Fiber vs Copper cables | MSP IT Support

Any IT infrastructure specialist will have to deal with this question, what is the difference between fiber and copper cable. The obvious answer would be speed, but is it really that simple? Fiber is after all relatively new compared to copper cables and the latest standards of twisted copper pairs are surprisingly as fast as the first generation of fiber optics. The old CAT5 standards topped out at 1 GB/s whereas the newer CAT6 and CAT7 are more than comfortable with 10GB/s at the moment whereas fiber for the same distance limitation as copper can support up to 100GB/s. Most ISPs around the world don't even offer anything faster than 1GB/s at the moment. Even Singapore with a full fiber infrastructure has a maximum offered speed of 10GB/s. Streaming data and videos do not require anything more than 1GB/s in almost all cases.

The comparison now should come to cost and practicality. For a distribution speed of 10GB/s, which is the standard at the moment, it would cost much more to have fiber running through your office. However, if your office is large and the cables that need to run are longer than 100m, fiber might be the cheaper option. Copper cable signals degrade after 100m and require another switcher in between to repeat and restrengthen the signal. Adding to it a little bit of latency obviously. #fiber #itblock #itinfrastructure #copper

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