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Advantages of Optical Fiber Communication over Electronic Communication

Jul 22, 2020

Question: What are the advantages of optical fiber communication over electronic communication?
Answer: To understand the advantages of fiber over copper based communications, it’s important to distinguish the two.
Optical fiber - a medium that transmits signals using light. Typically it’s a laser that pulses down the fiber to represent data transmission.
Copper cable - this type sends communication signals in the form of electrical pulses down twisted pairs.
The advantages fiber has over copper communication are:
  • Immunization from electromagnetic interference (EMI). When interference occurs on copper cabling, it leads to signal distortion or loss. Fiber doesn’t have this problem since it transmits light pulses down a path.


  • Travels greater distances. Copper requires repeaters which boost electrical signals as they fade over long distances. Fiber allows for a signal to travel further with less repeaters along the way. It’s another reason why it’s used for under sea cabling to link different countries together.


  • Nearly unlimited bandwidth potential. The only thing that’s limiting fibers bandwidth is the electronic equipment attached to the ends of this cabling. There’s been many instances where fiber that was installed more than 20 years ago are still being used to support high speeds. One recent experiment recorded speeds at 44.2 Tbps!
There’s a lot to love about fiber and it’s need for it continues to grow as consumption for data expands.