The rise of high-tech applications, such as 5G, IoT, Smart Cities, and ultra-HD video conferencing, is driving a need for better connectivity and bandwidth in many places, including office and commercial buildings. Fiber cabling is the primary technology that will be able to support and enable these applications, hence fiber-based building connectivity has been highly demanded by many.

 

Today we will take a closer look at the benefits of fiber-based connections for buildings and smart cities.

 

For Buildings

Higher Bandwidth

Businesses with a high demand for data transmissions, such as SIP trunking, web conferencing, large file sharing, HD video streaming, and cloud-based applications, will require higher internet bandwidth. A standard internet bandwidth will not be sufficient to support your company’s demand, hence resulting in slow speeds, delays, and pixelated video quality.

 

If you suffer from one of those, then you could significantly benefit from an upgrade to fiber-optic internet connectivity. The higher bandwidth will enable companies to enhance communication with clients and increase the utilization of cloud-based, data-intensive applications. Furthermore, with fiber-optic cables, the speed does not decrease despite higher demands that are put on the network.

 

Cybersecurity

The average cost of an information security breach is $3.8 million, causing substantial financial and brand damages for a business. As such, protecting our digital assets often becomes one of the highest priorities for many businesses. Cybersecurity is perhaps one of the most essential benefits of fiber-based building connectivity that quickly becomes a significant differentiating factor, thus enabling building owners to attract tenants that are willing to pay a premium for security.

 

Unlike wireless connections or copper lines, fiber cables are far less vulnerable to cyber attacks. This is because fiber-based cables are much harder to tap into without being detected. If an attempt is made to break the security of your fiber system, the cables will leak light and the signal instantly disappears, which makes it effective at keeping data secure during a cyber-hack. Fiber networks also enable you to place all of your equipment in one central location rather than having many wiring closets throughout the building, making it easier to maintain and protect.

 

Lower Latency

Latency refers to the delay in data transmission that occurs over an internet connection, which is mainly experienced by users while downloading or uploading  video, or other high-definition content. Fiber-optics eliminates many of the latency issues because the internet signal is transmitted by light, hence signals travel faster compared to others. This will result in better voice quality for VoIP users, better cloud experiences, and increased capability to download and upload huge files without disruption.

 

More Durability to Damage

Fiber may come with a higher upfront installation cost. However, it is more durable and stronger than copper, hence it can withstand extreme weather conditions or other damages that may stall data transmission, therefore it is typically easier to maintain. In addition, fiber cables are also immune to electromagnetic interference, thus reducing the likelihood of unplanned downtime maintenance due to internet outages.

Better Signal Strength

The signal strength of broadband internet degrades as the user moves further away from the switch, which creates a disadvantage for organizations in large workplaces. This is because some meeting rooms and offices are located away from the telecommunications room, hence the signal is too weak to reach their devices. However, the signal strength of the fiber-optic internet does not degrade as quickly over distance. In fact, it is possible to run fiber optic cable for nearly 25 miles with no degradation, making it the perfect solution for large-sized buildings, enterprises, or even factories.

 

For Smart Cities

In general, a smart city is different from a traditional one from the way that it uses technology to manage the whole city. The main focus of a smart city is to create a more efficient, responsive, and environmentally sustainable city for the benefit of its people and businesses, as well as the environment. Communication and interconnectivity are some of the most prominent features of smart cities, hence a fiber optic network is essential as it supports the need for high speed internet and real-time data analysis required by smart cities. The development of city broadband networks that underpin smart cities has led to a gradual upsurge in demand for fiber, as it becomes the primary technological backbone that will support current and emerging applications.

 

This fiber backbone provides connections that allows multiple providers to offer wireless services, both cellular and WiFi, thus ensuring a competitive marketplace. High-bandwidth, low-latency, future-proof networks provided by fiber optics also help to enable the digital transformation of enterprises operating in these cities. For example, it allows better traffic management by identifying the current traffic congestion and determining the most efficient transport or delivery routes. Additionally, it also allows the city’s residents to enjoy state of the art wireless communications without the unsightly cell towers and utility poles that urban dwellers dislike.

 

Another significant benefit of having an interconnected network throughout the city is that it increases the safety for its residents. For instance, street light poles can be transformed into an asset that supports both traffic management and surveillance. By running fiber cabling into a smart light pole, we can facilitate smart lighting and security cameras throughout the city, thus paving the way for new use cases that we have never thought of before, such as allowing for real-time tracking and rescue in emergency situations such as a missing child report, alerting first responders and police in the first sound of a car crash to minimize preventable deaths from car crash, and many more.

 

Conclusion

Fiber optics has been used very widely today by many businesses and companies in their building, as it creates a significant advantage compared to broadband internet. In addition, fiber optic is a vital public infrastructure for smart cities, which is built on the foundation of pervasive, high- performance, and reliable connectivity. As these networks continue to expand and user load continues to increase, the development of standardized fiber testing practices becomes increasingly important. As the leader in fiber testing, VIAVI Solutions offers the industry’s most complete range of fiber test solutions. VIAVI’s umbrella of interactive tools, testing capabilities, and solutions will help you to thrive, no matter which industry or region you’re working within.

About The Author

Shirley Lim

Channel Marketing Manager - APAC

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