Deploying fiber optics (GPON) yields significantly more sustainable LANs.
Perhaps the most important savings associated with GPON is in electricity. The potential to reduce power consumption using fiber is substantial. It takes up to 75 percent less electricity to distribute data, voice and video throughout a campus via fiber compared to copper. In fact, copper wire can be expected to carry a signal only about 300 feet before an electronic device is needed to boost the signal. Conversely, fiber can carry the same signal for up to 12 miles.
In a typical campus setting, fiber in place of copper can save up to approximately 75 percent of the electricity required to run a network. The total savings can be substantial for larger networks. A campus with 2,000 users can save up to 514,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. This is enough energy to power 47 typical American homes.
Space and Materials
Typically, every floor of a large building has a telco closet with a rack of electronics that delivers service to each local workgroup. Each of those locations has a power supply and cooling requirement. Fiber eliminates those closets and equipment.
In addition to reducing space requirements, fiber in place of copper results in a reduction in materials. A typical building with 4,000 Ethernet ports fitted out with fiber instead of copper saves 8,000 lbs. of plastic and copper. This is especially appealing to customers who are tasked with developing more sustainable operations and securing various green building certifications.