Pros and Cons of Fibre

Pros and Cons of Fibre

ECN Fibre Business Internet Access

Interconnectivity has been boosted to another level with the introduction of fibre optic cables which are being laid out across the country. Unlike traditional transmission methods, fibre optics are not electrical but rather generate light signals that are transmitted to the receiver. Many are still unsure about fibre optics as a form of technological connectivity, so here are some of the pros and cons of fibre.

Fibre Internet Access


1. Speed

Fibre optic internet is extremely fast because of the enhanced bandwidth capacity meaning fibre optics can carry much more information than electrical cables. Where advanced copper cables can carry about 1 Gigabit per second, fibre optic cables can carry 350 Terabits – 350 000 Gigabits – per second.

2. Quality

Because fibre optic cables are resistant to electromagnetic interference, there is no interruption or degradation of the cables. They are also resistant to corrosion making them ideal for coastal areas. All this results in enhanced signal reliability with reduced signal loss.

Read more: Fibre versus ADSL

3. Scalability

This is extremely important for businesses that are projecting future growth but don’t want to invest too heavily upfront. Fibre optics are much more scalable meaning that new equipment can easily be laid over the original fibre, with wavelengths turned on and off to allow for quick scaling if needed. Spare fibre optics can be included for future use and additional cables also laid at a later stage.

4. Security

The security of information and data is becoming a primary concern for many businesses in the modern era where online communication of sensitive information is vital. Fibre optics provide a much more secure network than copper cables meaning less chance of breach, but also early alert if there is a breach of the network. Any physical break in the fibre optic system will also result in total system failure.

5. Long-term savings

Investing in fibre optics is definitely a good long-term investment because of the increased speed and overall quality of communications. There is no street value in fibre optics, as there is for conventional copper wiring, which means there is less chance of theft, making it economical for the city as well. Overall, the long-term investment outweighs any initial outlay.


1. Threat of physical damage

Because fibre optics are much thinner than copper wires, there is increased fragility which means that they can easily be cut or destroyed during any building renovations or re-wiring. Tunnelling animals, such as rodents; insects or plant roots could also destroy the cables. This is particularly problematic when one considers the volume of data that is transferred via a fibre optic cable as the destruction of one cable could create massive disruption for businesses and private users.

2. Immediate costs

The installation of fibre optic cables is expensive because of the need for specialist equipment and skilled labour for the laying of the fibres. In addition, the endpoints and nexuses of fibre optic cables require special equipment and setup, while any issues with data transmission will require a callout from a specialist. The reality is, however, that as fibre optics become more common, the price will decrease. It’s also worth arguing that the initial outlay will be saved down the line.

3. Fibre fuse

At its peak, fibre optic cables are also susceptible to ‘fibre fuse’ which is when too much light is transmitted to an imperfection within the fibre resulting in the destruction of long lengths of cable relatively quickly.

Despite some disadvantages to the fibre optic system, it still vastly outweighs the competitors in performance and there will be continued improvements going forwards. It’s definitely a first-rate option for internet connectivity.

ECN is a leading telecommunications and business fibre partner in South Africa. ECN offers a broad set of cost effective voice, data and hosted services to meet our customers ever growing technological needs. Our market leading Fibre for business provides our customers with the option of replacing their existing voice service provider to substantially reduce their monthly telecommunications bill. Contact ECN today for leading telecommunications solutions.

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