Fiber-optic Network vs Cable Internet, How to choose?


According to the latest news, an agreement for setting up a fiber-optic network in Santa Clara has been approved by the Santa Clara City Council. It’s said that it’s more important for people to have that speed and access with more and more people working from home.

Why does it cause more and more areas or countries to upgrade the network with fiber optics? Here we together explore the source.

Both optical fiber and cable are the way of Internet connection. The optical fiber consists of tiny glasses or plastic to achieve light transmission. We’ve analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of optical fiber transmission in the previous article.

The cable Internet utilizes the CATV, a technology that exists in most families in the US. The coaxial cable providing TV service for families can also offer Internet at a faster speed. Then, is a fiber-optic network better than cable Internet? Now, let’s make a comparison from 4 aspects!

Fiber Optic Network vs Cable Internet

Part I. What’s the Difference Between Fiber-Optic Network and Cable Internet?

1. Speed

Optical fiber: The speed of upload and download is 250-1,000Mbps.

Cable: The download speed ranges from 10 to 50Mbps and the upload speed is 5-50Mbps.

The speed of the electric and optical signals is almost the same. However, the electric signal will cause errors due to the electric yawp, resulting in a decreasing communication speed. The optical signal will not be affected by the yawp so it can maintain a high speed.

Besides, the speed of cable transmission directly depends on the weight of the cable. If you want to improve the speed of the Internet, you need to adopt more cables, which requires a larger space in the company’s telecommunication room.

In contrast, there is no relevance between the optical fiber and the size or weight. Thus, optical fiber is lighter than cable, which makes it easier to use and requires less limited space.

2. Distance

In fiber-optic transmission, the transmission rate of a signal optical fiber can reach several Gbps. The distance can reach scores of kilometers without using the repeater.

Whatever it’s twisted pair with 10M, 100M, or even 1000M, the longest transmission distance is 100m. In the general cabling specification, horizontal cabling can’t exceed 90m and the total length of the link cannot exceed 100m.

In other words,100 meters is the limit for wired Ethernet, which is the length of the link from the network card to the centralized device.

3. Bandwidth

The transmission frequency of the twisted-pair cable is on the level of 10^9Hz and the coaxial cable is even lower. The low transmission frequency makes available bandwidth more limited. Band C, the current main communication band of optical fiber, falls at 1530-1565nm. When translated into frequency, the bandwidth has reached the level of GHz, far exceeding that of cable.

4. Reliability

Compared with cable networks, the optical fiber network is more reliable.

Cable Internet is shared among lots of families. Therefore, the Internet speed may decrease by 25% during the peak hours of use. When the traffic gets larger, the speed will also be slower. Moreover, the Internet may break down when there are storms, frequent power outages, or cable outages in that the cable network adopts electricity.

Unlikely, the fiber-optic Internet is less likely to suspend because it transmits via an optical signal. In addition, optical fiber can endure more temperature fluctuations than cable.

Part II. Fiber-Optic Network vs Cable Internet, What Should You Consider?

Besides the performance, what else should we consider when we ponder on optical fiber and cable? It’s cost and the deployment of fiber. The fiber-optic network will cost you more than the cable. If your family is on a low income, you can choose cable. Otherwise, the optical fiber Internet would be your best choice. Some families in the US don’t provide fiber infrastructure, especially in rural areas.

Thus, when you choose the type of network, don’t forget to think about your situation.

Part III. VSOL FTTX Solutions

To promote the national telecom industry and make FTTx access the world, VSOL has developed various PON products and offers corresponding solutions to individuals, enterprises, governments or organizations all over the world. The example we listed here is the solution to the hotel.

POL All-optical Access Solution To Hotel:

In traditional cases, there are many cables in each room of the hotel. Now, with the smart network, the deployment is easier and the functions are abundant. VSOL offers this kind of intelligent product and POL (Passive Optical LAN) all-optical access solution to hotels.

The solution adopts PON (Passive optical network), which helps set up a reliable, stable, easy-to-deploy network with large bandwidth in the hotel for clients. What’s more, it covers services including VoIP, CATV, Internet, WiFi, etc.

Features:1. 1 room with 1 fiber: Only 1 fiber and 1 terminal in 1 room
2. 1 machine with multiple scenarios: wherever you are in the guest room, corridor, elevator, lobby, restaurant, meeting room and so on, you can receive the signals everywhere.
3. 1 network with multiple functions: 1 network can be used in smart locks, face recognition entrance guards, self-check-in machines, etc.

VSOL Tech POL ALL-optical Access Solution To Hotel

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