Compared to copper conductors of equivalent signal carrying capacity, fiber optic cables are easier to install, require less duct space, weigh 10 to 15 times less and cost less than copper.

The high signal bandwidth of optical fibers provides significantly greater information carrying capacity. Typical bandwidths for multimode (MM) fibers are between 200 and 600MHz-km and >10GHz-km for single mode (SM) fibers. Typical values for electrical conductors are 10 to 25MHz-km.

Since fiber optic systems do not emit RF signals, they are difficult to tap into without being detected.