Calgary Structural Wiring

Calgary Based Structured Wiring Installation Company Hutchtech Discusses Structured Wiring Systems Copper-vs-Fiber

Discovering the perfect solution for the cabling infrastructure is a difficult task. However, once we understand the distinct properties of copper and fiber your solution may seem clearer.


Calgary, AB -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/05/2015 -- Many organizations just like yours, are struggling to read between hype and reality. Everyone is pushing their own agenda. We are giving them reality.

Advantages of Structured Copper Cabling

Power over Ethernet (PoE) — This gives them the ability to power phones, surveillance cameras, Wireless Access Points (WAPs), and many other devices right through the networking cable itself. That means that them don't have to schedule an electrician in to run power to their surveillance cameras to power them. Another advantage is the ability to have an emergency power supply that will continue powering mission critical devices even if their electricity goes out.

Less expensive electronics — If them are going to take fiber to the work space, realize that most PC's come with copper NIC cards. Optical ones will cost them between $100-200 each.

More Flexible — TDM environments are built to run on copper infrastructures. Fiber can be used, however the electronics that make it work are expensive.

Advantages of Structured Fiber Cabling

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) — The interference in signal transmission or reception caused by the radiation of electrical and magnetic fields.

Optical Fiber is immune to electromagnetic energy because it is a dielectric (not able to conduct electric current). Copper cabling, if not installed properly is vulnerable to the effects of EMI, such as undesirable responses, degradation, or complete system failure.

High Bandwidth — Fiber has a higher bandwidth than copper. Example: Category 6A Cable is classified by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) to handle a bandwidth up to 600 MHz over 100 meters, which theoretically, could carry around 18,000 calls at the same time. Multimode Fiber, on the other hand, would have a bandwidth of over 1000 MHz which could carry almost 31,000 simultaneous calls.

Less Expensive — fiber cable is actually less expensive than copper, but don't forget the expensive electronics that it requires.

Lightweight — An optical cable weighs less than a comparable copper wire cable.

Non-flammable — Fiber is a dielectric, which means that there isn't any electrical current that flows through it. Copper, on the other hand does carry a current and could cause a fire concern if it is old or worn.

Distance — Whether them use fiber or copper, there will be a loss in signal strength as the length of the cable increases. This loss is called Attenuation and is measured in decibels (dB).

For example:

The maximum allowed industry standard of attenuation for multi-mode fiber over a 100-meter distance is 0.15 dB. The fiber looses only 3% of its original signal strength over 100 meters. Also the attenuation of fiber doesn't change as bandwidth increases or decreases.

The maximum allowed industry standard of attenuation for Category 6A cable over 100 meters at 100 MHz is 20.9 dB which is a 94% loss in signal strength.

The fact of the matter is that fiber can retain a higher bandwidth over greater distances than comparable copper cabling.

— Lower-power transmitters can be used for fiber because their signals degrade less over distance than copper.

Pulling Tension — Copper cable is relatively delicate. It has a 25-pound tension limit. While basic fiber has a 100-200 pound tension limit.

Security — Eavesdropping on a LAN using copper cables only requires a sensitive antenna to pick up the energy radiated from the cable. Since optical fiber is a dielectric (doesn't transmit electricity) it doesn't radiate energy and cannot be tapped by an antenna. To place a tap on a fiber optic cable is difficult and can't be done without causing attenuation. An optical-time domain reflectometer will easily locate the location of a tap on fiber cabling.


We touched on the basic differentiation between copper and fiber. their structured cabling decisions are dependent on their very specific circumstances, which can be very complex. To fully maximize their cabling infrastructure and prepare for the media rich applications of the future, contact one of our Specialists Today!

Hutch Communications Inc Calgary Structural Wiring Structured Cabling & Networking' extensive range of structured copper cabling solutions are designed with the latest advances in high-bandwidth technology to meet the infrastructure needs of enterprise markets and include: Category 6A solution, comprehensive Category 6 and CAT 5 premise wiring solution, and Category 7 copper cables. The high performance and premium quality product range of Category 6A and 7 cables for UTP / STP is assembled and tested at a Hutch Communications Inc Calgary Structural Wiring Structured Cabling & Networking facility, adhering to the highest international standards. The RJ-RJ data communication patch panels and Patch-less installation for high-performance Category 6 network components are some of Hutch Communications Inc Calgary Structural Wiring Structured Cabling & Networking unique product and service offerings.

About Hutch Communications
Hutch Communications Inc Calgary Structural Wiring Structured Cabling & Networking leads in offering a wide range of structured cabling products & solutions and has thousands of installations around the globe, including Fortune 500 companies.

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