Fiber Optic vs. Copper: What Should You Choose for Your Business

A high-speed business internet connection is essential for running an organization. Whether you want to communicate with employees or customers, you need reliable internet access to maintain business resilience.

Slow and unstable internet connections could cause significant financial losses, as well as affect employee productivity and the customer experience. That’s why business owners are always on the lookout for internet connectivity options that offer high bandwidth and speed.

Your search for a high-speed business internet connection could lead you to the “fiber optic vs. copper” debate. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into both technologies to help you understand which among them is the best for your business.

Fiber Optic vs. Copper: A Closer Look

A comparison of fiber and copper cable internet requires understanding how each technology transmits data – and how that affects bandwidth.

Copper

Copper is a highly malleable and durable metal used to manufacture cables that provide internet connectivity. Typically, copper cables measure at least two millimeters in diameter.

When it comes to internet connectivity, these cables transmit data in the form of electrical signals. On average, a copper-based internet connection provides speeds of up to 300 Mbps. Theoretically, copper cables can offer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic cables comprise thin, flexible strands of glass that measure a few microns in diameter. The inner glass core has a diameter ranging between 5 and 100 microns. These cables also have a protective silicone outer layer called cladding.

Unlike copper cables, fiber optic cables transmit data in the form of light. The light signals undergo total internal reflection as they pass through the cable. Typical fiber optic internet speeds are north of 10 Gbps. Theoretically, even higher speeds (in the range of Tbps) are possible.

Fiber Optic vs. Copper: Which Is Faster?

Considering that light travels faster than electrical signals, fiber optic cables offer both higher speeds and bandwidth. While fiber optic internet involves a significant upfront investment, the high bandwidth and low latency justify the cost.

Also, when data signals travel over a distance, they lose strength due to attenuation. However, the loss of signal strength is minimal in fiber optic cables. That makes them better suited for long-distance transmission of data.

Moreover, data transmitted through copper cables is vulnerable to electromagnetic interference from signals in adjacent cables. This, in turn, takes a toll on signal strength and speed. It can also result in cross-talk, thus posing security threats.

On the other hand, the use of glass in fiber optic cables insulates the light signals. This, in turn, protects the data from interference and cross-talk. It further enhances the speed and reliability of fiber optic internet.

Making the Right Choice for Your Business

The use of light signals and total internal reflection lets fiber optic cables offer internet connectivity at lightning-fast speeds. They can also transmit data over long distances without causing attenuation or electromagnetic interference. This answers the question of fiber optic vs. copper: investing in fiber optic internet is a wise option for modern businesses.

Looking to upgrade your business internet connection? Get in touch with us to understand whether fiber optic internet is the right fit for your needs.

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