Data Cables – Copper & Fiber – Bandwidth & Length

We’ve recently been putting together some plans for new buildings and facilities. During this process we were debating which cabling approaches to take. Even amongst ourselves there was some some debate about where we could use Cat 5e or Cat 6, if we should invest in Cat 7 / Class F. When optical fiber would be more appropriate for which speed. Based on these chats I decided we needed to break this down authoritatively, so I put together the spreadsheet below to try and definitively address the issues.

I was surprised there was nothing out there already that really summarised things the way I would have liked, so I’m publishing this, to be fair fairly rough and ready, table to hopefully save time for anyone else who might similarly struggle…

Data Cables Copper Fiber Bandwidth Length
All this changes all the time, particularly pricing and new standards…

So, please do let me know of any mistakes I’ve made, and when this information changes, I’ll do my best to keep it up to date…

I should note that the numbers below the bandwidths in the “FIBER (Glass)” section are the number of cores used to achieve the bandwidth above them, so to get 100Gbps on OM3 you would need a minimum of 20 “cores”.

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