Which cable is cheapest?

  Fraser257 22:27 29 Nov 2007

We had a little argument in our Computing class yesterday.. We've now been set a homework task: find out which is cheapest, 1km of Copper wire, or 1km of Optical fibre cable?

I've tried having a look on the Internet, but this didn't yield very good results..

  eikonuj 00:07 30 Nov 2007

I buy 400 metres 1 pair copper cable for about £25. 4 core multimode 62.5/125 fibre is about 50p per metre.Therefore 1 km single copper wire would cost roughly about £56.25 and a single fibre roughly about £125.

  Fraser257 17:43 30 Nov 2007

Is multimode 62.5/125 fibre the cheapest? Or are there cheaper cables? If so, could you get the price for the cheapest?


  eikonuj 18:43 30 Nov 2007

standard of fibre cable that is used commercially.I suppose someone somewhere will sell it cheaper but only by a few pence per metre.(62.5 is the diameter of the fibre core in microns and 125 is the thickness of the cladding around the core).Blown fibre is cheaper but the initial installation costs are high.A tube (often in bundles of 4 up to 24) is installed and the fibre that is required i.e. singlemode or multimode is blown down it using air pressure. After a few years when the new latest spec of fibre is required the old is removed and the new blown in.
I hope this is of some help.

  amonra 20:02 30 Nov 2007

Commercially there is no contest, fibre-optic wins every time. Ask any commercial operator like BT or C+W why they have replaced most trans-atlantic cables with F/O, COST !
Copper cables need frequent repeater amplifiers to maintain levels, F/O can go many many miles before correction is needed. Also, the carrying capacity of one single fibre is vastly superior to a copper pair. End of lesson.

  Fraser257 22:08 30 Nov 2007

Thanks for your replies. To fully complete the h/w, I've got to state an approx cost for 1km of both cables. Is there a website that I could try for this? I've already tried Maplins.

  MCE2K5 02:49 01 Dec 2007

eikonuj, Did the Leg Work for you.

You don't need a website, Do The Sums.

Just fill in the Totals,

Copper Wire per 1 Km.
400 mtrs = £25.00
400 mtrs = £25.00
200 mtrs = £12.50
Total = £__.__

Optical fibre per 1 Km
1 mtr = £0.50
Therefore 50p x 1000 = £___.__

Fill in the Totals, I will be back later this after noon to check your answers, Cane in Left hand, Ready, and Can of Coke in Right hand, If you get them RIGHT.


  Fraser257 13:29 01 Dec 2007

I DO need a website, as I have to be able to quote my source. Do you think I'd be able to speak to someone from BT about it?

  Fraser257 21:21 02 Dec 2007

Where did you get the prices from?

  Fraser257 22:33 02 Dec 2007

All I want to know is an approximate cost for 1000 metres of the absolute minimum standard fibre optic cable, and 1000 metres of twisted-pair copper cable, from someone who is able to tell me their source.

  MCE2K5 22:41 02 Dec 2007

fibre optic cable, click here

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