Fiber outlasts copper cables because it doesn’t corrode, doesn’t conduct electricity, and has a more secure track record.
Fiber optic cables have been in use commercially since the early 1980s. The industry hasn’t seen an endemic replacement or decommissioning of quality cables installed in the initial years of fiber optics. The earliest installed cables are still in use today, and there is no reason to suggest they will not continue to be of use to come.
Glass Doesn’t Corrode
When one dives into the “theoretical lifetime” of fiber optics, the industry cannot accept the “wear out” mechanism for optical fiber. Since glass is the main component of fiber optics, there is not a physical or chemical reaction to test and accelerate in the degradation of the cable.
The only aspect of these networks that are replaced is the transmission equipment on the cables. These pieces of equipment are routinely replaced with newer running gear that run data rates of 10 Gbs or more using ethernet and SONET/SDH technologies — line rates and protocols not even in use when these lines were first installed. Making these networks run fast internet and modern internet in an age where the internet wasn’t even that fast!
Fiber doesn’t conduct electricity
Another aspect of business fiber is the fact that fiber optics offers a network that is less sensitive to interference. There are some things that make the copper cables that are vulnerable to failure. Since these cables, both broadband and phone cables, need to carry an electric current, these cables are subject to failures that stems from lighting strikes, corrosion, and short circuit/electrical faults.
If your business requires a secure connection to make phone calls or perform core business functions, an ultra-reliable connection is highly necessary.
Fiber Internet signals do not degrade or disappear due to electromagnetic interference. Optical fiber cables are also immune to interference from EMI, electrical fields, ground potentials, solar storms, etc. If your organization shares a telecommunications room with other businesses, fiber-optic Internet can protect your connectivity from disappearing if other organizations are using equipment that can interfere with your connection in the same space.
Fiber has a more secure track record
In an era of increased attention towards security, fiber optic networks are touted as a cost-effective way of securing your data. The average cost of an information security breach is $3.8 million. Companies who leak protected information can face stiff financial penalties and customer defection. While media coverage of high-profile security breaches often focuses on large organizations, companies of all sizes are at significant risk of an attack.
Keep in mind: there’s no sure-fire way of having 100% accuracy. Traditionally, would-be hackers and information thieves can gain access to business cable Internet with relative ease, due to cable tapping or other relatively simple methodologies. But there are several methods in which fiber optic owners can protect themselves from would be attackers, who are physically tapping into the network.