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What is Fiber Optic cable?
What is Fiber Optic cable?

Fiber optic cables contain glass fibers within an insulated casing. They are used for long-distance, high performance data networking and telecommunications. Fiber optic cables transmit data at longer distances and have a higher bandwidth than traditional wired cables. Fiber optic cables provide support for much of the world's internet and cable television systems.

Fiber Optic cables: How they Work

A fiber optic cable is made of one or several strands of glass that are slightly thicker then a human hair. The core of each strand is what allows light to travel through. The core is protected by a layer called cladding, which reflects light backwards to prevent signal loss and allows light through bends in cables.

Multi-mode and single mode are the two most common types of optical fibre cables. A single-mode fiber uses extremely thin glass fibers and a laser to create light. Multi-mode optical fibre cables use LEDs.

Wave Division Multiplexing techniques are used in single-mode optical fibre networks to increase the data traffic the strand can handle. WDM allows multiple wavelengths of light to be combined (multiplexed), and then later separated (demultiplexed). In other words, multiple communication streams can be transmitted through one light pulse.

Fiber Optic cables offer many benefits

Fiber cables offer many benefits over long-distance copper cabling.

Fiber optics have a greater capacity. A fiber cable can carry much more bandwidth than a copper wire of the same thickness. Standard specifications for fiber cables include rated speeds of 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, or 100 Gbps.

Signal boosters are not necessary as light can travel longer distances using fiber cables without losing strength.

Fiber optic cables are more resistant to interference. Protecting copper network cables against electromagnetic interference requires shielding. This shielding can help, but it will not stop interference when multiple cables are connected together. Most of these problems can be avoided thanks to the physical properties of fiber optic cable.

Fiber to the Home, Fiber Networks and Other Deployments

Fiber optics are typically installed for long-distance connections between countries and cities. However, some residential internet providers have made investments in extending their fiber infrastructure to suburban areas to allow households direct access. These last-mile installations are referred to by industry professionals as well as providers.

Verizon FIOS is one of the best-known fiber to-the-home services on the market. Google Fiber is another. These services are capable of providing gigabit internet speeds for households. These services often offer customers lower capacity packages. These acronyms often refer to different home-consumer packages:

FTTP: Fiber that has been laid all the route to the building.

FTTB (Fiber to the Building/Business/Block): The same as FTTP.

FTTC/N (Fiber To the Curb of Node),: Fiber laid to the node and then copper wires completed the connection within the building.

Direct fiber: Fiber which leaves the central office and connects directly to one client. Although this provides the most bandwidth, it is also very expensive.

Shared Fiber: This is a similar product to direct fiber. However, as the fiber approaches customers' premises it will split into other optical fibres.

What is Dark Fiber?

Dark fiber is often spelled unlit fibre or dark fibre. It refers to fiber optic cables that are not currently being used. This term can also be used to refer to privately owned fiber installations.

Frequently Asked Question

Is fiber optic superior to cable? Better depends upon your perspective. Fiber optic internet has a lower chance of being shut down due to power outages than other high-speed internet. Fiber optic internet is not only more reliable but also faster and more expensive than traditional internet cables.

Fiber optic internet is faster than cable internet. Cable technology can only support approximately 1,000 Mbps bandwidth while fiber optic internet can handle speeds of up to 2000 Mbps. A 2-hour HD movie can easily be downloaded at 1000 Mbps in just 32 seconds. It takes around 17 seconds to download a 2 hour HD movie at 2,000Mbps.

What are the main components of fiber optic cables? The core, cladding, as well as the coating are all essential components to fiber optic cable.

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