Why Switch from Copper to Fiber?

Today’s typical homeowner considers internet access and speed of service to be as important—if not more important—than water and electrical utilities. Google is currently working to provide faster plans, offering 1 GB per second at a test project community in California. That is 100 to 1,000 times faster than the current “high speed” Internet packages of 1 to 10 MB per second. IP traffic growth alone has grown four times over the past five years, and global IP traffic is expected to grow three times over the next five years.

Every device you install wants to grab a piece of this speed, and fiber will represent the backbone of all your systems and connectivity moving forward. Choosing to not install fiber today is no longer an option.

Any device currently using copper UTP, or in some cases, coaxial cable will be able to utilize fiber at some point in the near future. Devices include:

  • Network devices: computer locations; WAPs; switches; feed from any DMARC-supplying service to an office or home.
  • Video displays and devices: TVs, projectors, cameras, etc. 4k Ultra is coming, and hybrid fiber cables have already begun to appear. With a send/receive HDMI balun set that transmits an HDMI signal up to 20km now available at $170 dealer cost—with no distance or interference issues–the switch to fiber is well underway.
  • Any device involving increased distance. Longer runs on copper UTP will be the first to become incompatible with the increasing date transmission required for any signal type. Many copper balun send-and-receive devices have issues above 100ft with current signal types, which is very telling.
  • Satellite dishes: we are at the most two, if not one, generations out from the switch to fiber for this type of connection. Every provider is currently working on some form of deployment, as it will allow the expansion of their current offerings through increased in speed and bandwidth.

Fiber is by far the most future-proof solution for your installation. In the table below, we’ve broken down the difference in specifications between fiber and Category cable. Ultimately, fiber has much higher data rates, lower termination time, and is the stronger option.

FIBER OPTIC CABLE PERFORMANCE vs. UTP CABLE
Cable Type Size Minimum Bend Radius Loaded/Unloaded Short Term Pull Tension Max Approximate Termination Time Shielding/RF-EMI Resistance Maximum Data Rates
Category 5e U/UTP 5.5mm 112mm/ 56mm 25 Lbs / 111 N 2 min. 4 x Twisted Pair, No Shielding 1G Ethernet 100m
Category 5e F/UTP 6.35mm 128mm/64mm 25 Lbs / 111 N 5 min. 4 x Twisted Pair, Foil Overall Shield 1G Ethernet 100m
Category 6 U/UTP 6.1mm 122mm/61mm 25 Lbs / 111 N 2 min. 4 x Twisted Pair, No Shielding 10G Ethernet 55m
Category 6 F/UTP 6.86mm 138mm/69mm 25 Lbs / 111 N 5 min. 4 x Twisted Pair, Foil Overall Shield 10G Ethernet 55m
Category 6A F/UTP 7.52mm 152mm/76mm 25 Lbs / 111 N 5 min. 4 x Twisted Pair, Foil Overall Shield 10G Ethernet 100m
Category 7 S/FTP 8.0mm 160mm/80mm 25 Lbs / 111 N 3 min. 4 x Twisted Pair, Foil Shielded 40G Ethernet 30m
OM2 Fiber 2 x 3mm or 1-12 strands in 3mm Cable OD if greater than 2.2mm* 225 Lbs / 1000 N <1 min. Not Applicable – Light Transmission 10G/82m
OM3 Fiber 2 x 3mm or 1-12 strands in 3mm Cable OD if greater than 2.2mm* 225 Lbs / 1000 N <1 min. Not Applicable – Light Transmission 10G/300m – 40G/100m
OM4 Fiber 2 x 3mm or 1-12 strands in 3mm Cable OD if greater than 2.2mm* 225 Lbs / 1000 N <1 min. Not Applicable – Light Transmission 10G/400m – 40G/150m
OS2 Fiber 2 x 3mm or 1-12 strands in 3mm Cable OD if greater than 2.2mm* 225 Lbs / 1000 N <1 min. Not Applicable – Light Transmission Current 10km at 1310nm, Potential Bandwidth Infinite

*refers to Bend-Insensitive Fiber, such as Cleerline SSF™