What is Fibre Optic Cable?
The modern world is built upon a strong foundation of telecommunications. Almost everything we do, at some point, owes part of its journey to telecommunications. Behind the scenes, the backbone of modern telecommunication is provided by fibre optic cable. But what exactly is fibre optic cable and how can it help us?
What is so special about fibre optic cables?
A fibre optic cable is, of course, a type of cable. But it’s a very special cable. Rather than containing typical electrical wires, a fibre optic cable consists of thin strands of glass fibre within an insulated covering. This construction – which can contain up to a thousand fibres - is designed so that light signals can be transmitted along its glass core. It’s important to note that it is only light which can be transmitted along fibre optic cable. Electricity cannot be sent down fibre optic cables.
The Types of Fibre Optic Cable
Fibre optic cable can be separated into two distinct categories. Both types offer a range of benefits which make them suitable for specific uses. The two categories of fibre optic cable available are single-mode fibre and multi-mode fibre:
This category of fibre optic is capable of transmitting light signals up to 100km away. This is achieved by using a single light path. Generally, this form of fibre optic will be found in services such as local area networks, cable TV and telecommunication applications.
Where a single-mode fibre optic uses just one light path, a multi-mode fibre optic employs multiple light paths. The main benefit of this design is that connections are much simpler. It is also more cost effective due to the multiple streams of data which can travel down the connection. The range of multi-mode fibre, however, is much reduced due to the light dispersion which takes place. Accordingly, multi-mode fibre optic has a range of around 1km and is best suited to smaller, local networks.
How is Fibre Optic Used in Networking?
Both single and multi-mode fibre optic cabling is a fantastic solution when it comes to networking. The speed at which data can be transferred – up to 10 Gbps – means that fibre optic cables allow swift communication over computer networks. And this makes fibre optic cables perfect for:
- Transferring large files between users at high speeds
- Video conferencing with perfect visual and audio properties to ensure seamless communication
- Collaborating with both internal and external parties due to the availability of tools and features on fibre optic networks
- Streaming data e.g. training videos housed on external servers
Fibre optic internet
Fibre optic internet is also well known for its reliability. Therefore, by implementing a fibre optic infrastructure, you can rest assured that your productivity will remain high. And, talking of the internet, fibre optic cabling allows you to connect seamlessly with cloud servers to create backups quickly. Again, this demonstrates how fibre optic helps to maintain productivity and make your operations more secure.