What is fiber-optic and how it works?

What is fiber optics?

Fiber optic cable, also known as optical fiber cable or simply fiber, is an assembly of light-receptive optical fibers that can carry signals. It is a type of electrical cable, but containing optical fibers which are used for transmitting data over long distances. Being flexible and transparent, it does not need any metals to conduct electricity. The fiber ends usually have cladding made from plastic or glass.

Optical fiber cables are widely used in telecommunications networks, especially for long-distance cable lines. Fiber-optic systems typically use laser light or electrical signals (electrical light) at very high frequencies to transmit the signals rather than copper cables which transmit electrical current or radio waves at lower frequencies and can easily be damaged by other transmissions.

Fiber optic cable is a type of electrical cable that uses glass as the electrical conductor. The glass core is surrounded by an optical fiber, which transmits low-power light signals to support data communications. Fiber optic cables are used for cable television, telephone, Internet, and computer networking applications. They are also used in industrial applications like oil and gas pipelines.

How do fiber-optic cables transmit data?

Fiber-optic cables are comprised of dozens or hundreds of optical fibers – very thin strands of glass or plastic that are less than 1/10 of the thickness of a human hair. Fiber-optic cables transmit data via fast-traveling pulses of light. Another layer of glass, called “cladding,” is wrapped around the central fiber and causes light to repeatedly bounce off the walls of the cable rather than leak out at the edges, enabling the single to go farther without attenuation.

How do fiber-optic cables transmit data so quickly?

Because fiber optics uses light rather than electrical signals to transmit data, fiber-optic cable speed is incredibly fast ― close to the speed of light.

How do fiber-optic cables transmit data with greater bandwidth?

Fiber-optic cables have a broader range of frequencies over which data can travel without loss of quality than copper wire or satellite connections. This enables fiber Internet solutions to offer significantly higher bandwidth capacity than the alternatives.

How do fiber-optic cables transmit data more effectively than copper or satellite?

Offering higher speed and bandwidth than copper or satellite connections, fiber-optic cables enable businesses to download and upload data more quickly.

How do fiber-optic cables transmit data with greater reliability?

Because fiber-optic cables use light rather than electrical signals, fiber connections are far less likely to be affected by power outages and/or electromagnetic interference. Fiber-optic cables are also much stronger than copper wire, making them more impervious to weather, fire, and other hazards.

How do fiber-optic cables transmit data with higher security?

Hacking fiber-optic cables are much harder and more costly than intercepting signals on copper or satellite connections, making fiber Internet access much more secure.

Fiber-optic Internet from Spectrum Enterprise

Spectrum Enterprise provides fiber Internet access and other fiber services to America’s largest enterprises. Our fiber-optic network includes thousands of route miles and fiber-lit buildings throughout the country, and it provides the bandwidth that can scale from 25 Mbps to 100 Gbps to meet business needs.

What is a fiber-optic network?

There are several different types of fiber-optic networks but they all begin with optic cables running from the network hub to the curb near your home or straight to your home to provide a fiber-optic internet connection. The fastest type of fiber network is called Fiber to the Home (FTTH) or Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) because it’s a 100% fiber-optic connection with optical fiber cables installed to terminals directly connected to houses, apartment buildings, and businesses.

On the other hand, Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) is a partial fiber connection because the optical cables run to the curb near homes and businesses and copper cables carry the signals from the curb the rest of the way. Similarly, Fiber to the Building (FTTB) is when fiber cable goes to a point on a shared property and the other cabling provides the connection to offices or other spaces.

How does fiber optics work?

Fiber optics transmit data in the form of light particles — or photons — that pulse through a fiber optic cable. The glass fiber core and the cladding each have a different refractive index that bends incoming light at a certain angle.

When light signals are sent through the fiber optic cable, they reflect off the core and cladding in a series of zig-zag bounces, following a process called total internal reflection. The light signals do not travel at the speed of light because of the denser glass layers, instead traveling about 30% slower than the speed of light.

To renew, or boost, the signal throughout its journey, fiber optics transmission sometimes requires repeaters at distant intervals. These repeaters regenerate the optical signal by converting it to an electrical signal, processing that electrical signal, and retransmitting the optical signal.

Fiber optic cables are now able to support up to 10 Gbps signals. Typically, as the bandwidth capacity of a fiber optic cable increases, the more expensive it becomes.