This paper is about Copper Cable versus Fiber Cable. Or Copper vs Fiber. Two completely different materials- One’s ancient, the other is almost as old. But in today’s modern environment, both are being used to carry signals through a system, namely computer networking or the larger system, the Internet. Just in a different manner. We’ll look at what Copper and Copper Cable is, what Fiber (glass) and Fiber Optic Cable is, how it’s used and the pros and cons between the two (2).
Copper is one of the most important metals available. It’s a member of the Periodic Table of Elements, whose number is #29. It’s been used for thousands of years and has many uses. It’s second only to silver in electrical conductance. Today, Copper cable is a medium whose uses range from communications to the building industry to the electrical and electronics industry.
Electrical wiring in buildings is the most important market for the copper industry. Roughly half of all copper mined is used to manufacture electrical wire and cable conductors. Copper used in building wire has a conductivity rating of 100% IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard) or better. Copper building wire requires less insulation and can be installed in smaller conduits than when lower conductivity conductors are used.
Copper is also used to make communications wire (Telephone, Cable TV, and Ethernet) such as coaxial wire and Twisted Pair cables. Twisted pair cabling is the most popular network cable and is often used in data networks for short and medium length connections up to 100 meters (328 feet). It’s popular due to its lower cost as compared to coaxial cable or Optical Fiber.
There are four (4) types of Twisted Pair cables: UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair); STP (Shielded Twisted Pair); ScTP (Screened Twisted Pair) and S/STP (Screened Shielded Twisted Pair).
As the names indicate, UTP has no shielding, STP has shielding, and the last two (2)...