Fiber optic has become significantly popular due to its long list of benefits. Within a few decades only, fiber optic is on its way to completely replace copper. Undeniably, Fiber optic is the future; however, if we do a fiber optic benefits vs. growth comparison; it is apparent that fiber optic is not growing at the pace that it is expected to.
So, what are the main factors that hinder the growth of FTTH? The top 5 factors that are supposedly the main contributors to slowing the growth pace of fiber optic include:
Fiber optic installation cost is one of the most significant factors that hinder its growth. From the basic fiber optic cable cost to its connectors and network development cost – the overall initial cost of fiber optic is significantly higher than copper. Even though IT professionals raise the argument that the long-term maintenance cost of fiber optic justifies the initial cost, however, it is not feasible for everyone.
You can control the cost by ensuring that you do not purchase an excess length of fiber optic cable and purchase the required amount of connectors, and the overall cost has decreased through the decades. Nonetheless, there is a long way to go before fiber optic is affordable for the masses.
Newer technology does not translate to safer technology. Protecting fiber optic is a significant issue because tapping data from it easy, and it does not require any specialized equipment. Fiber optic cables pass from deserted areas that make it easier for data intruders to tap information from optical fibers.
Although, there are methods that can be applied to protect data, like installing fiber optic with metal or plastic conduits or investing in security software. However, adding security measures significantly increase the already high cost of fiber optic. Not everyone is ready to pay the additional cost for protecting fiber optic.
Fiber optic is made with glass or plastic; therefore, it is inherently not strong enough to bear extreme weather conditions. Optical fibers can also get easily damaged by moisture or dust particles. The connectors are more prone to damage than the cable itself. Thus, it has to be ensured that the connectors are correctly sealed.
The basic optical fiber infrastructure is not available in many countries of the world. Laying down the underground and underwater infrastructure requires a hefty investment that most individual users cannot afford.
Unlike copper, fiber optic network installation requires technical experience and knowledge. It is highly essential that only professional installers handle the fiber optic deployment process because in most cases fiber optic gets damaged during the installation process due to mishandling, which leads to connectivity and data transmission issues in the long run. Fiber optic splicing is also challenging due to light scattering issues and bending restriction. Therefore, only professionals can properly install fiber optic. Fiber optic is a newer technology, so there are not many professionally trained installation experts, which is another factor that increases the installation cost and hinders fiber optic’s growth.