How Fiber Optics Connects Us

Everyone has been troubled by a slow internet connection interfering with web use. Whether the video chat with your cousin from another state glitched and made words impossible to understand, or a circling loading screen greeted you when you logged on to social media, a bad internet connection makes keeping in touch with friends and loved ones more difficult than it should be. The internet can be slow for many reasons, but it can often be blamed on older cable systems that are subject to interference, limited bandwidth, or distance from the nearest node. Fortunately, fiber optic cables are changing how we connect to and use the internet. 

Fiber optic cables work better than older copper wires in a number of ways. Simply put, they are faster. Copper cables transmit data at the speed of electricity, which is pretty fast, but not as fast as light, which is how data is transmitted in fiber cables. Copper wires are also subject to distortion, which is caused by electromagnetic disturbances along the way, and attenuation, which means they get weaker over time. Fiber optics work by sending light, which travels faster than copper wires and is much less susceptible to electromagnetic interference. Using fiber optics means that connecting with others online is easier than ever. 


Connecting on Social Media

Social media is designed to be light on bandwidth so users can easily scroll through a lot of content in a short amount of time. Many media including text, photos, videos, and audio files are quickly previewed. Fiber optic connections might not make a noticeable difference when users are merely looking at a feed, since it doesn’t require high speed internet. However, unlike older connections, fiber optic connections have upload speeds that match or exceed the download speeds. That means it’s easier than ever to share a photo, video, or post without waiting forever for it to upload. 


Video Chatting

Anyone who has tried to run a video chat over a distorted cable knows that there’s lots of room for improvement. Chatting with others shouldn’t involve pixelated images, mechanical sounds or constant freeze and lag. With faster upload and download speeds, fiber optic internet makes it possible to video chat with nearly anyone in real time. 


Linking Online

There are many ways to connect online. Some methods, like uploading video, use a lot of bandwidth, while sending an email or instant message are usually only small bits of internet traffic. With older internet, it’s sometimes impossible to do more than one thing at a time online because the electric signals can’t move between your device and the nearest node quickly enough. But households with several users can relax when fiber optic comes to the rescue. The near light-speed velocity of signals makes it possible for numerous users to be occupied with heavy internet use while still leaving some internet remaining for a last minute PDF download or a quiet evening of streaming video. 


Networking Internationally

Considering the likelihood that data will be corrupted over long distances, it’s no surprise that telecommunication companies have turned to fiber optics to improve cross-continent networking. Even though many devices make use of wireless internet, the basic infrastructure is held within physical cables, making underwater cables a necessity for international communication. The high speeds and optimized definition of today’s internet wouldn’t be possible with copper cables, since the variable environment of the ocean interferes with copper’s conductivity. New systems of fiber optic cables are being installed as demand increases for a more connected world. 

Overall, fiber optic cables simply make the internet faster, both for downloading and uploading. Utilizing them means that everything you do online will be ready to go when you need it. No matter what applications you’re using, fiber optic technology makes it easier to connect with anyone anytime.

Check out our last post: Fiber Optics and Telecommunications

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