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Will fiber optics become obsolete?

Before we ask a question like this ---- worrying about fiber optics will become obsolete, and be replaced by another thing, I suppose the answer will always be no. Why? Let's take a look at a similar question asked before ---- will fiber optic 100% replace copper cable?

Both fiber optic and Copper cable are used for support networks for houses or enterprises. However, fiber optics has become the top choice because of its high speed and long-distance support, it can support people's increasing needs for data transmission. Is that mean fiber optic perfect? The answer is no, there is one thing that fiber cannot support ---- electricity. Copper cables have the ability to provide power and data at the same time. Today, copper cables are still used in CCTV cameras or ADSL services.

 

Fiber optics are increasingly widely used.

Since fiber optics are launched, fiber optics are considered the media for data transmission. It is flexible, transparent fiber, made by drawing glass or plastic, they are used most often as a medium to transmit light. This makes data transmitted as light rather than electric signals. Thus, compared to copper cables, fiber optics have the ability to provide more integrated data in longer distances, moreover, fiber optic won't be interfered with by electricity which makes it more reliable and secure, that is also the reason why more database centers and servers' connections were replaced by fiber optics.
 

Does this mean copper cables are worthless and abandoned?

Actually, although even nowadays fiber optics have a bigger share of the market, copper cables still exist. The copper cable supports 1000Mbps to 40Gbps, which means the copper cable can automatically adjust network speed between more electronic devices (old, low-speed to new, high-speed devices). Moreover, RJ45 Port can supply power for POE, this means a single network cable can support both network connection and power supply at the same time. There are still a lot of situations that need copper cable support.

As we all know, fiber optics come after the copper cable, the network of a city is established by copper cable and its related equipment. When fiber optic came out, in order to implement FTTH ODN, the government had to spend a large amount of money to purchase fiber optic and its related equipment, such as fiber optic cable, fiber optic splice closure, fiber distribution terminal, etc. Considering not all houses require fiber optics (for some reason), there are still a large number of ADSL networks that still exist, and don't have to be replaced.

As mentioned above, in data centers, due to the high bandwidth requirements, optical fiber has topped the market. Although fiber optics has many advantages compared to copper cables, still, for some reason (lower cost, power support, etc), copper cable still has its advantages in different situations. In fact, fiber optic and copper cable solutions will coexist in the foreseeable future, and each solution will be used where it makes the most sense. Now back to our question ---- will fiber optics become obsolete? Its actually the same question as "will copper cable become obsolete?" and the answer shall be the same, no. Fiber optics will have its advantages to survive in this market and live with others just like copper cables when new technology comes out. Unless all its advantages are beaten by new technology which makes it 100% years old.

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