Fibre Optics Compared vs Cable Based Networks

The future is fibre optics, but until you have a basic understanding of what this means, you really can’t appreciate the changes that fiber optics are going to bring. If you are looking for a new ISP, ask them about fiber optics or business fibre optic on their network and here are some points that differentiate fibre optic technology from its predecessors.

Electricity vs. Light

The largest problem with wires is that all of them require electricity and in many cases a great deal of it you need to think about the effects of operating a data network that is heavily reliant on electricity to transmit signals.

This is in a time when our electrical grids are falling apart and right now the price of energy is only going up, fiber optical cable does not depend on electricity to transmit data because it uses light which is a lot cheaper.

Signal Degradation

fibre opctic

One of the major problems is that the strength of any electrical signal degrades while traveling through metal wiring, same holds true for light as it travels through fibre optic cabling, but only a fraction of the loss as compared to metal wires.

The more a signal degrades, the more hardware and sub-stations need to be installed in order to interpret these signals and to ensure that there is correct transmission from point 1 to point 2. more hardware support is needed in this case.

Another side effect of degradation in electrical signals is heat and what it does in wires as well as in computers (they all have fans for cooling purposes), so, this leaves these networks open to potential failure.


In order to support complex signals, more wiring and hardware upgrades are needed in case of traditional wiring. Since fiber optical cabling is not really affected due to heat as compared to metal cables, upgrades are fewer as well as easier to do.

Providers with existing wire networks are constantly working on ways to increase the performance of existing networks, but the limits related to sending electricity over metal wiring are so much more than with fiber optic cables that it is wiser to go for fiber setups.

Compression algorithms are used to help traditional metal networks, but this ends up with the users having to spend more money on more expensive modems that are needed to handle encoding/decoding as well as compression techniques that are made more complex to keep the metal cables from degrading.