Which Fiber-to-the-Desk solution is best for government contractors?

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Government contractors are looking for a cost-effective solution to increase their network speed without compromising security. A fiber optic network is one route to go, but it’s expensive and time-consuming to install. Enter Fiber-to-the-Desk (FTTD).

If you’re unfamiliar with FTTD, it brings fiber optic infrastructure directly to the user’s instead of having it centrally-installed to support the entire building. This could be connectivity at a desk, in a conference room, or in a variety of other settings. FTTD is the optimal solution for creating a fast, secure network without the disruption of an enterprise upgrade to fiber cabling.

FTTD Compared to Copper-Based Connections

Fiber connections offer numerous advantages over copper-based connections including:

  • Security: Fiber cable reduces the risk of data leakage and disruptions because it’s shielded from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). Copper cabling, on the other hand, emits electromagnetic signals that can create interference and enable hackers to access unprotected data.
  • Throughput: Fiber has a higher data throughput capacity than copper, allowing faster network speeds.
  • Bandwidth/Reliability: The flexible capacity of fiber cable means that bandwidth and reliability are guaranteed, even as demand for data sharing grows.
  • Affordability: The costs to manufacture and install fiber cabling continue to decrease as usage continues to rise. In addition, ongoing maintenance costs for fiber networks are much lower than for copper.
  • Future-Proofing: Installation of fiber cabling helps ensure that communication networks will keep pace with network traffic growth. It also provides support for future 10 Gigabit data rates and new network applications.

While FTTD has been around for years, there are now multiple solutions available as employees begin to rely heavily on mobile devices such as laptops and tablets, in addition to their desktop computer, to complete their work.

So, which solution is best for the technology you need to support?

Optimal FTTD Technology for Various Network Devices

Here’s a quick guide:


Traditional PCs:  PCIe Network Interface Cards

• Multiple fiber adapter types available in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet versions

• Available with or without Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capability for powering VoIP phones


Desktops With Limited Space: Media Converters

• Small, economical, plug-and-play solution easily-fits behind PC and converts from copper to fiber

• PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) versions can provide an external fiber connection as well as power for VoIP phones


Small PCs and Thin Clients That Don’t Have PCIe Slots: Fiber Network Interface Card

• Securely mounts inside micros/minis that don’t have PCIe slots

• Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet versions available


Laptop or Tablet:  USB Network Adapters

• Plug the adapter into the device’s USB port for a simple fiber Ethernet connection

• Ideal for fiber-rich networking environments or temporary/portable fiber access

Now that you’ve learned about some of the benefits of FTTD, you can start considering an implementation plan that will best bring speed, security, and cost-savings to your customer.

The opinions expressed in this piece are solely Transition Networks'. They do not necessarily represent WESCO’s views. 

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