Ever wonder how data is transferred across wide distances? Or how phone calls are made across the country? Or even how the Internet is connected to devices? The answer is simple: fiber optic cables. Southeast is making a huge investment in upgrading our current cables to not only improve speeds now, but also to meet future needs.
Fiber optic cables are immensely superior to their copper cable cousins. Fiber optics are able to carry a higher network bandwidth, therefore, speeding up the Internet speed exponentially. Additionally, light is able to travel much farther without needing a boost from signal boosters. Finally, glass has a significantly less chance of encountering interference from electromagnetic intrusions. With these benefits in mind, Southeast Missouri State University Telecommunications staff installed over 2,000 feet of fiber optic cables during this past summer. These cables allow SEMO to upgrade network connection speeds between the data center and each network closet in most buildings from a range of 1,000Mbs to up to 10Gbps.
Benefits of the speed increase can mean different things to different users. While past network speeds were sufficient for many, with an increase, file downloads and sharing will be processed much faster. Even if you were not a heavy user of data transfers, you will benefit now and into the future. Older cables struggled to work with the new technology that is being brought to campus. Considering the fact that technology with even greater demands is always looming on the horizon, subsequent demands can now be met.
Finally, the fiber optic cables are the first step toward the future goal of creating a strong intranet system. Coinciding with Step 1 is Step 2, consisting of CAT5 cable replacement with CAT 6, and Step 3, the installation of new switches and access points. Steps 2 and 3 will bring about faster connection speeds, of up to 1,000 Mbps, from the network closets to the end user’s devices. With these new cables and a constant stream of upgrades, faster internet is just a cable away.
Author: Brian Schnurbusch, IT Director of Infrastructure and Networks
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