Comparing Air Blown Fiber and Cabled Fiber Optic Systems: Which Is Right for You?

Reliable, high-speed internet is more important than ever, and fiber internet offers the highest speeds and bandwidth around. Fiber optic is increasingly popular in the digital age, thanks to its superior speeds and relative lack of downtime as opposed to traditional cable or DSL internet.

When you install fiber optic internet for your business, however, you need to decide between conventional cabled fiber optic systems or air blown fiber systems in West Virginia. If those terms sound Greek to you, read on for an overview of what they are, how they work and the price difference between the two, and reach out to GlobalTech Communications for answers to your questions.

Conventional cabled fiber optic systems

Conventional fiber optic systems are probably what you imagine when you think of data traveling through cables—each part of the system is installed point to point, and cables come in lengths ranging from two to seven miles. The cables already have the fiber installed within them, so it’s a matter of running the line from point to point and connecting it to the rest of the building’s or facility’s infrastructure. Operators will connect the cables with hardware, then test to make sure there are no problems with the connection. As soon as everything is in verified working order, the system is ready to go.

If the owner wants to install additional cable, move it or make other changes, it’s simply a matter of making those changes with the cross-connect hardware.

Air blown fiber systems

Meanwhile, air blown fiber systems are installed differently. They’re comprised of four major parts: the fiber bundles, tube cables, connecting and termination hardware and the machine used to “blow” the fibers through the tubes. The tube cables carry the fiber optic bundles from location to location; in order to connect, there need to be available tubes from point to point. Each cable branch must have special connecting hardware. After the tubes are installed or located, the installer will use compressed air to blow the cables down the tubes.

Problems can arise when the tubes are blocked by dirt, pests and roots, or when they get kinked up and the fiber cannot pass through. Furthermore, while their outer coating blocks water and moisture, the inside of the tube cables do not meet the same requirements. Empty tubes can be infiltrated by insects and other wildlife, making it more difficult to upgrade a system than traditional fiber optic cable.

Which is right for me?

Which type of fiber optic system is best for your facility or business will depend on a number of factors, so you should talk to your telecommunications company in West Virginia before making a final decision. However, many businesses prefer the flexibility and lower cost of traditional fiber optic systems—it’s generally much easier to upgrade your conventional system than it is to work with air blown fiber.

Ready to install fiber optic internet in your business? Get in touch with the team at GlobalTech Communications today to explore your options.

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