Advantages of Fiber Optics
The exponential increase in the integration of fiber optics is due to a variety of different advantages. Particularly, it is less expensive, thinner, more flexible, and has a higher carrying capacity than its metal wiring competitors.
One of the main advantages of fiber optic cables are that they are less expensive than traditional metal wiring. Manufacturing optical cables is generally cheaper, saving cable, TV, and internet providers money as well as the consumer.
Another major advantage is that they are thinner, more flexible and more lightweight. These characteristics make them easier to handle and transport. Thanks to this quality, they can be wrapped into bundles, thus resulting in a higher carrying capacity. This allows for more phone lines in the same cable or channels into a TV. In fact, they are so lightweight that NASA even uses fiber optic cabling in their space shuttles to decrease the overall weight. Their flexibility, on the other hand, makes them ideal in applications like medical imaging and plumbing.
Furthermore, signals traveling along fiber cables experience less signal loss than in metal wires. Even though light and electricity travel at the same speed, fiber cables are much more efficient, as signals do not degrade nearly as quickly. Typically, the greater the distance, the lower quality the signal. However, because the signal does not degrade as rapidly, fiber optic cables require fewer sub-stations to maintain quality. This corresponds to a lower infrastructure investment and again, a less expensive technology.