Friday, November 9, 2012

Copper twisted pair OSP or Fiber Optic outside plant?

With the rise of fiber optic cable networks more people are considering fiber over traditional copper twisted pair communications cable. Let's take a quick look at some of the pros and cons for both.

Balanced twisted pair cable transports information over the cable as an electrical signal. One advantage is it's already installed everywhere on the planet. Twisted pair cables were invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881 and is the most popular cable for our communication from one human being to another. This is an old technology but because of it's longevity more people are familiar with it and the installation process.

Here's an example of a OSP telephone cable from our YouTube Channel

There are some things about this cable that can make it a bit of a bummer. High sensitivity to external electromagnetic interference, the most common troublemaker seems to be lightning strikes. OSP copper cable will need to be properly grounded and that by itself is another science that the installation contractor must be knowledgeable about.

High bandwidth applications over twisted pair also has distance limitations. Cat5e can only transmit gigabit ethernet up to 100 meters. T-1 service within a 50 pair cable will be limited to 6 transmit signals in one binder group and 6 receive signals in a second binder group.

The size and weight of the cable will also present more cost in transportation.

Twisted pair cabling has definitely been supporting voice application services for a long time but with new technology and the need for more information faster, fiber optic cabling has been growing to support high bandwidth applications. At this point in time I do see many new installations using a combination of both.

For fiber optic outside plant environments we've sold fiber for voice, video, data, audio, CATV, fire alarms, CCTV and building automation systems. In campus environments it has the ability to sever many different transmission protocols and topologies by offering increased distance, higher bandwidth, all-dielectric cable, less susceptibility to EMI, lightning and no grounding!

Here's an example of a OSP fiber cable from our YouTube Channel 

Now that you have something to chew on, take your time and plan your system for things like future growth, longevity, flexibility and so on. You may even need to have a mixed bag of multimode, singlemode and twisted pair.

Don't forget Halo 4 came out this week so pick up a copy and I'll see you on the XBOX live network.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below! Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"