October 30, 2023 | 3 minute read time
Network fiber cables have some definite advantages over copper cables.
Copper cables were originally designed for voice transmission and have a limited bandwidth. Fiber optic cables provide more bandwidth for carrying more data than copper cables of the same diameter. Within the fiber cable family, singlemode fiber delivers up to twice the throughput of multimode fiber.
Fiber optic cables have a core that carries light to transmit data. This allows fiber optic cables to carry signals at speeds that are only about 31 percent slower than the speed of light—faster than Cat5 or Cat6 copper cables. There is also less signal degradation with fiber cables.
Fiber optic cables can carry signals much farther than the typical 328-foot limitation for copper cables. For example, some 10 Gbps singlemode fiber cables can carry signals almost 25 miles. The actual distance depends on the type of cable, the wavelength and the network.
Fiber is immune to temperature changes, severe weather and moisture, all of which can hamper the connectivity of copper cable. Plus, fiber does not carry electric current, so it’s not bothered by electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can interrupt data transmission. It also does not present a fire hazard like old or worn copper cables can.
Compared to copper cables, fiber optic cables are thinner and lighter in weight. Fiber can withstand more pull pressure than copper and is less prone to damage and breakage.
Media converters make it possible to incorporate fiber into existing networks. The converters extend UTP Ethernet connections over fiber optic cable. Modular patch panel solutions integrate equipment with 10 Gb, 40 Gb and 100/120 Gb speeds to meet current needs and provide flexibility for future needs. The panels in these solutions accommodate a variety of cassettes for different types of fiber patch cables.
Although some fiber optic cables may have a higher initial cost than copper, the durability and reliability of fiber can make the total cost of ownership (TCO) lower. And, costs continue to decrease for fiber optic cables and related components as technology advances.
Eaton Category Manager – Cabling, Connectivity and Peripherals | David Posner is a driven product leader with over 30 years of experience in the computer accessories market. Based in Chicago, Illinois, David has a strong technology background and a proven track recording in leading a global product manager team in many product categories across different markets.
Eaton is an intelligent power management company dedicated to improving the quality of life and protecting the environment for people everywhere. We are guided by our commitment to do business right, to operate sustainably and to help our customers manage power—today and well into the future. By capitalizing on the global growth trends of electrification and digitalization, we’re accelerating the planet’s transition to renewable energy and helping to solve the world’s most urgent power management challenges.
With the acquisition of Tripp Lite, Eaton has transformed its distributed IT infrastructure and connectivity product portfolio. Eaton’s Tripp Lite series products provide convenient, reliable and cost‑efficient IT solutions that integrate seamlessly with Eaton’s industry-leading enterprise power management products and services.