Fiber Networks May Be Fast, But Copper Is Catching Up

There's much to be said for computer networks based on fiber optics. Since they use light rather than electricity to carry data, such networks can transmit 20 times more data per second than those based on copper cables. But instead of rewiring a building with fiber--a prohibitively expensive proposition--many companies are offering cheaper solutions. Microdyne Corp. in Alexandria, Va., is one of the latest entrants in the battle to make copper-based networks shine like fiber-optic setups.

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