There are so many advantages that come along with using fiber optic cables over traditional copper ones. Fiber optic cables can transmit data significantly faster than copper ones. They’re also able to carry data over longer distances without experiencing any disruptions. Nevertheless, over the years, companies have found that there is one challenge associated with using fiber optic cables as opposed to copper cables. Freezing-cold temperatures seem to take a toll on fiber optic cables and cause them to stop working suddenly in some cases.
WHY IT HAPPENS
So, why does this happen? There is quite a bit of research that has been done on it, and it appears as though fiber optic cables are affected by cold temperatures whenever water is able to make its way into the ducts carrying the cables and freeze. The ice that forms around the fiber optic cables often causes the cables to bend, which affects the signals sent through the cables. In some instances, the signals are simply slowed down and degraded, but in others, the signals aren’t able to pass through the fiber optic cables at all. It can lead to fiber optic networks going down unexpectedly.
HOW IT CAN BE PREVENTED
The good news is that there are steps that can be taken to limit the impact that freezing-cold weather has on fiber optic cables. For starters, those installing fiber optic cables can be careful about where and how they’re installed. Burying fiber optic cables below the frost line, for example, often eliminates the threat of ice. There are also many companies that are using antifreeze gels and other products to prevent water from freezing in ducts carrying fiber optic cables along bridges and other structures. These products have proven to be useful when it comes to protecting fiber optic cables from the elements.