High speed Wifi, working remote, Zoom school sessions, 5G… this is 2020 and beyond. While these ideas are not new, the chaos that 2020 brought has certainly pushed them forward and has forced many businesses and institutions to adapt to a new way of life in the digital era and communities are focusing on how they build a modern network infrastructure.
All of these advanced technologies have a commonality, infrastructure. Without a proper fiber-optic network infrastructure in place, none of the above could be achievable, at least not efficiently. It would be like building malls, restaurants and housing without having any roads in place. Implementing fiber networks into a community, large or small, is now crucial to both economic development and to your business.
Crucial For A Modern Way of Life.
Business development creates opportunity for growth within a community. It brings jobs, which brings housing, which brings schools, hospitals, retail, etc. A strong, modern network infrastructure is no longer an option, it is a requirement. Unfortunately, it is not always readily available, which is why telecommunications companies are fiercely building up and expanding their network; and even receiving government grants to do so.
Fiber-optic network infrastructure is not only essential to community growth, but for individual businesses as well. Currently, the average business owner is probably not up to date with a faster, more reliable fiber network. They feel their needs don’t require the added expense, but they aren’t looking ahead to the future. Can your business survive if your network fails?
Even if your company does not use a lot of data, it cannot afford to slow down. Today, a business can have its internet slowed by more people working from home or more students learning from home. If you don’t (or can’t) respond quickly to emails, fulfill online orders or talk to your other office locations, you will lose business.
Needed for Data Security
Fiber optic cable is necessary for data security. Fiber optic cable is much harder to hack into than other options. This is for several reasons. First, if one attempts to physically hack into a fiber optic cable with a tap, the glass would crack, and this would set off alarms. Second, if one tried to intercept the signals going through a fiber optic cable with an antenna, this would not work as the signals are not radiated. Thus, it is very difficult for a fiber optic signal to be intercepted, making it highly secure.
A Modern Network Allows for Data Centers
Better networks are needed for data center connectivity. Data centers are popping up all over the country and many businesses use them as an efficient way to store and transport their data. Data centers also connect to each other using a high-speed bridge. The advantage of these facilities is that they can combine resources to have more efficient production – if one center is too busy, it can pass off the work to another, and no one center has to build its capacity to the maximum needed. However, the centers must able to receive information quickly and pass it between the centers just as fast. Without a fiber-optic network, this cannot occur. A significant data center can greatly help an area turn into a mini-Silicon Valley, and the lack of a data center can do just the opposite.
Fiber Optic is Safer than Copper.
Many of the ways that copper wire can be damaged do not apply to fiber. For instance, fire cannot damage fiber optic. Fiber optic is also resistant to lightning, heat and cold weather, which is something that copper is vulnerable to. You may notice your copper network slowing when climate changes. Any time a network can be made resistant to the dangers that nature has, that is a good thing.
A Modern Network Is Much Faster
Fiber optic also has a much better bandwidth than copper. It has been estimated that fiber can transmit data up to a thousand times quicker than copper. Faster data is better all the way around. One estimate is that a file that took 22 minutes to be downloaded over a copper connection took 8 seconds over a fiber-optic network. This is a one-hundred and sixty-five-fold (16500%) acceleration. That means that many files you would need to download over a lunch can now be done in the time that it takes to type these last five words.
It Facilitates 5G
The drive for 5G. 5G stands for the Fifth-Generation data network or the data network after the one that we are on. 5G promises to make real massive amounts of data available with no or minimal lag time. In other words, all of the massive applications that are available, in real-time, with no lag and no network overload. For businesses, the opportunities are limitless, as, for instance, virtual reality would allow a repair person vast amounts of data and real-time answers. However, 5G can’t exist without a robust network. 5G also really is not nationwide if it cannot exist everywhere across the country. 5G needs a fiber optic backbone and these systems are being aggressively built as we speak.
A Fiber System Improves Work From Home Possibilities
Businesses can truly offer employees who live anywhere the opportunity to work from home. In many places in America, Zoom is not available, not due to the technology that is in a worker’s home but because of the technology leading to that worker’s home. It does not matter if your smartphone can do Zoom if the network leading to your house cannot. Businesses need to be concerned about Work From Home as it is unclear how much longer COVID will continue.
Fiber optic networks also have a host of other benefits compared to the alternatives.
- Fiber optic is better for the environment compared to copper cable in a number of ways. First, fiber requires less energy and nearly all energy production has at least some cost to the environment. Second, fiber has a longer lifespan and if something lasts longer, there is less to dispose of or to figure out a way to recycle.
- Fiber optic benefits from what is known as “low latency.” That means that signals are relatively quicker. Copper networks require the signal to be repeated at periodic points which can slow down the transmission, as well as creating difficulties with the signal being lost. However, fiber does not have this requirement (of it needing to be repeated as often) and thus in turn is much quicker.
- Signal Loss. Copper signals get lost over a distance, and so copper wires have to be made much wider for a transmission over a few feet. Fiber optic has some signal loss but only loses 3% over 300 feet versus copper’s 94% loss rate over the same distance.
- Fiber optic is also smaller than copper. While fiber optic cables require some protection, the overall fiber optic cable is still only ¼ of the width of your copper cable. That is important, particularly if cables for a variety of things are being put in at the same time. There is some need for care, though, as fiber optic cable is made out of glass.
- A business might think, “well, I’ll wait. I’m sure that there is a better thing coming down the line.” However, fiber optic is ready for the future. Copper cables will have to be replaced in about 5 years as the lines degrade but fiber optic is expected to be able to last for decades.
The term “cutting edge” is tossed around a lot but fiber optic cable is much better than other options on the market. Also, a fiber optic network infrastructure allows many rural areas of the Buckeye State to move into the 21st century. This is not only a win for the new businesses (and relocated ones), but for communities and opportunities to come as well. This in turn will increase the size of the community, leading to more foot traffic and sales. If your business wants to shine and promote itself, as well as having the ability to drive the data superhighway into the future, fiber is the way to go. If you build it, everyone will come.
For help developing your network infrastructure, you can rely on Horizon’s expertise. Contact us to request more information.