Fiber Optics Communication can be used to transmit light and thus information over long distances. Fiber-based systems have largely replaced radio transmitter systems for long-haul optical data transmission.
They are widely used for telephony, but also for Internet traffic, long high-speed local area networks (LANs), cable TV (CATV), and increasingly also for shorter distances within buildings. In most cases, silica fibers are used, except for very short distances, where plastic optical fibers can be advantageous.
Mostly due to their very high data transmission capacity, Fiber Optics Communication systems can achieve a much lower cost than systems based on coaxial copper cables, if high data rates are needed. For low data rates, where their full transmission capacity cannot be utilized, fiber-optic systems may have less of an economic advantage, or may even be more expensive (not due to the fibers, but the additional transceivers). The primary reason, however, for the still widespread use of copper cables for the “last mile” (the connection to the homes and offices) is simply that copper cables are already laid out, whereas new digging operations would be required to lay down additional fiber cables.
Fiber Optics Communication are already extensively used within metropolitan areas (metro fiber links), and even fiber to the home (FTTH) spreads more and more – particularly in Japan, where private Internet users can already obtain affordable Internet connections with data rates of 100 Mbit/s – well above the performance of current ADSL systems, which use electrical telephone lines. In other countries, one often tries to squeeze out higher transmission capacities from existing copper cables, e.g. with the technique of vectoring, in order to avoid the cost of laying down fiber cables to the premises. This, however, is more and more seen only as a temporary solution, which cannot satisfy further growth of bandwidth demand.
Today’s generation is connected unlike any other. Currently more than 2 billion kilometers of optical fiber is deployed around the world, linking people, businesses, communities, countries, and continents together.
The technology to instantly and globally share voice, data, video, and applications such as file-sharing, online gaming, video on demand, and HDTV continues to push communications networks to expand and evolve. Since our invention of the first low-loss optical fiber, we have continued to develop and deliver new generations of optical fibre technology, fueling the global expansion of broadband connectivity.
Due to its compatibility with other technologies and nearly unlimited bandwidth capacity, optical fibre has the ability to grow and adapt to future communication needs. We began the Fiber Optics Communication revolution and will continue to lead the industry in developing the next generation of technology for the communications networks of today and tomorrow.