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What is Fiber Optic?
What is Fiber Optic?

A fiber optic cable is a network cabling that contains glass fibers inside an insulated shell. They are ideal for long-distance high-performance data networking and telecoms. Fiber optic cables are more bandwidth-efficient than wired cables and can transmit data for longer distances. Fiber optic cables can be used to connect many of the world’s internet, cable television, or telephone systems.

Fiber Optic Cables: What Does It Do?

A fiber optic cable is composed of one to several strands made from glass. Each strand is slightly thinner than a human’s hair. The core of each fiber optic cable is located at the center. This provides light the path to travel. The core is covered by a layer known as cladding. This reflects light inward so that there is no loss of signal. It also allows the light to pass through bends within the cable.

One-mode and multi-mode are the primary types of optical cable. One-mode fiber uses thin glass strands, and a laser for light generation. Multi-mode optical fiber cables utilize LEDs.

Wave Division Multiplexing can be used to increase single-mode optical fiber network data traffic. WDM allows light of multiple wavelengths to combine (multiplexed), then later split (de-multiplexed), effectively transmitting multiple communication channels through one light pulse.

Fiber Optic Cables Offer Many Advantages

Fiber cables offer many advantages over long-distance copper cable.

Fiber optics offer a higher capacity. A fiber cable is capable of carrying more network bandwidth than copper cables of the same thickness. Fiber cables with a rating of 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps or 100 Gbps are the norm.

Because light can travel much farther over fiber cables than a cable made of copper, signal boosters are less important.

Fiber optic cables are less susceptible to interference. Shielding is required to protect copper network cables from electromagnetic interference. Even though shielding can be helpful, it doesn't prevent interference from cables strung in close proximity. Fiber optic cables have the physical properties to avoid most of these problems.

Fiber to your Home, Other Deployments and Fiber Networks

Most fiber optics are used to connect long distance between cities and countries. But some residential internet providers also invest in extending fiber connections to suburban neighborhoods to enable direct access for their customers. These last-mile connections are what providers and industry professionals refer to.

Verizon FIOS (and Google Fiber) are two of the more well-known fiber-to–the-home service providers in this market. These services can deliver gigabit internet speeds to households. Customers are often offered lower capacity packages. These acronyms are commonly used to shorten different home-consumer packs.

FTTP (Fiber from the Premises), Fiber that is laid all of the way to the building.

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

FTTC/N is Fiber that is laid at the node. Copper wires then complete the connection.

Direct fiber is fiber that leaves the central offices and is attached to one customer. However, this type of fiber has the highest bandwidth, but it can be costly.

Shared fiber is similar to direct fiber but as the fiber approaches customer premises, it separates into other optical fibers that can be used by those customers.

What is Dark Fiber?

Dark fiber, sometimes spelled dark fiber or unlit fiber, refers most often to fiber optic cabling that has been installed but is not being used. Privately owned fiber installations may also be referred to as dark fiber.

Frequently Asked questions

Is fiber optic more reliable than cable? Better depends upon your perspective. Fiber optic internet is more likely to be down than other high speed internet types due to the absence of electricity. Fiber optic internet is faster than traditional internet cables, and it's also more reliable.

How fast can fiber optic internet be compared to cable internet. Cable technology is capable of supporting approximately 1,000 Mbps while fiber optic Internet can support speeds up to 2,000Mbps. A 2-hour HD movie can downloaded in 32 seconds at 1,000 Mbps. A 2-hour HD movie takes 17 seconds to download at 2,000 Mbps.

What are the components of fiber optical cable? Fiber optic cable is made up of three components: the core and the cladding.


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