Fiber optic cable is now extensively used as a communication medium for backbone networks due to its low cost wide bandwidth. Its data transfer rate now arrived at 1600 Gbps. Some cable TV companies used a combination of optical fiber and coaxial cable. Here optical fiber provides the backbone network and the coaxial cable gives service connection to the users. 100Base-FX and 1000Base-X LAN uses optical fiber cable.
Fiber optic cables have several advantages over the metallic cables such as coaxial cable and twisted-pair.
HIGHER BANDWIDTH:: fiber optic cable can provide very high bandwidth and therefore high data rate then the coaxial and twisted-pair cable.
LESS ATTENUATION:: It offers less attenuation then metallic cables. Hence signal can travel up to 50 Km without repeater in a fiber optic cable.
IMMUNITY TO ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE :: Electromagnetic noise cannot affect a light signal traveling through a fiber optic cable.
RESISTANCE TO CORROSION :: Fiber optic cables are not affected by corrosive substances.
LIGHT WEIGHT :: These are much lighter in weight then metallic cables.
GREATER IMMUNITY TO TAPPING :: Light signals are very difficult to tapped then an electrical signal. Hence signal passing through a fiber optic cable has greater immunity to tapping.
Despite of many advantages, fiber optic cable has some disadvantages also. These are ::
DIFFICULT TO INSTALL AND MAINTAIN :: Since fiber optic cable is a new technology, so skill personal for installation and maintenance of fiber optic cable is scarce.
UNIDIRECTIONAL SIGNAL PROPAGATION :: Light propagation is unidirectional. So if we require bidirectional communication, we need two fiber cables.
COST:: the fiber optic cables and the interfaces are expansive till date in comparison to other types of cables.