On the surface, it may sound like an argument too ludicrous to be sustained for long. Of course fiber connectivity is better than coaxial cable (coax); fiber’s newer! A closer look at the two connectivity measures, however, shows a clearer picture, and one in which some use cases call for coax above all.
Getting Your Fiber Is Important
Fiber, of course, has a lot of value for users. Fiber optics are commonly measured in units of “human hair,” which is extremely slim. That means a lot less room is required to set up complete fiber systems, and that can be a cost-savings measure. Density for a coax system, meanwhile—which requires not only the copper center but also an insulator, a braided shield, and a further protective covering over all that—is much greater and more cumbersome.
Fiber connections are also vital for longer distances; fiber cables don’t need repeater units in nearly the number that coax connections do, which makes them particularly well-suited to geographically dispersed operations. Fiber carries a lot more bandwidth too, maxing out around 10 gigabits per second, whereas coax tops out around 50 megabits. Since fiber doesn’t transmit electricity, it becomes particularly difficult to tap said cables and intercept transmissions, making fiber more secure.
So Why Bother With Coax?
Despite the benefits explained above, there are good reasons to use coax. The biggest of these is that coax is much less expensive than its fiber equivalent. Some coax systems will offer significantly more bandwidth speed than fiber for much less—one user reported 20M x 20M fiber for $750 a month, while 100M x 10M coax went for less than half that at $310 a month—though this depends on location.
Additionally, some operations don’t need the kind of maxed-out bandwidth that fiber can offer, so taking advantage of less-expensive coax can be an excellent cost savings measure overall. Consider also the use of coax in certain situations; those setting up Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for a call center, for example, will likely find welcome benefit from setting up more than one coax connection rather than a single fiber connection.
Best in Different Situations
In the end, it’s a matter of figuring out which connectivity format—fiber or coax—is better for which conditions. No two firms are in the exact same situation, so looking closely at what’s available in the area is going to produce the best results. Fiber definitely has its advantages, and those that need those advantages will be well-served by fiber. Not everyone needs that level of power, has those security concerns, or has that kind of cash available to spend, and for those businesses, coax will be available to meet the need for bandwidth.
To learn more about which solution is the right fit for your business, contact us today.