You might not be aware of the technical terms, but fiber optic cable has become an integral and inseparable part of everyone’s life with the evolving technology. And you are using them in your day-to-day activities. But what are fiber optic cables? Fiber optic cables are the type of cables that contain several thousand optical fibers that are protected inside an insulated jacket. The fibers in appearance are very thin and are made of pure glass that effectively transmits information in the form of light.
The world of network communications has been revolutionized since the inception of fiber optic cables. The optical fibers are mainly used in places that involve transmitting the data. The wires are used in various industries such as medical, broadcast, military, and others. The optical fibers are used in place of the metal cables because they can provide a high amount of data transmission. Mentioned below are some areas where fiber optic cables are most popularly used-
- Automotive Industry
- Computer Networking
- Surgery and Dentistry
- Cable Television
- Lighting and Decorations
- Mechanical Inspections
Unlike traditional transmission methods, fiber optic cables use the techniques of lights for transmitting signals. They are not electric. Light signals are generated that are further carried by the fiber cables to the designated places. The optic thread is not an active source that generates electricity. Unlike cable broadband and DSL, fiber optic cable connections do not degrade over long distances. They have multiple advantages for sure, but the fiber optic cables have limitations of their own. To make things easier for you. Mentioned below are some of the pros and cons of fiber optic cables.
The advantages of using fiber optic cables –
Since the fiber optic cables are resistant to any electromagnetic interference, they have a low bit error rate. The optical cables also provide corrosion resistance. Electromagnetic interference or EMI is a disturbance that is caused by electromagnetic radiation from external sources. The disruption can degrade or interrupt the transmission, and fiber optic cables provide resistance against those.
With the growing advances in the digital platform, cybersecurity concerns have also increased. And since fiber optics do not radiate signals, the possibility of any external interference and threats is reduced. Breaches, if any, are also easy to identify. In case of any physical break in the system, the total system gets disrupted. Thus, the regulation and the maintenance of the fiber optic cable is therefore easy and simple.
The most important feature of the fiber optic cable is scalability. The system is easy to install and allows easy provisioning of services and quick scaling for a growing business. The fibers are smaller in size and lighter than the copper wiring. Moreover, the additional cables can also be added to the existing system to make the network expand and grow.
Cost-effective in the long term
With regard to long-term usage, fiber optics are more convenient. There is no doubt that fiber optics are costly, but they outweigh the copper wires in the long term usage.
They are easy to maintain and do not require the same overhead as the copper networks. Moreover, with the popularity and usage of fiber optics, the cost price of the wires is also likely to come down.
The disadvantages of using fiber optic cables –
Physical Damage –
Since the fiber optic cables are lighter and thinner than the traditional metallic wires, it makes the handling of the fiber optic cables more delicate.
If they are not handled with care, the wire can get easily damaged while installing. Moreover, since the cables transmit more data than the ordinary metallic cables, disruption in any wiring can bring the whole system down. The optic fibers are also sensitive to bending, and making laying fibers around corners a tricky business.
Fiber Fuse –
When too much light meets with any kind of disruption in the optical wiring system, a “fiber fuse” occurs. This fuse can destroy the long lengths of cables. Such type of disruptions or fuse is prone to the fiber optic networks at high power.
Light Propagation is unidirectional –
The fiber optic cables can propagate light only in one direction. And in case bidirectional communication is necessary to transmit information, within the networks, then two concurrent wires need to be laid to achieve the bidirectional propagation of information.
Short-term Cost Effectiveness –
The fiber optic cables may outweigh the copper weirs in the long term, but installing fiber optic cables can be a pinch in the pocket. Installation of this needs to be done by trained and skilled technicians only. Also, for the maintenance of the fiber optic cables, special equipment is required. In case the cord sustains damage, the replacement may require a high cost.
Every coin has two faces, and fiber optic cables have their bag of advantages and disadvantages. But fiber optics is fast taking over in the world of modern technology. In the near future, fiber optic cables are destined to take over the traditional copper wire. And my friend, you are not well versed in optical wire cables.