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Broadband divide breathes new life into copper wires

By Max Burkhalter
January 22, 2015

Though fiber-optic cables have become nearly synonymous with broadband, these connections are rarely accessible to a large percentage of Americans in lieu of costly infrastructure projects. It's no surprise then that tech companies have invested in devising methods of achieving broadband speeds over copper. Because copper wiring has been extensively installed across the country, it's much more cost effective to mix fiber and copper than to replace the former with the latter. With demand for broadband on the rise, copper will likely play a role in making 1 Gbps speeds accessible to a wider audience.

New report reveals tiered broadband speeds
A Deloitte report noted that the number of broadband households in the country has exceeded 700 million, according to TechCentral. However, the experience is far from uniform. Those users who have access to the costliest broadband packages enjoy Internet speeds that are ten times faster than those on the other side of the spectrum. The Deloitte report argued that copper still has potential for use, however, thanks to g.Fast technology which allows for 1 Gbps speeds over copper wire. In rural areas of the United States where fiber connections are scarce, a combination of G.Fast enhanced copper and a robust fiber-to-Ethernet connector would make it possible to extend broadband to an entire community from just a few optical cables.

4K might grow over copper
Some industry experts expect copper to do more than improve Internet speeds for rural Americans. In an interview with, Michael Weissmann, Sckipio Technologies' vice-president of marketing, emphasized that copper could provide the infrastructure solution to one of 4K's biggest obstacles. If gigabit speeds were able to be easily transferred over copper wires, then the ultra-high definition content could be streamed to a much wider audience. This breakthrough would catapult 4K media by years, circumventing the time and money required to lay fiber-optic cables across the country. Copper broadband could also facilitate new configuration opportunities for data centers and research facilities.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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