Computer Networking
Electronics Engineering

List out advantages disadvantages of optical fibre over coaxial cables?

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January 19, 2009 7:32AM

Advantages: Capacity Optical fibres carry signals with much less energy loss than copper cable and with a much higher bandwidth . This means that fibres can carry more channels of information over longer distances and with fewer repeaters required. Size and Weight Optical fibre cables are much lighter and thinner than copper cables with the same bandwidth. This means that much less space is required in underground cabling ducts. Also they are easier for installation engineers to handle. Security Optical fibres are much more difficult to tap information from undetected; a great advantage for banks and security installations. They are immune to Electromagnetic interference from radio signals, car ignition systems, lightning etc. They can be routed safely through explosive or flammable atmospheres, for example, in the petrochemical industries or munitions sites, without any risk of ignition. Running Costs The main consideration in choosing fibre when installing domestic cable TV networks is the electric bill. Although copper coaxial cable can handle the bandwidth requirement over the short distances of a housing scheme, a copper system consumes far more electrical power than fibre, simply to carry the signals. Disadvantages: Price In spite of the fact that the raw material for making optical fibres, sand, is abundant and cheap, optical fibres are still more expensive per metre than copper. Having said this, one fibre can carry many more signals than a single copper cable and the large transmission distances mean that fewer expensive repeaters are required. Special Skills Optical fibres cannot be joined together (spliced) as a easily as copper cable and requires additional training of personnel and expensive precision splicing and measurement equipment.