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The most fundamental cabling choice has to do with the materials used inside the cable for the physical transmission of bits: either copper wires or glass fibers. The use of unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling saves money compared to optical fibers, with Ethernet nodes using the wires inside the cable to send data over electrical circuits. Fiber-optic cabling, the more expensive alternative, allows Ethernet nodes to send light over glass fibers in the center of the cable. Although more expensive, optical cables typically allow longer cabling distances between nodes.

From

Cover of Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide

Note

UTP (unshielded twisted-pair) vs. fiber-optic