Fibre Optic Cable Advantages & Disadvantages

Fibre Optic Cable Advantages & Disadvantages

What is a Fibre Optic Cable?

In simple terms, a fibre optic cable is an advanced type of network cable offering a significantly higher throughput than that of electrical communication cables. Made up of incredibly thin strands of glass or plastic, known as optical fibres, these cables carry information between two places using entirely optical (light-based) technology.

Advantages of Fibre Optic Cable

Greater Bandwidth

The most notable advantage of a fibre optic cable is that it provides significantly improved performance when it comes to bandwidth. The volume of data that can be transmitted is far greater than and is unrivalled by any other type of cable-based communication.

Longer Distances

Fibre optic cables are designed to carry signals over much longer distances than traditional cabling as they offer low power loss.

Thin & Lightweight

Optical fibres are much thinner and lighter than copper wires, allowing them to be drawn into smaller diameters, making them more suitable for places where space is restricted.

Superior Carrying Capacity

Due to how thin the fibres are, more of them can fit into a given-diameter cable than copper wires.

Less Interference

As fibre optic cables don’t carry an electrical signal, they are resistant to electromagnetic interference. Not only does this mean the rate of error is low, but it also helps to enhance the cable’s ability to transfer data quickly over longer distances without suffering considerable signal degradation.

Also, unlike electrical signals, light signals from one fibre don’t interfere with those of other fibres.

High-Level Security

Fibre transmission offers a level of security that simply cannot be matched by other materials.  As they don’t radiate electromagnetic energy, it is extremely difficult to ‘listen’ in or tap. This makes it the most secure medium available for carrying sensitive data.

Strong, Reliable & Flexible

Optic fibres possess greater tensile strength and are sturdier than metal fibres of the same diameter, which means they’re less likely to suffer damage. Fibre also isn’t as affected anywhere near as much by weather, moisture or corrosive elements as metal wiring can be.

Disadvantages of Fibre Optic Cable

Production & Installation Cost

The cost to produce optic fibre cabling is higher than that of copper. Installation is also more expensive as special test equipment is usually required.


As they are made of glass, fibre optic cables are more fragile than electrical wires like copper cabling. If you bend them too much, they will break.

Splicing Difficulties

When deploying a new fibre optic network or expanding an existing one, the fibres need to be properly sliced in order to avoid network disruptions. This is a very delicate process – if the fibres aren’t properly connected, the signal will suffer.

Installation & Construction Risk

Due to how small and compact the fibre optic cable is, it is highly susceptible to becoming cut or damaged during installation or any construction/renovation activities. It is therefore necessary to consider restoration, backup and survivability.

Fibre Optic Cable Uses

Some of the most popular uses of fibre optic cables in the UK include –


Fibre optic cables are widely used in internet cables due to their ability to transmit large amounts of data at very high speeds.

Computer Networking

Networking between computers in a single building is made easier and faster with fibre optic cables. This helps to increase the productivity and efficiency of a business as the time is takes to transfer files and information is decreased.


Fibre optic communication allows you to connect faster and have clearer conversations both within and outside the country.

Fibre Optic & Data Cabling Installation Bristol

Fibre optic cables are favoured for their efficiency and capacity. Providing greater speed, bandwidth and a higher level of security than that of metal, this transmission method had revolutionised the world of network communication.

Here at CAB IT Services, we specialise in providing network infrastructure data cabling installations to businesses in Bristol and throughout the South West. Regardless of your needs, we can help you to specify your requirement, install your network and make sure you adequately satisfy current regulations. From fibre optic cable installations to fault finding and fluke network certifying, we can help.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to get started or find out more about our services.

See more: Types of Network Security

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