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Everything You Need to Know About Fiber Optic Cables

Everything You Need to Know About Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are becoming increasingly popular due to their increased speed and versatility. They are ideal for those who need higher bandwidth because they have the bandwidth or capacity to work with huge data streams.

What are they?

Fiber optic cables are a type of communications cable that uses the light from an array of fibers coated with photoreactive chemicals to transmit data, usually in the form of pulses of coherent light. They are mostly used for data transmission, including high-speed networks such as LANs and WANs (wide area networks) in homes, offices, or factories. Fiber optic cables are also used in a wide variety of telecommunication applications, including telephone and cable TV systems.


There are many advantages to using fiber optic communication cables compared to conventional copper wire. Fiber optic cables have high bandwidth, meaning they have a higher data capacity and thus can carry more information. This is a benefit because fiber optic cables can carry more information than copper wires of comparable size and weight. Fiber optic cables are also immune to electromagnetic interference, meaning they are more resistant to electromagnetic noise. This is an important feature because it allows fiber optic cables to carry higher speeds without interference with other electrical equipment in the same space.


There are some disadvantages of using fiber optic cables compared to copper wires. In particular, not all applications of fiber optic networks can utilize such high bandwidth. Also, the sensitivity of the photoreactive chemicals used on the fibers can cause problems with certain optical devices, such as those that may use more intense light (ultraviolet light) or higher illumination intensities (such as a laser). One disadvantage is that these cables are more expensive than copper wires.

What You Should Look For?

There are several factors to consider when buying a fiber optic cable. Choosing the right type of fiber optic cable for your needs is a crucial part of networking, and it can mean the difference between an efficient and effective network in your office or business to one that is slow and unreliable.

What Is Multimode Fiber?​

Multimode Fiber Cable:

  • Used for short distances between devices within a building or on a campus. It is much cheaper than a single-mode fiber cable.
  • The working wavelength is 850nm.

What Is SingleMode Fiber?

SingleMode Fiber Cable:

  • Used for long distances between devices within a building or on a campus. It is much more expensive than a multi-mode fiber cable.
  • The working wavelength is 1310 nm (or sometimes 1250nm).

What Are the Pros and Cons?

The advantages of bi-directional single-mode optical fiber are that it can simultaneously carry a lot of data. It is also immune to EMI interference and therefore has a higher bandwidth than multimode optical fiber cables. However, single-mode optical fiber doesn't transmit as well as multi-mode when working along the same distance. The main disadvantage of single-mode optical fiber is that it is less flexible than multi-mode and has a higher price tag.

What Do You Need to Know?

When deciding on the best type of cable to use, you should look at the data rate (the number of bits or symbols per second) for each application. This is also known as the bandwidth. The data rate for single-mode fiber cable is about 10 gigabits per second (10 Gbps), and the data rate for multi-mode fiber is about 25 gigabits per second (25 Gbps). You should also consider the size of the optical fiber. The smaller the diameter of an optical fiber, the faster the transmission speed; however, these smaller fibers are harder to handle than larger diameter fibers. The smallest optical fiber size is called an "μm" or micron, a millionth of a meter. Although it's tiny, it can take up to 1,000 μm fibers bundled together to transmit the amount of data carried by 10 Gbps single-mode optical fiber.


There are many advantages to using fiber optic communication cables. They provide fast transmission and immunity to electromagnetic interference, which allows them to be used in various applications. For these reasons, fiber optic cables are becoming increasingly popular with computer users and telecommunications operators worldwide.​

If you’re ready to ditch your copper cables, JCOMM is ready to help. Give us a call today with any questions or to learn more!

By JCOMM 8-11-2021