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Three reasons why fibre-optic is still a sound choice

Technologyby One magazine08/06/2015

Nowadays, Belgium is among the global pioneers that lead the broadband pack. As our mobile networks are both reliable and fast, one may be forgiven for asking why a company should nevertheless choose a fibre-optic connection.

There are several reasons why a fibre-optic connection sounds like a wise decision for a company. Let us have a look at them.

First, the internet has become the backbone of the global business world: most business activities take place online. Hardly any company can afford not to run an online shop where customers can place their orders. The speed of the computers we are connected to is of the utmost importance, as any stockbroker will tell you. Whilst trading shares used to involve one’s physical presence at the stock exchange, most transactions are now performed in the electronic realm.

Secondly, people tend to exchange evermore multimedia data, like e-mails with Powerpoint attachments, video files of newscasts, video conferences, websites with a large amount of pictures, etc. Research conducted by the network specialist Cisco suggests that by 2018, over 84% of all internet traffic will contain video data.

Thirdly, more and more software applications run “in the cloud”, i.e. in data centres operated by service providers rather than a company’s private servers. This is also a clever way for a company to leverage the service provider’s continuity strategy. For precisely that same reason, data centres are increasingly used for storing data.

The result: heavy traffic
This bristling activity inevitably leads to evermore data being sent to and from offices, with no end in sight. This is where fibre-optic comes in, because it has what it takes to support online data traffic for years to come. Whilst 100Mbps may be enough for your company’s current needs, 300Mbps or more may be required in five years from now. If your current system already supports higher data rates, you won’t have to install a new one when the time comes. Fibre-optic can indeed muster up to 500Mbps.

Whilst bandwidth used to be expensive, rates are now tumbling. Plus, fibre-optic lines are symmetrical, providing realtime access to data in a remote location. VDSL and cable lines, on the other hand, are asymmetrical (i.e. with di erent download and upload speeds). In fact, unlike copper wires (used for cable and VDSL lines), fibre-optic is not prone to interference, and therefore provides a consistent data transfer quality.

Managed services
Like any cable-based technology, fibreoptic requires a cable to work. This may require earthworks to provide the cable connections where they are needed. Companies like Proximus have already done a lot in that respect. Over 700 industrial zones already have fibre-optic links. Companies outside those areas would obviously also benefit from faster telephone lines.

While the cables themselves are important, the “managed services” that go with them ultimately ensure continuity. Companies requiring permanent access to online services may consider installing a redundant (backup) line that uses an altogether different route, to ensure that they have access to their data come what may.



One magazine is the Proximus B2B magazine for CIOs and IT professionals in large and medium-sized organisations.

One magazine is the Proximus B2B magazine for CIOs and IT professionals in large and medium-sized organisations.

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