Don’t leave your data infrastructure to chance! Your company needs a high quality network in order to function with efficiency and stability. Finding the cabling option best suited to the needs and budget of your business can be a confusing process when you factor in all the possible uses for it such as high-speed internet access, VoIP communications solutions, Audiovisual distribution, conferencing and data services, security systems, file sharing, ethernet requirements and more.
Many business owners find themselves faced with a decision between the lower cost of conventional copper cabling and the greater speed and higher bandwidth a fiber infrastructure can provide. Assessing the advantages and limitations of each option can help to ensure that a more effective and successful decision can be made.
The Benefits of Copper Cabling
Conventional copper cabling offers a few key benefits that have allowed it to remain a viable option that enjoys continued popularity with many businesses and organisations. Electing to make use of copper cabling for your data infrastructure can allow you to:
- Provide power to phones, surveillance systems and wireless access points through an Ethernet connection, even during power outages
- Simplify your data infrastructure installation and maintenance and reduce year-over-year costs
- Utilize less expensive data center electronics (cable terminations, routers, switches, etc.)
Copper cabling for data infrastructure is an attractive option for organizations that may have limited financial resources or that utilize older machines, equipment and devices as part of their operational process. And it works well in most modern situations- for now. As bandwidth needs grow, copper is having an increasingly difficult time keeping up.
Fiber Optic Cabling
The obvious choice for businesses that need high transmission security and reliability (such as hospitals), require extremely high-volume data transfers or an infrastructure that is able to support a wide range of high-performance systems and equipment options, fiber optic cabling offers:
- Superior bandwidth per square inch of space used
- A lower degradation-of-signal rate. Copper cabling tends to be more susceptible to outside electromagnetic interference leading to signal degradation unless you invest in more expensive shielding
- Fiber cabling itself can be less expensive than copper, but may require equipment upgrades or extensive installation services including removal of older copper cabling.
- Fiber optics may eliminate the need for some of your data centers (AKA the “wiring closet,” or “telecom room”) due to the fact that a single FO cable can carry a clear signal for a much longer distance than copper.
Upgrading Data Infrastructure vs Utilizing Existing Cabling
Businesses that may already have copper cabling available can avoid much of the cost associated with installation and equipment upgrades. Addressing the limitations of copper cabling and data infrastructure systems through the purchase and installation of fiber cables is not always a cost-effective option, especially in working environments where higher bandwidth and signal quality may not always be the highest priority. Compatibility between copper cabling and fiber optics can be managed, with additional investment in equipment.
All told, both copper cabling and fiber optics are increasingly moving toward equality on the bottom line. It’s already close. One major advantage of fiber is the fact that upgrades to copper that increase bandwidth are getting harder to engineer. If scalability is important to your growth strategy, there’s more room for increase in fiber optics than copper.
Installation Issues and Concerns
Upgrading, augmenting or replacing existing data infrastructure is a project with a lot of considerations. Depriving your staff and associates with the tools and resources that may be needed in order to complete time-sensitive projects or to ensure efficient day to day operations can create expensive complications. Ensuring that any upgrades or changes made to your infrastructure can be completed with a minimum of inconvenience and interruption can be of paramount concern. Even businesses that may find their existing cabling and infrastructure to be inadequate for their needs may not be equipped to deal with the delays and interruptions that an infrastructure upgrade may entail.
Find out more- contact NetQ for practical answers based on your needs and plans. We’re no strangers to the most complicated data infrastructure projects out there. Call us today at 800-303-4782 or click RELIABLE FIBER OPTIC CABLE INSTALLATION