When considering networking options, businesses often look for cost efficient options with long-term ROI. For faster transmission and reliability, consider an optical fiber medium for telecommunication and networking. Flexible and able to be bundled as cables, fiber optics is especially advantageous for long-distance communications because light propagates through the fiber with little attenuation compared to electrical cables.
Over short distances, such as networking within a building, fiber saves space in cable ducts because a single fiber can carry much more data than a single electrical cable. Fiber is also immune to electrical interference; there is no cross-talk between signals in different cables and no pickup of environmental noise. Non-armored fiber cables do not conduct electricity, which makes fiber a good solution for protecting communications equipment located in high voltage environments such as power generation facilities, or metal communication structures prone to lightning strikes. They can also be used in environments where explosive fumes are present, which will eliminate the danger of ignition. Wiretapping is also more difficult compared to electrical connections.
The per-channel light signals propagating in the fiber can be modulated at rates as high as 111 gigabits per second, although 10 or 40 Gb/s is typical in deployed systems. Each fiber can carry many independent channels, each using a different wavelength of light (wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM)). The net data rate (data rate without overhead bytes) per fiber is the per-channel data rate reduced by the FEC overhead, multiplied by the number of channels (usually up to eighty in commercial dense WDM systems as of 2008).
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