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There are three types of fiber optic cable commonly in use. They are single-mode, multi-mode, and plastic optical fiber or photonic fiber. Transparent glass or plastic fiber allowing the guiding of light from one end to the other with minimal loss is the most efficient.


Single Mode is an optical fiber designed to carry light only directly down the fiber – the transverse mode. In a single-mode fiber, the core diameter reduces to a few wavelengths of the incoming light. For a beam with 0.55 μm of wavelength, the core diameter must be of the order of 4.5 μm.


Multi-mode optical fiber is a type of optical fiber mostly used for communication over short distances, such as within a building or on a campus. Typical multi-mode links have data rates of 10 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s over link lengths of up to 600 meters (2000 feet). In this fiber, the core diameter is much greater than the wavelength of the transmitted light. The transmission of a number of modes is simultaneous. The possible ways in which light travels inside the fiber is relative to the fiber modes. The primary mode travels parallel to the axis of the fiber. Therefore, it takes the minimum time to reach the end of the fiber.

Photonic Fibers

Photonic crystal fiber (PCF) is a kind of optical fiber that uses photonic crystals to form the cladding around the core of the cable. In photonic fibers, the number of cavities around the core guides the transmission of light.

fiber optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing. An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair. Optical fibers are used most often as a means to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber and find wide usage in fiber-optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than electrical cables. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss.

Structured cabling system or structured wiring refers to all of the cabling and components installed in a logical and organized way. Structured cabling is the design and installation of a cabling system that will support multiple hardware uses and be suitable for today’s needs and those of the future.

A patch cable or patch cord or patch lead is a piece of copper cable that connects circuits on a patch panel.

A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs).

Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites. The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.

local-area network (LAN) is a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most often, a LAN is confined to a single office, building or group of buildings, however, one LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves. A system of LANs connected in this way is called a wide-area network (WAN).

An Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, and which, unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTVcameras, can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet.

In a network, a patch panel serves as a sort of static switchboard, using cables to interconnect computers within the area of a local area network (LAN) and to the outside for connection to the Internet or other wide area network (WAN). Connections are made with patch cords. The patch panel allows circuits to be arranged and rearranged by plugging and unplugging the patch cords.


Cat3 cables are older cables or what we would call legacy cables. They can still be suited for DATA/LAN transmission up to 16 Mbps, for 10 Base-T, 4 Mbps token ring. Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 are a better option for voice applications. Cat 3 cables can support voice applications but it’s recommended to assess this on a case by case basis.  Cat3 cable is suited for high speed DATA/LAN transmissions up to 16 Mbps, and for 10 Base-T, 4 Mbps token ring, and voice applications.

Cat5 Wiring is unshielded twisted pair data cable with outstanding performance characteristics for use in data cable applications. Cat5 is the shortened name of Category 5 cabling not to be confused with Cat5e. This cable category was introduced in the 1990s. This unshielded twisted pair data cable can carry data up to speeds of 10Mbps and 100Mbps.

Cat5e patch cables can be used to connect all types of network devices, including jacks, patch panels, ports, and computers. Cat5e Plenum Cable, also known as Plenum Cat 5 Wiring, and Cat5e Cable for riser applications are two types of Cat5e that meet NEC Article 800.

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Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a standardized twisted pair cable for Gigabit Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards.  Cat6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk and system noise. Cat6 cable has an internal separator that isolates pairs from one another. The cable standard provides performance of up to 250 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet), and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet).

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Cat 6a is a proposed augmentation of the Cat 6 standard that would further reduce crosstalk in cabling systems and allow for the use of higher frequencies in the 500 MHz range and should be able to provide up to 10 Gbits/s. This type of networking cable is often called augmented Category 6.

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