Making the Switch to a Ribbon Fiber Optic Network

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Making the switch to a fiber optic network is a no-brainer at this point. They’re faster and more reliable. You’re going to be moving even more data as dependency on networks and devices increases across your network. But why stop at one fiber when your business’s data needs go way beyond that? 

The chances of moving large quantities of information safely and without hiccups increases with the move to a ribbon fiber network. Ribbon fibers are even more reliable, less likely to lose bandwidth, and more secure than any other type of network.

The evolution of ribbon fiber

If you have any apprehension about moving to ribbon fiber networks, think of it like this: Ribbon fiber is a mature technology, not something still in the process of being perfected. Awareness for fiber, especially ribbon networks, is growing rapidly—which can skew the impression that it’s new. But it’s actually been around for almost 30 years and is recently becoming not only perfected but also less expensive.

Letting go of your apprehension about embracing a change will — literally — bring so much light to your business, you won’t know what hit you. Future-proofing your business with ribbon fiber that can withstand the amount of data you need to transfer will only help you in the long run the speeds and improved likelihood of reliability will impress you.

However, not everyone will benefit from a ribbon fiber optic network. It’s like traveling: If you’re going cross-country you’ll want to fly in a plane, not ride a bike. Going to a neighbor’s house though, the bike would probably be sufficient. Knowing how much data you need to move is an important part of this process.

What will you need to switch to ribbon fiber?

Each ribbon fiber contains 12 single fibers that are doing the same heavy lifting to send your data on its way, securely. Each bundle of fibers is laid out in a matrix that uniformly holds fibers side by side — perfectly aligned left to right. The 12 fibers are laid together in a matrix that uniformly holds fibers side by side – they’re perfectly aligned left to right with spacing and height to give them optimal room to send the pulses of light containing your data down the line.

That said, the fibers are minuscule and the ribbon itself is quite tiny. All this power fits into a very compact package. Fiber can also provide a thousand times as much bandwidth as copper and can go much further. While the limit for a traditional copper cable is about 100 meters, fiber is nearly 20 miles — making it the most effective and efficient way to transmit data.

Benefits of a ribbon fiber optic network

The number one perk of ribbon fiber is it increases fiber density, while at the same time streamlining your termination time and connectivity at the endpoints. It will increase your speed in connectivity, saving you time and money in the long run.

Labor savings is another big benefit. When your fiber optic network requires maintenance, a ribbon fiber can be fixed 92% faster. As an example:

  • A single fiber: 2-3 minutes
  • 12 fiber ribbon: 10 seconds/fiber

With a ribbon fiber optic network, you will inevitably save space. Air-blown glass can both contain and withstand the heat of data transfer much better than copper cabling, which means you don’t need to replace ducting within the foundation of a data center to accommodate it. Since a ribbon-based solution is a smaller cable, but with more fibers backed into it, it will also take up less space. The latest technology has even made these ribbon fibers pliable, so they can twist and fold and fit into spaces rather than requiring space to be altered.

A proven technology for more than 25 years

If your office park or data center is still using copper cabling, it’s worth making the investment to switch to a ribbon fiber optic network. Although you’ll pay upfront, it will quickly result in dividends, meaning it will pay for itself. Future-proofing your network in this way will save your time valuable time, resources and money.

Learn more about ribbon fiber optic networks from Sumitomo by getting in touch with one of our industry experts – leaders for more than 25 years in fiber optics