on Google and you will find that it is only there for about 30% of the population. DSL and cable, on the other hand, are available for 90% of the population. Fiber connections are also limited outside of the north Atlantic coast and the Midwest.