Structure Cabling Solutions

How Does Fiber-Optic Cabling Work?

We have been getting a ton of questions about how fiber-optic cable and fiber-optic internet works. Fiber-optic cabling is much faster than copper cabling or satellite signals when it comes to internet access, which is why most cities across the United States are working to run fiber optic cable for residential and commercial use.Technician checking routers in server room

How does fiber-optic cabling work?

While traditional copper cables use electrical pulses to transmit data, fiber-optic cables are comprised of hundreds of small strands of glass or plastic which are about 1/10th of the size of a single human hair. These glass or plastic strands transmit data using pulses of light, meaning data can travel near the speed of light. Data and internet signals can also travel much further over fiber without losing quality than electrical signals can.

How does fiber-optic cable work in adverse environments?

Fiber-optic cable does not rely on electricity, so power outages will have little to no effect of fiber-optic internet quality (if you are experiencing a power outage in your own data center or at home, you may experience down time due to your hardware being off-line). Since fiber-optic cabling does not require electrical pulses, placing the cables near powerful electrical equipment will not create electromagnetic interference. Fiber-optic cabling is also much harder and resistant to damage from environmental or fire hazards.

Is fiber-optic connectivity safe?

Signals sent over fiber-optic cables are less susceptible to being stolen or intercepted. This reduces the possibility of cyber security breaches to your home or company network. While this is a great benefit of fiber-optic cabling, it does not decrease the need for firewalls, anti-virus software and safe internet practices. If you have questions about the security of your network, reach out to us or your provider for more information.

Does fiber-optic internet work with dedicated access?

Yes, and it is more effective with dedicated access than traditional copper cabling. Dedicated access is when an internet service provider creates a private connection for the customer or business, always allowing a consistent amount of bandwidth. Without dedicated access the customer is using shared internet access which can cause lower bandwidth during peak traffic times. You have probably experienced this if you are in a busy public place trying to stream video.

What else can fiber-optic cable be used for?

Fiber-optic cabling is not only for internet connectivity. It can be used anywhere data is being transmitted:

  • Voice
  • Data
  • Television
  • Cloud
  • Managed Network Services

Fiber-optics have been receiving a ton of attention over the past couple of years, and it is growing more and more popular as it rolls out to the masses. As you can see, it is worth the hype and is increasing efficiency in the workplace and at home.

If you have any questions about fiber-optic cabling or how you can incorporate it into your commercial environment, reach out to us at or call 763-475-5500.

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