Must-Know Facts About Fibre Optic Cables for Commercial Building Installations

23 December 2020
 Categories: , Blog


Businesses are increasingly adopting fibre optic cable for broadband internet connection. Fibre optic uses flexible and small glass strands to transmit information in the form of light. The wide adoption of the technology is due to its exceptional speed of transmitting information, which translates to faster download and upload speeds. Fibre can offer up to 10 Gbps speeds compared to standard internet cable speeds, ranging from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. This article offers useful information that must be considered when choosing fibre optic cables for commercial buildings' installations.

Indoor Versus Outdoor Cables  

Fibre optic cables are available for both indoor and outdoor use. The difference is that outdoor cables have extra protection for blocking the ingress of moisture. Indoor cables are also referred to as tight-buffered cables because the glass fibre is protected by secondary and primary buffer coatings, making it easier to work with such cables. On the other hand, outdoor fibre optic cables need more protection against external conditions such as water entry and vermin attack. Besides, outdoor fibre optic cables should be sturdy enough for greater pulling distances. There are different outdoor fibre optic cables for various applications, including armoured fibre optic cable, ribbon fibre optic cable, aerial fibre optic cable, and loose tube fibre optic cable. You should consult a fibre optic installation technician on the right type of cable to install for your business.

Cable Configuration  

Fibre optic cables are configured as either single-mode or multimode, which deliver different performance levels at certain distances. A single-mode option comprises a single strand of glass fibre with a small diameter. It is deployed for long-distance transmission of signals for high-speed data transfer. Conversely, multimode fibre optic cables allow a signal to move in multiple pathways. The fibre core diameter of a multimode fibre optic cable ranges between 62.5 µm and 50 µm. Therefore, such a configuration enables the transfer of large volumes of data over short distances.

Fibre Optic Cable Jackets 

Cable jackets help to protect fibre optic members by providing integrity and strength. The jacket material should allow a cable to be flexible and serviceable at different temperatures during the optic cable's lifetime. Besides, cable jackets should be resistant to abrasion, especially during the process of installation. Also, indoor cables require jackets that offer fire retardance capability. PVC jackets offer enhanced mechanical protection besides being flexible at optimal installation temperatures. UV inhibitors can be incorporated into PVC jackets to protect outdoor fibre optic cables against sunlight. Other variants of cable jackets include low smoke, zero halogens (LSZH), and polyethylene (MDPE). 

Contact a local electronics shop to learn more about fibre optic gear.