Copper vs Fibre

The Advantages of using Fibre instead of Cat6 or even Cat6A are many so why is Copper still so popular ?

data racks


To put it in simple terms, on a typical 100mtr run OM3 Fibre has 200 times greater Bandwidth than its Copper cousin Cat5e and approximately 20 times greater than RG6 Coax.


This is the loss of signal strength and is very important. In a typical Cat5e 100mtr run the losses would be 150 times greater than a 100mtr run of OM3 Fibre and less again for RG6 Coax.


EMI is sometimes referred to as Noise and can cause significant degradation of signals in serious instances. A Fibre cable is an insulator and therefore has no EMI interference issues. This can be a major factor with installations in Industrial locations with heavy-duty machinery.

Size & Weight

This is most true in buildings that were cabled in the eighties when IBM type copper cables were market leaders. Although a very resilient and good performing cable they were extremely bulky and took up enormous amounts of ceiling void and riser space. So where trunkings were jam-packed and needed further links fished through it is often the case that a small fibre cable was the only option.


It is virtually impossible to tap into a fibre cable without breaking the link altogether whereas with copper a simple clip onto the cores can divert the signals unknowingly to other unauthorized sources.


As we all know Cat5e and Cat6 are specified to run no longer than 100mtrs due to EMI problems in copper wires whereas our Singlemode Fibre can run up to seventy five kilometers using signal boosters.

So why hasn’t Fibre taken over?

The main issue is cost, not particularly the cost of the cable as it’s nearly cheaper than the copper alternatives. The bulk of the costs are incurred acquiring trained Fibre technicians, splicing equipment and connecting hardware especially Singlemode as its diameter is much smaller than MM. Copper will always have its place in the Network just as Wireless and Fibre Optic Cabling equally have their benefits.