We live in a fast-paced digital age where a labyrinth of information has been accessed, shared, and passed in seconds across the world. The data and information are passed through numerous types of data cables, and one of the most popular and renowned is the ‘fiber-optic’ that consists of tiny glass filaments that carry information in the form of light beams.
Fiber optic cables are most essential for transmitting high-speed information from one end to another. Many big technology companies such as Verizon and Google use fiber optic cables for long-distance information transfer and data networking. Fiber optic is also commonly used for internet, mobile communication, and televisions.
Fiber optic provides not only fast internet speeds but also high bandwidth that means allowing users to download and upload data quickly. A fiber optic cable consists of a glass fiber core that is covered by another glass layer that is called ‘cladding’. The final layer is the jacket layer that protects the entire cable.
How Fiber Optic Works
The data or information is sent through the fiber optic in light pulses, also known as ‘photons.’ The refractive index of both glass fiber core and cladding is different that bends the transmitted light at various angles.
When light from a source is passed in the fiber optic, the light signals are refracted and bounced from the glass fiber core and then in the cladding through a process that is called ‘total internal reflection.’
The light signals travel 30% less than the speed of light, which is why repeaters are used to amplify or regenerate the light signal and convert it to an electrical signal, and then resending the optical signal. However, the light pulses do not travel as fast as the speed of light due to the dense glass layers.
Types of Fiber Optic Cables
The two popular types of fiber optic are called ‘single-mode’ and ‘multi-mode’ fiber cables. The single-mode features a small glass fiber core and is used for transmission over long distances. There is less chance of loss of signal strength or attenuation due to small diameter, and the light pulses are sent directly with little bends and curves.
Single-mode fiber optic also has higher bandwidth as compared with multimode fiber. The laser is primarily used as the light source for the single-mode but quite expensive as precise calculations are required to pass the light through the small opening.
On the other hand, Multimode fiber optic is best suited for short distances, and a large opening makes the light pulses bounce and bend more than single-mode fiber optic cable. The large diameter means more light pulses can pass, which also means more data can be sent. An increase in the number of light pulses also means loss of signal strength and interference. A LED source is used as a light source in a multimode.
Conventionally, copper wires were primarily used for telecommunication, but now internet in commercial offices and residential houses is given by fiber-optic providers in USA. The fiber optic cable cannot only carry more information but is also faster than copper wire.
As the information is passed in light pulses, the interference of electromagnetic waves does not happen, and the signal losses are also minimum. The advantages of fiber optic cables are
- Faster speeds
- Support higher bandwidth
- Fewer chances of signal losses and electromagnetic interference
- It can easily be submerged in water and used in undersea cables
- Sturdy and thinner as compared to copper wires
- Durable and do not require frequent repairs or replacement
Fiber optic cable is widely used due to its speed and efficiency; however, fiber optic is labor-intensive and requires precise calculations. The fiber optic cable is also more fragile due to the use of glass filaments. The most prominent fiber optic use is in computer networking, where there is the significant importance of transmitting bulk data and faster.
Advantages of Fiber Optic Cable
Fast speed internet and cable television are other common usages of fiber optic cable, and it also supports digital steaming more effectively than conventional methods. Apart from data communication, fiber optic also serves numerous biomedical purposes.
The internet, telephone, and cable T.V signals for over 60 miles are now mostly transmitted through single-mode fiber optic cables, while multimode fiber optic cable is mostly used to connect computer networks over short distances.
Fiber optic connectivity is essential for supporting digital technology and providing a seamless connection that supports cloud computing for data storage or applications. One of the most beneficial technology for businesses is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Some of the advantages of employing services of fiber optic providers are
A few years back, the maximum speed a home user or an employee in the workspace could get was 1 Mbps (Megabyte per Second) to 5 Mbps. But now there is a whole range of available internet connections offering from 5 Mbps to 10 Gbps (Gigabyte per Second). Studies suggest that fast internet is now necessary for optimum productivity.
A decade ago, there used to be several issues with an internet connection, and users did not get seamless internet service. Most of the internet issues were due to the loss of signals due to copper wires. But fiber optic installation and implementation have considerably reduced the common occurrence of the internet going down.
- Cloud Access
Cloud computing has become the digital transformation focus and has several benefits, from hosting, data storage to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools. More than 90% of companies are using the cloud one way or another. Fiber optic has played a crucial role in making fast internet communication and data access possible.
- Signal Strength
One of the common problems of using copper wires for an internet connection was the loss of signal. The strength of the fiber optic signal does not degrade even over long distances. Employees in larger workspaces can enjoy using the internet easily without having to remain closer to the switch.
The significant demand for internet and mobile connectivity has given way to more advancement in fiber optic technology. Now people can use fast internet speed and more bandwidth to perform the tasks without any hassle.