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The Cable War: Copper vs fibre

Fibre internet 

Technology is always improving and advancing, and that is true for internet technology as well. If you consider where internet connectivity started years ago, with dialup, we surely have come a long way – thank goodness for that! Many years ago, connecting to the internet and using a computer modem to connect via telephone circuits. This would have taken a long time and would be very unreliable as receiving a phone call while trying to connect would have completely disrupted the connection. Since, there have been many other technologies developed, including broadband, wi-fi, satellite, fibre internet and cellular telephone technology. These new technologies make connecting to the internet easier and faster.

The most popular way to connect to the internet today is through broadband. Broadband is the most used technology due to its connection speeds. The different forms of broadband include DSL, fibre internet, cable and satellite. The most popular type of connection right now is fibre internet. This is because fibre technology is the most reliable internet connectivity technology in the market today, and so more and more businesses and homes are opting to have this technology installed as their internet solution. Fibre optic technology is different from copper cable technology in that it uses light to transfer data. This is what makes the technology so fast and therefore, so sought after. Wifi is an excellent technology that has been used by millions of people worldwide before the introduction of fibre, but underneath any good wireless network lies some serious cabling – and this is what makes the biggest difference.

Fibre vs Copper

There are a few differences between fibre and copper cables:

        Speed and Bandwidth: Fibre is so much faster than copper because fibre carries extremely high-frequency ranges, and signal strength in copper diminishes at high frequencies. Fibre can carry more than a thousand times the bandwidth of copper cables and go more than a hundred times further as well. Copper cables use electrons for data transmission,  while fibre uses photons. Light is faster than electrical pulses, so fibre can transmit more bits of data per second than fibre.

        Reliability: fibre is a lot more reliable than copper cables because it is much less susceptible to various environmental factors. Copper will experience degradation over certain distances where copper cables will not. Fibre is also immune to external influences like lightning storms, temperatures and electromagnetic fluctuations. Fibre can also be submerged into water.

        Security: Optical fibre does not transmit electricity and therefore does not emit a signal, which means it cannot be tapped. Copper cables use electricity and can be tapped. This means that personal information can be stolen.

Ethernet is a system for connecting a number of computer systems to form a local area network, with protocols to control the passing of information and to avoid simultaneous transmission by two or more systems. Ethernet was first developed in the 1970s. Both ethernet and fibre optic cabling has been around for many years.

Fibre technology continues to evolve and become better. Fibre optics is becoming better and faster by the day. Researchers have recently been able to achieve data speeds of a staggering 255 Tbps! There is no limit to what fibre technology can do. Businesses and homes all over the world are opting for fibre technology because of its speed and reliability. 

There is no doubt that the technology of fibre will continue to develop and evolve. Fibre and copper cables both have their pros and cons. It all comes down to what the connection requirements are. 

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