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Fiber Optics and Telecommunications

Telecommunications has come a long way since the first telegraph, the first phone call, and even the first email. With the variety of methods that can now be used to communicate with anyone around the world, it might surprise you to learn that the wires used to transmit information haven’t changed much in the past 100 years. The infrastructure that was designed to carry simple audio signals, and later one-way television signals, remains the dominant form of wiring throughout the world. Even wireless internet relies heavily on copper cables to transmit information quickly and effectively. This is slowly changing, however, as fiber optic cables become more affordable and are in higher demand. 

 

Fiber Optic in Telecommunications

Fiber optic cables are similar to their classic copper counterparts in many ways, but the biggest difference is that copper cables can only carry information as fast as an electrical impulse, whereas fiber makes use of lasers to send information at nearly the speed of light. Considering that the first telecommunication sent on copper wire across the Atlantic Ocean took more than 16 hours, the mere minutes that copper wire can carry electrical signals now is indeed very rapid. Fiber cables take this a step further and make it possible for an email to reach an intercontinental receiver within seconds. This increase allows for somewhat of a revolution in how communication is sent and received both nationally and internationally. 

 

World-wide Communication

When fiber optic first became a viable option, it made sense to install it along ocean channels for many reasons. Many copper cables still run along the ocean floor to allow telecommunications to travel between continents. Copper is highly susceptible to changes in temperature, pressure, and radiation.  Although signals get through, they are not only slow, but they can become distorted. It makes sense then that major internet companies such as Google and Amazon have invested heavily in intercontinental fiber optic lines. Fiber is fast, and since it uses light instead of electromagnetic pulses, it’s less susceptible to distortion. 

 

Businesses with Fiber

With high speeds and increased clarity, fiber is an obvious choice for savvy businesses. In fact, with the natural gravitation toward fiber, businesses risk being left behind if they can’t get onto the grid. One of the problems with fiber is that it’s currently only available in certain areas, including the East Coast of the United States and countries such as Japan. Although fiber is becoming increasingly common, there’s a good chance that any given internet connection is partly copper and partly fiber. Businesses that intend to increase their telecommunication speeds find it rewarding to invest in fiber cables that come right to their doors. 

Although the initial dollar investment is high, the durability and increased potential that come with fiber optic cables make the overall cost lower than copper wires. With fiber optic cables, remote locations that have spotty internet now have the ability to get clear, high-speed internet. Although it isn’t widely available in the United States, investors are moving toward more fiber and less copper. Communication, whether for international business or local personal use, is being revolutionized by fiber optic.  


Check out our last post: How Aerial Fiber Construction Works

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