Though optical fiber has speed and bandwidth advantages over copper cable, it also contains some drawbacks. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of optical fiber cable.
Advantages of Optical Fiber
Greater bandwidth & faster speed—Optical fiber cable supports extremely high bandwidth and speed. The large amount of information that can be transmitted per unit of optical fiber cable is its most significant advantage.
Cheap—Long, continuous miles of optical fiber cable can be made cheaper than equivalent lengths of copper wire. With numerous vendors swarm to compete for the market share, optical cable price would sure to drop.
Thinner and light-weighted—Optical fiber is thinner, and can be drawn to smaller diameters than copper wire. They are of smaller size and light weight than a comparable copper wire cable, offering a better fit for places where space is a concern.
Higher carrying capacity—Because optical fibers are much thinner than copper wires, more fibers can be bundled into a given-diameter cable. This allows more phone lines to go over the same cable or more channels to come through the cable into your cable TV box.
Less signal degradation—The loss of signal in optical fiber is less than that in copper wire.
Light signals—Unlike electrical signals transmitted in copper wires, light signals from one fiber do not interfere with those of other fibers in the same fiber cable. This means clearer phone conversations or TV reception.
Long lifespan—Optical fibers usually have a longer life cycle for over 100 years.
Disadvantages of Optical Fiber
Low power—Light emitting sources are limited to low power. Although high power emitters are available to improve power supply, it would add extra cost.
Fragility—Optical fiber is rather fragile and more vulnerable to damage compared to copper wires. You’d better not to twist or bend fiber optic cables too tightly.
Distance—The distance between the transmitter and receiver should keep short or repeaters are needed to boost the signal.