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Buying Guide for Fiber Optic Cable provides you with useful information about the cable.

Fiber optic cable is a good choice for corporate data networking and telecommunications because of its fast data transmission, thinner, lighter cables, and long signal range. It can be aggravating to sort through cables and connectivity options. It’s difficult enough to navigate the various categories and levels of copper networking cables, especially when the majority of them terminate in the same connector. When you start looking at fibre optic cables, what happens? That’s when things start to get a little muddled! This article will show you how to choose the right type of optical fibre cable for your needs. This buying guide will assist you in the following areas: 

  • Know what fibre optic cable is and what its main characteristics are. 
  • Learn how to ask the right questions before buying fibre optic cable. 
  • Choose the best fibre optic cable for your network. 
  • Compare the various types of optical fibre cable on the market.

What to Look for When Buying Fiber Optic Cable?

When choosing fibre optic cables, one of the first things to consider is the “mode” of fibre that you require. A fibre cable’s model describes how light beams travel inside the fibre cables themselves. It is crucial because the two modes are not interchangeable — you cannot use one instead of the other. Due to the variety of cable types, performance characteristics, and more precise installation requirements, fibre optic cable selection can be difficult. You should also think about cost and future-proofing once you’ve narrowed down your options. The needs of your specific application will determine any additional requirements. If you need help determining requirements or choosing pre-terminated or custom fibre cables, go through this article. 

Distance and Network Speed 

Because it was less expensive than Single-mode fibre, multimode fibre (MMF) used to be the default choice for data centres and corporate networks (SMF). The cost difference is no longer as significant. A 3-metre LC-to-LC duplex SMF cable, for example, costs about one dollar more than an equivalent MMF cable. Focus on the connection distance and network speed dictated by the overall network design rather than single-mode vs. multimode. OM3 MMF may be the best option if you need to move a large amount of data over a short distance (less than 300 metres, for example). If data transmission speed and distance are critical considerations.

Jackets with Cables 

Indoor fibre cabling must adhere to local fire regulations. Article 77 of the National Electric Code defines fire rating and jacket identification in the United States (NEC). Make sure the cable jacket is rated for risers or plenum spaces if your cable will be running through them. Other cable jacket properties, such as flexibility and strength under tensile load, should be considered in addition to the fire rating. See Fiber Optic Cable Jackets for more information on jacket materials and fire ratings.


The ports on your network equipment usually dictate fibre optic cable terminations. If your 10G Ethernet switch has multi-fibre MTP ports, for example, you’ll need fibre-optic cables with the appropriate number of fibres. Consider Active Optical Cables when choosing cable for a 40GbE or 100GbE application (AOCs). They eliminate the connector by combining an optical fibre cable and transceivers.

Know about the basics of fibre optic cable

Fiber optic cable (also known as optical fibre cable) sends data as light pulses through flexible, optically pure glass or plastic fibres. Because of its fast data transmission speeds over long distances, it has become a popular choice for Ethernet networking and telecommunications applications. 

  • A thin glass tube called a core is located in the centre of a fibre optic cable and transports light pulses generated by a laser or light-emitting diode (LED). Singlemode cores are typically 8.3 or 9 metres long, while multimode cores come in 50 and 62.5-metre lengths.
  • Cladding – A thin layer of glass that protects and surrounds the fibre core, causing light waves to travel the length of the fibre by reflecting light into the core. 
  • The primary buffer is a layer of thicker plastic known as the primary coating. Its purpose is to absorb shocks, prevent excessive bending, and strengthen the fibre core. 
  • Fibers of Strength or Strengthening Members – The strength member is designed to protect the fibre core from excessive pull forces and crushing, especially during installation, with features such as gel-filled sleeves and Kevlar strands.
  • The outer jacket, also known as the cable jacket, adds a final layer of protection to the core conductor while also strengthening the cable. The jacket is colour coded to indicate the type of optical fibre in the cable: single-mode is yellow, multimode is orange, and so on. OFNR, OFNP, and LSZH are all fire ratings for cable jackets.

Light pulses are reflected off the sides of the fibre optic cable as they travel down the core. To transmit a signal, no power is required except for the light source. Light pulses can travel hundreds of miles before fading and needing to be regenerated. The size of the core has an impact on how far a signal travels. The smaller the core, the further the light can travel before it needs to be regenerated. SMF has a small core, which keeps the light path narrow and allows it to travel up to 100 kilometres. Multimode Fiber (MMF) has a larger core and can carry more data over longer distances, but it is more suited to premises cabling and short-haul networks due to signal quality issues.

The length of signal transmission is determined by the UTP cable used, the wavelength used, and the network itself. For 10 Gbps multimode cable, typical ranges are around 984 feet, and for single-mode cable, up to 25 miles. Optical amplifiers or repeaters can be used to regenerate and error correct the optical signal if a longer span is required. Photons travelling at the speed of light travel over a copper conductor at speeds over a hundred times faster than electrons. When the data transmission speeds of fibre and copper are compared, fibre easily wins.

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