Fiber Optic Cable vs Coaxial Cable

Fiber optic cables and coaxial cables are used in various applications. But many of us are still not having proper knowledge about fiber optic cable and coaxial cable. So, today in this article we will discuss the difference between fiber optic cable and coaxial cable.

Comparison of Fiber Optic and Coaxial Cables

The following are the main comparison between fiber optic and coaxial cables.

  • Physical Construction
  • Material of Construction
  • Transmission Method
  • Bandwidth
  • Transmission Speed
  • Efficiency
  • Diameter
  • Weight
  • Installation Complexity
  • Cost
  • Uses

Physical Construction

Fiber optic cable is made of the core which is a fiber core. Outside the fiber core, a cladding is present. Cladding is protected by a coating and a strength membrane. This whole assembly is protected by an outer jacket.

Fiber Optic

Coaxial Cable is made up of conductors which are protected by insulators and sheath/shield and outer cover.


Material of Construction

Fiber optic cable is made up of plastics and glass. While coaxial cable is made up of plastics and copper wire.

Transmission Method

Fiber optic cable transfers data or signal in the form of light. While coaxial cable transfers the data or signals in the form of an electrical signal.


Fiber optic cable has a very high bandwidth when compared to coaxial cable.

Transmission Speed

Fiber optic cable has a very high transmission speed of up to 10 Gbps and the transmission speed of coaxial cable is only up to 10 Mbps.


Fiber optic cable has very high efficiency when compared to coaxial cable. Fiber optic cable has the highest noise immunity whereas coaxial cable also has good noise immunity.


Fiber optic cable’s diameter is less when compared to coaxial cable. Hence, coaxial cable occupies more space while installation. But this space merely makes any difference.


Fiber optic cable is very light in weight when compared to coaxial cables.

Installation Complexity

Fiber optic cable installation requires special skill sets and the job is also a bit complex. While coaxial cable installation is a bit easy.


Fiber optic cable is more costly when compared to coaxial cable


Fiber optic cable is used for data transfers in process plants, modern high-speed internet connections, and the medical field. Coaxial cable is used for cable TVs and telephone communications also.

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