Fiber Optics – Taking Communication to a Different Level
Internet nowadays is all about speed and good connectivity. Internet service providers are judged by the time required for downloading or uploading high quality videos and audios. Lesser the time better is their quality of service. But what has enabled this kind of fast communication? Technology of Fiber optics revolutionized communication and has increased bandwidth dramatically. The new technology enables Internet providers to offer much greater connectivity, with decreased network congestion, and faster on-demand video streaming.
What is Fiber Optic Communication?
Fiber optic communication is a communication technology that uses fiber-optic cables for data transmission. But what kinds of cables are these? Fiber-optic cables, also known as light-pipes, are designed to transmit digital data and information in the form of light signals over long distances with very little loss. These cables are made from bundles of optical fibers which are long, thin strands of very pure glass, each strand being nearly as thin as human hair. A high quality communication cable is made of glass or silicon dioxide. You can also find fiber-optic cables made of plastic, which are used for very short distances.
Manifold Benefits of Fiber Optic Communication
Compared to conventional coaxial copper or metallic cables, fiber optic cables have several advantages:
They are tougher and immune to EMI: Optic fiber cables are very tough and don’t corrode. Unlike copper cables, data transmission through fiber optic cables is not affected, distorted, or lost by EMI or Electro Magnetic Interference. Here digital signals are transmitted as light instead of current and can carry signals through places where EMI would block or distort transmission.
Data security: Since fiber optics do not radiate electromagnetic energy, emissions cannot be intercepted and fiber optic cables are more secured medium to carry sensitive data.
Higher carrying capacity: Because optical fibers are thinner than copper wires, so more fibers can be bundled into a certain diameter of cable.
Ease of installation: Fiber cables are easier to install as they are thinner, light weight, and more flexible. They can also run along the same routes as electric cables without getting affected by electrical interference or noise.
Achieve higher bandwidth over long distances: Fiber optics have larger information carrying capacity compared to coaxial cables. They can carry high speed signals over longer distances. Generally, coaxial cables have a bandwidth parameter of a few MHz/km, where as fiber optic cables have approximately a bandwidth of 400MHz/km. This factor makes fiber optic cables appropriate for data communications.
Non-flammable: Chances of fire hazards are lesser in optic cables as they only carry light signals and no electricity passes through them.
Fiber optic cables are cheaper than coaxial cables, but the allied equipment and instruments required for setting up the fiber optic communication system, makes this arrangement costlier. So in ordinary environments or for shorter distances, it is not practical to use fiber optics to transmit data. Only in situations where secured, noise free transmission is required over large distances, fiber optic communication is the best option.
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