Businesses are no strangers to having to spend money. After all, equipment and hardware do not last forever. Network equipment, unfortunately, also falls into this category. Copper wire network cables, while they tend to have a relatively long life span, will eventually start to degrade over time.
Fiber optic cables in comparison, however, are a stronger, more durable type of cabling that is used in network systems. While fiber optic cables are not currently as commonly found in systems as copper wire cables, this emerging technology has plenty of advantages over traditional copper wire cabling and virtually no downsides in comparison. So why are fiber optic cables durable and what makes them special? We have the answers to these questions and more below.
Fiber optic cabling is the type of cabling used in optical networks, such as Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON). It is through the use of fiber optic cables that optical networks are able to operate at the level of efficiency that they do. The material used in fiber optic cables (which we will go over momentarily) allows for data to be transferred at incredibly high speeds, significantly fast than traditional copper wire cabling.
Fiber optic cable jackets hold more than just one piece of material; a typical fiber optic cable is made up of multiple components.
The core of all fiber optic cables is made up of an extremely thin strand of glass, which allows a signal to transmit both quicker and over longer distances than any other form of cabling available.
Around the glass strand, there are a few other materials that hold it together. Surrounding the core is a layer of cladding, which reflects light back into the core. This helps the core transmit data quicker and over longer distances. Around the cladding is a synthetic material known as Kelvar. Since Kelvar is a tensile material that can be bent and stretched, the cables can resist damage when moved. Finally, the Kevlar is wrapped with a jacket (also known as the cable's sheathing) to help prevent outside elements from damaging the cabling.
Beyond the fiber optic cables themselves, there are also materials used to connect the cabling. Immediately connected to the fiber optic cable is a plastic (or rubber) piece called the boot. The boot's primary purpose is to support the cable and the connector to prevent breaks and strain on the cabling. As its name implies, the connector is the end of the cable that is plugged into network equipment. The tip of the connector, known as the ferrule, is used for precision alignment when plugged into equipment.
As you read prior, fiber optic cables do contain glass. However, as the glass itself is thin, paired with the multiple layers of material coating it, fiber optic cables have a considerable amount of durability to them that traditional copper wire ethernet cables do not have. While you should not overly stretch or excessively bend the cabling (just like any other cable), fiber optic cables are able to be moved and bent to reasonable amounts.
Also, as fiber optic cables use glass as their primary method of transmitting data, they are not susceptible to electromagnetic interference like traditional copper wires are. This allows them to not only last longer before failing than copper wire cables but also perform better as a result. Additionally, fiber optic cables are resistant to extreme heat and catching on fire, making them safer and not a potential fire hazard.
Implementing Fiber Optic Cables for GPON in Your Business
Installing a GPON network may be an affordable, energy-efficient way to optimize both the speed and efficiency of your network, but it is not something the average person should attempt. Understanding fiber optic cabling and its installation into a network require a great degree of technical understanding, preparation, and time.
The experts at House of I.T are an IT consulting firm specializing in GPON architecture, GPON design, and installation of GPON. They have countless years of combined experience working with fiber optic cabling, as they frequently install them for businesses like yours.
If you are interested in implementing or switching to GPON or would like more information about fiber optic cables, we would encourage you to contact us. We hope to hear from you in the future!