Pros and Cons of Fiber Optic Networks

As one of the latest and most popular technologies utilized for information transmission from one point to another, fiber optic communication has gained more and more important in data centers nowadays. Since its introduction, fiber optic communication has revolutionized the telecommunications industry, transforming into the fiber optic broadband Internet service enjoyed by people today. With the obvious advantages, fiber optic cables have become an essential component in fiber optic communications. Terminated with connectors on ends, these cables (e.g. SC-SC fiber cable) carry the light signals generated by the transmitter to the receiver. Although this fiber optic connection has been widely used in data centers because of its high data transmission speeds over a long distance, fiber optics, like many other things, also has two sides: the pros and cons. Here this article delves into the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic networks.

Pros of Fiber Optics

Great Immunity & High-quality Connections: Since the fiber core is made of glass, which is an insulator, no electric current can flow through. It’s immune to electrometric interference and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), crosstalk, impedance problems, and more. More specifically, fiber optics are highly resistant to EMI and have a low rate of bit error. EMI is a disturbance caused by electromagnetic radiation from an external source. This disturbance can interrupt or degrade the performance of a conventional metallic cable connection and can be caused by an object that carries electrical currents, such as power lines or even the sun. Fiber optics are also resistant to corrosion, making them a good option for beachfront properties where copper cabling would otherwise be susceptible to degradation by salt and seawater.

Great Security: Security is a major concern for some companies, enterprises or organizations, whether small or big. With fiber optic cables, the data carried on are very safe. Fiber optics don’t radiate signals and it’s really difficult to tap or listen in the passed through information. Besides, once there occurs any physical break, it’s extremely to identify since this break will have impacts on the whole system. Fiber optic networks also enable you to put all your electronics and hardware in one central location, instead of having wiring closets with equipment throughout the building.

Pros and Cons of Fiber Optic Networks 1

Scalability & Design: Fiber optics are much more scalable in nature as new equipment can be added easily and laid over the original fiber. Wavelengths can be turned on or off on demand, which allows for the easy provisioning of services and quick scaling for a growing business. Fiber optic cables are also much smaller in size and lighter weight than copper wiring. These fibers can typically be put in place in preparation for growth needs up to 15 to 20 years in the future. Although growth is often speculative, spare fibers can be included for future requirements to accommodate growth. Alternatively, additional cables can be put in place at a later time to make way for network expansion.

Cons of Fiber Optics

It’s well known that fiber optic cable provides more bandwidth than copper, and can carry more information with greater fidelity than copper wire. And no one can defy its advantages. But it’s also clear that fiber optic networks have several weak points.

Physical Damage: As mentioned above, fiber optic cable is thinner and lighter than copper wiring, so it makes for a more delicate system. Just because of its small size, fiber optic cable can be easily cut by accident during building renovations or rewiring. In addition, as fiber optic cables can transmit much more data than metallic networks, you would need fewer cables to service a larger number of people. This means that cutting just one cable could disrupt service for a large number of businesses and individuals. Additionally, wildlife also poses a threat, as the fiber cable jackets are intriguing to some species. Tunneling animals and rodents may chew through the cable, while many insects can find the cabling palatable. Anything that can wrap itself around the cable can also cut off the transmission. Fibers are also sensitive to bending, making laying fibers around corners a tricky business. Fiber optic networks are also susceptible to radiation damage or chemical exposure.

Pros and Cons of Fiber Optic Networks 2

Fiber Fuse: At high power, fiber optic networks are susceptible to something known in the industry as “fiber fuse”. This occurs when too much light meets with an imperfection in the fiber, which can destroy long lengths of cable in a short amount of time.

Short-Term Large Budget: Judging from the long-term running, it’s cost-effective. But when considering short-term use, it’s costly to implement fiber optic systems. Special test equipment is often required along with installers that have skilled knowledge about laying a fiber optic network. Fiber endpoints and connection nexuses also require special equipment and setup. In addition, it may take specialized equipment to diagnose an issue with a fiber optics network, making for higher-cost fixes if the cables sustain damage.


Although there some several weaknesses, fiber optics technology has still dominated the telecommunication market. And fiber optic network is selected as the main communication way. To ensure an efficient fiber optic network, it’s important to choose the high-quality fiber optic products. Here Fiberstore is highly recommended for its reliable products, including optical transceivers (say SFP modules), fiber optic cables (SC-SC fiber cable), as well as testing equipment used in cable installation, and so on. You can try it!

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1 thought on “Pros and Cons of Fiber Optic Networks

  1. It’s interesting to read about some of the cons of fiber optic cabling. You often hear of the benefits of the immense speed and efficiency, but rarely hear of things like might draw people away. It makes sense that for someone that is concerned with the strength of the wires in a particular environment, going with standard cabling might be beneficial just to ensure the network doesn’t get shut down due to an accidentally damaged wire.

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