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Should Our Country Club Use Copper, Fiber Or Wi-Fi?

A lot of country clubs in Houston, San Antonio and Austin are spread-out over multiple buildings, and they can be located in rural areas. If this is your club, you need the right, properly installed cabling to ensure your employees and your guests can always connect and communicate.

Your physical IT infrastructure is vital to the integration and optimization of the critical systems that boost your operations. To support this, you need a highly-engineered, end-to-end cabling infrastructure and connectivity solution. An IT & Communications service company can help you determine if copper, fiber or if Wi-Fi is the best for your location. Here are some things to consider.

Which Type Of Connection Is Best for Your Country Club?

It’s important to consider a number of things when deciding which connection is best for your club. For example, if your team needs to hold video conferences, bandwidth, the speed at which you gain Internet access, is something to consider.

If you use data-dense functions like streaming videos or downloading large files, your bandwidth must be able to handle this. You need 5.0 megabits per second to stream an HD video. And, with multiple users uploading large files and concurrently streaming multiple videos, you can see how a limited bandwidth can really slow things down.

What’s The Difference Between The Three Types Of Connections?

The three mediums we use are Copper, Fiber Optics and Wireless. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at this…

Copper: Since the advent of the telephone, we’ve been using copper wiring. It’s great for sending voice signals but offers very limited bandwidth. Most people are familiar with copper wiring because it’s what’s been used for the last 100 years.

Fiber Optics: In the 1970s, fiber optics came to be. It uses thin strands of plastic or glass to transmit signals. It wasn’t put to use in telecommunications networks until the early 80s. It provided distance and bandwidth capabilities that prompted experts to use it instead of copper. The performance and reliability of cable television signals could be enhanced by using fiber; plus you could also use it for both internet and phone service.

Wireless: It seems from our discussion above that fiber optics is the winner. However, wireless broadband is gaining ground. The 4th generation of wireless (4G) can broadcast an internet connection using radio waves. 4G is the technology used by mobile phone companies. However, 4G requires its infrastructure to be built to cover remote areas. This build-out is growing as the years go by. 4G is faster than the older 3G mobile phone connections.

So, Which Should You Use?

Copper vs Fiber: Copper offers advantages for Country Clubs that are located in rural areas. That’s because it’s readily available and is less expensive for connecting network devices. Fiber optics can be expensive to install, and copper is more cost-effective.

However, fiber optic cabling provides a faster transmission speed. It offers speeds about 31% slower than the speed of light. Fiber also experiences less attenuation (signal loss) when traveling over long distances; it loses only 3 % over 320 feet compared to copper that loses 94% over this distance. We can install boosters to improve this, but when you compare fiber to copper for speed, fiber wins out.

If copper wires aren’t installed correctly, they can produce electromagnetic currents that will cause problems on your network. Copper cables conduct electricity, unlike fiber optic cables. You won’t have to worry about fiber being a fire hazard, and they don’t break easily, so you won’t have to reinstall them as often.

Wireless vs Copper and Fiber: Wireless can alleviate most of the cost of cable or fiber installations. However, wireless signals degrade over distance. The greater the distance between the broadcast station, the weaker the signal. And in rural areas, without adequate wireless coverage and towers, this isn’t a viable option. But, if your Country Club is in an area where the 4G infrastructure reaches you, wireless can be a good option.

What’s The Bottom Line?

If your Country Club is in an area that has access to fiber optic cables that are already installed (typically larger suburban areas), then it’s a good choice due to its cost-effectiveness, speed and reliability. But, if not the more practical option would be to go with the copper wiring that’s already installed and being used. If you’re in an area where 4G technology has been provided, wireless can be a realistic option. Plus, as communication companies continue to build it out (and some now setting up 5G networks), this technology will improve.

Perhaps you should combine two of these options? Maybe you can use fiber and wireless if available. Or, copper and wireless? These systems can complement one another. Now, your choice is even more confusing!

Let An IT & Communications Expert Help

You need the expertise of an IT & Communications expert in San Antonio, Houston and Austin. ICS will cable your entire facility for new phones, computers, and more. Since we are a full-service provider, we can help you determine if copper, fiber or Wi-Fi is best for your location.

ICS can also help you find providers that will deliver fiber to your facility. Sometimes this entails working with multiple internet providers to determine which provider has the best pricing and capabilities for your region.

We can also help install fiber and/or wireless between your buildings when they are too far apart for standard copper installations, or you need more bandwidth.

We’re always here to help.

In the meantime, visit our Blog. We post new articles on a regular basis that will keep you up-to-date on IT & Communication news and solutions.