Author: Interlink Telecommunications

Fiber Optics vs. Copper: Fiber Adoption Rates Rise as Costs Subside

For many years, economics has been a deciding factor when it came to choosing between copper and fiber optic cable for networks both large and small. We currently see this manifested in areas such as telecom, where both fiber and copper networks have been installed based on various economic factors of the day.

While both types of cable have proven themselves as more than adequate, we’re now moving away from the ‘why?’ of fiber optics toward the ‘when?’ stage – meaning that it’s only a matter of time before fiber is the default choice when it comes to new and upgraded network installations. The main force behind this shift is the adoption rate of fiber optic technology. As fiber becomes more ubiquitous, prices are falling steadily – making it a viable and preferred product from both an economic and tech standpoint.

Aside from increased affordability, there are three main reasons to choose fiber optics. Each represents a great opportunity for businesses.

Greater distance without degradation – With no threat of latency over great distances, fiber is the choice for speed and dependability in networks that stretch across the street – or across the country. Signal degradation is significantly less on a fiber network – around 5dB/km – meaning less power is required during transmission. Because of this, power required to input signals within the network is also lowered, resulting in lower overall transmission costs.

Higher capacity – Fiber is much faster when it comes to data transfer rates throughout a network, making it the transmission medium of choice for data centers, large networks and networks that require increased security and immunity to electrical interference. This is especially important as the adoption of cloud applications increases and fast response times from the cloud translate into greater efficiency and increased ROI.


METERS @ 1000 Mbps
40 km+ @ 10,000
NOISE Negative
response to EMI/RFI and Voltage surges
tapped into
Almost impossible to
100-200 pounds


No interference – Unlike Copper, fiber can be installed alongside power lines and other objects that cause interference without any signal loss or data degradation. This allows fiber networks to be installed alongside new and existing electrical infrastructure on both large- and small-scales. This greatly reduces infrastructure expansion and management costs for companies.

Companies should also take into account that the reliability of copper is very dependent on the physical characteristics of the cable – twist a wire too much or remove too much insulation at a connection point and one runs the risk of performance loss. The same goes for line tension and kinks – either of which can cause loss of performance, unlike fiber which has its own specs, but is far more forgiving.

Who is a good candidate for fiber optic?

Just about any company with a network is a candidate for fiber optic technology, however they tend to fall into three main categories, including:

Companies in need of network upgrades (partial or full)
Existing/outdated networks can pose a potential risk liability for companies as legacy technologies approach the end of their useful life. Investment in reliable network technology that provides security and upward mobility into the future reduces the risk of costly downtime and provides companies with networks that are sure to meet the growing demands and capabilities of technology.

Companies in need of additional network and infrastructure (redundant or expanding)
Because fiber and copper work together in the same network, there is no reason why companies who are augmenting their current network and infrastructure investments can’t expand with fiber technology. For many companies, using fiber as the cable of choice for additional networks represents the first step in overall migration. CTOs, IT managers and others responsible for budget are using fiber network expansions as testing grounds to prove that fiber represents greater security and ROI over copper.

Companies that require initial network installation at a new or retrofitted facility
New network installations at an existing or retrofitted facility can benefit from choosing fiber optic technology over copper. Because fiber optic cable can be used alongside power and other interference-emitting sources, fiber represents far more versatility – which is a benefit when it comes to installing new networks in pre-existing and upgraded buildings.

As copper inches closer to its capability limits, fiber optic technology has become established as the option whose limits outpace that of copper. And, while the capabilities of copper haven’t been maxed out, its limits will, eventually, be reached while the limits of fiber optic technology continue to expand.

Companies on every scale are seeing the reliability of fiber optic technology and are using it to support the most critical aspects of their networks. Across provinces, or across the hall, mission-critical data is being carried on fiber optic technology because of its security, reliability and future potential.

If you’ve thought about fiber optic for your networks in the past, but stopped short because of price, it may be time to reconsider. Interlink can use fiber optic technology to create a network that will meet your needs long into the future.

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NEC InMail Quick Reference Sheet

Get the most out of your NEC InMail System by printing our Quick Reference Sheet.

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Instructions for using InMail on your NEC Phone System

Need to know how to quickly setup your InMail System?  View our guide for information on how to configure the InMail system on your NEC phone.

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Programming the Nortel Norstar

Common Norstar Telephone Features

To Call an Extension:

  1. Lift handset or press an INTERCOM key
  2. 2. Dial the extension number

To Use Voice Call:

  1. Lift handset, press Voice Call key or press the Feature button, then press 66
  2. Dial the extension number
    *If person is on the phone, Voice Call will not work

To Call an Outside Line:

  1. Lift handset or press INTERCOM key
  2. Dial “9” followed by the telephone number
    (Depends on system configuration, may not be applicable.

To Retrieve a Caller Held on Your Phone:

  1. Lift handset
  2. Press the INTERCOM key or line button that has the flashing triangle next to it

To Transfer a Call:

  1. While a caller is on the line, press the softkey under the word TRANSFER in the LCD display or Feature 70
  2. Dial the extension number of the person you are transferring to
  3. You may announce the call at this time by waiting for the called party to answer
    *Press the JOIN softkey to complete the transfer
    *Press the RETRY softkey to enter a different extension
    *Press the CANCEL softkey to return to the caller

To Park A Call (Puts a call on hold so that it can be picked up from any telephone on the system:

  1. While a caller is on the line, press the CALL PARK key or press the Feature button, then 74
  2. Look at the display to see where the call is parked, the display will show a 3 digit park code
  3. Hang up the receiver

To Retrieve a Parked Call:

  1. Lift handset or press the INTERCOM key
  2. Dial the park code (Example 101, 102.

To Page:

  1. Lift handset
  2. Press the PAGE key or press the Feature button, then 611
  3. Make your announcement
  4. Press the release key

To Turn On or Off Do Not Disturb:

  1. Press the DND key or press the Feature button, then 85
  2. To turn it off: Press the DND key or the Feature button, then #85

To Make a Conference Call:

  1. Make or receive the 1st call
  2. Press the Hold key
  3. Place 2nd call
  4. Press the Conference key or press the Feature button, then 3
  5. Press the INTERCOM key next to the held first call

To Pickup a Specific Ringing Extension:

  1. Press the Call Pickup key or press the Feature button, then 76
  2. Dial the extension you want to pick up

To see the Call Duration Timer:

  1. During your call or just after your call
  2. Press the Feature button, then 77
    *This will show you a “static” duration of your call

To Use Last Number Redial:

  1. Press the Last No. Redial key or press the Feature button, then 5
    *This will redial the last number you called

To Check to See What is Programmed On a Particular Button:

  1. Do a “Button Inquiry” by pressing the Feature button, then * 0
  2. Hit the button you want to check and it will show in the display what is programmed there

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