Copper Still Dominant in Telecom Despite Advances

Although fiber-optic cabling represents the future of the telecommunications market, copper wire is far from dead, declared a New York-based market analyst firm recently.

The use of fiber will grow almost 25 percent between 1998 and 2005, while copper will grow by just 15 percent in the same seven year period.

Nonetheless, the use of copper wire will still account for 64 percent of the market, according to figures prepared by Allied Business Intelligence (ABI).

Specifically, copper cables will be used to carry almost all transmission protocols, including Gigabit Ethernet.

And enhanced Category 5 through Category 7 copper wire by 2005 will make up about 96 percent of the total U.S. copper-wire market, according to ABI.

The firm included its findings in a recent report titled Premises Wire & Cable: Fiber Optic, Copper Twisted Pair, and Coax LAN (local area network) markets.

ABI, however, is not alone in defending copper.

"We will be using copper for a long time to come, and working to advance the electronics around it," said Bell Atlantic chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg recently at the 2000 Global Internet Summit in Northern Virginia.

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