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Applications And Benefits Of A Fiber Optic Network

A fiber optic network is a system of transmitting data using light pulses through optical fibers. This process differs from its predecessor - electronic data transmission - in a number of ways. Not only is it more reliable than the latter technique, meaning that there is less loss of data in transmission, but it is more cost effective (over large distances) and efficient as well. Electronic networks normally require the use of copper wire, whereas fiber optic communication utilizes silica glass or plastic as a conduit. Because of the expense of copper, the materials used for optical networks are cheaper and more capable of spanning long distances.

However, electronic communication is still preferred in cases where the communication distance is short because the technology is cheaper over small distances. Copper cables are also capable of transmitting electricity itself, a benefit not shared by fiber optic cables.

The technology requires the application of receivers - devices that convert electronic signals into optical ones - on either end of the cable. The cables are normally routed underground and because of their relative simplicity, they can be used to create vast networks of data transmission. Each individual cable is minuscule - some are small as a human hair - but they are gathered in bunches creating larger cables that allow for maximum efficiency in the data transmission process.

The predecessor of the fiber optic network was the Photophone, a device created by Alexander Graham Bell in the year 1880. Although it bore little comparison to what we see and use today, he was able to transmit sound via a beam of light between two buildings. The test was successful, but because optic cables were not yet a possibility, the Photophone was not a practical device, as it used the atmosphere as a medium rather than a contained cable.

The use of fiber optics as a practical means to transmit data was pioneered in the 1970's and initially used to transmit telephone signals long distances without the use of the traditional metal wires. From this point forward, advances continued to be made to the burgeoning technology, eventually revolutionizing the means for communicating information and data from system to system.

Most recently, optical fibers have been put to use by telecommunications companies and internet service providers. Optical networks allow for high bandwidth, meaning that as a result of their development and application to the internet, speeds have skyrocketed, allowing for online video streaming and fast download speeds.

Another benefit of fiber optic networks is that the data transmission allows for very little sonic or electronic interference. Because of this, use of optics is superior to both electronic networks and satellite communications. Metal wiring used for electronic data is subject to significant outside interference and satellite communication requires such vast distances that there are often echoes heard in telephonic transmissions. Transatlantic optical cables however, have no such problem. The signals come through strong and clear, even over such vast distances. The quality of data is often much better with optical fibers, thus it is useful in transmitting important information.

In short, fiber optic networks are useful in a wide variety of applications. Because of the quality of the material, they are able to transmit significant amounts of data over long distances with less loss of information as compared to their electronic counterparts. For companies that deal in data transference, large optical networks provide the speed and quality that is required for superior delivery.

January 23, 2017, 11:10:29 pm, America/Chicago