What are fibre optical cables?
They are cables that transmit data over long distances and at bigger bandwidth than copper cables. Scientists have managed to transmit up to 400 gigabytes of data in a second with one of this cable. Of course the cables that are available for purchase by regular consumers transmit less band with, generally, the bandwidth is between 10 to 40 gigabytes of data per second.
How do they work?
A fibre optical cable is made of silica orplastic. Because of the material used the cable is transparent, very flexibleand also as thin as a hair. The cable does not send electrical signals butinstead transmits light.Hence the nameoptics. The fibre cable has a core inside them. The light travels through thecore by means of a scientific phenomenon named “total internal reflection.”
Why are they used?
There are many reasons why Fibre opticscables are a better option than copper cables:
They are immune toelectromagnetic interference which is a big problem for metal cables. This is because metal cables have electricalsignals passing through them and electro magnetic radiation will distort thesignal. As the fibre optic cable uses light it is immune to this form ofradiation-Moreover, the signals transmitted by metal cables loss some information over distance.
Though fibreoptic cables share the same problem, their data loss is significantly less:
Another reason for using fibre cables is that they do not get scrambledor experience interference in high voltage environments. On the other handnormal metal cables do not function properly in high voltage environmentsbecause it scrambles the electrical signal passing through the copper wire.
A big safety concern thatinfluences the choice for opting to use fibre optics is whether there isflammable gas in the area. It is very risky to use metal cables in theseconditions becausethe electric signalmay ignite the gas and cause a fire. As the fibre optic transmits light thereis no risk of ignition and no risk of fires.-There is also a securityconcern for using copper cables.
Copper cables can be tapped throughwiretapping. The electric signal it is transmitting can be diverted, recordedand the data can be stolen. The fibre optic cable on the other hand transmitslight through its core. Any attempt to breach the core and access thedata it is transmitting results in thedestruction of the cable. Thus Fibre optic cables are immune to wiretapping andare a much better choice for transmitting secure and valuable information.
Fibre optic cables alsotransmit far more data than copper cables. The average copper cable transmitsupto 1 gigabyte of data. A single fibre optic cable can easily transmit moredata.
Fiber optic cables do notclutter work environments. If your company transmits a lot of data back andforth then they need large number of wires, as the fibre optic cables are asthin as hair, a bundle of them occupy less space and do not clutter the work environment.
Finally copper wires are oftenstolen because the price of copper is very high. This concern is not there for fibreoptic cables. -Moreover rats are attracted tocopper cables and often chew on them. This is the primary cause of electricalfires in old buildings. For some reason these rats do not chew on fibre opticcables.