Advantages of Fiber Optic Construction for Commercial & Industrial Businesses
Fiber optic cable has changed the world of communication in amazing ways. Ever since the internet became popularized, the goal has been to eliminate interference and at the same time, improve speed. And is there anything faster than the speed of light?
Fiber optic cables were invented in 1952, demonstrated in Germany in 1965, but only found widespread use starting in the 1990s. Instead of relying on signals, fiber optic construction allows packets of data to travel in the form of ‘light pulses.’
Utility services use fiber optic cables extensively for internal and external communication and the internet. And because of their efficiency in data transmission, despite the cost, replacing copper wires with slightly more expensive and complicated fiber optics didn’t take long.
What is Optical Fiber?
“Optical” suggests that the wire works with light to transmit data, while “fiber” indicates the material that the wire is made out of. The primary constituents of an optical fiber cable are threads and glass or threads and plastic. Of course, glass transmits data much faster than plastic but is also more fragile. And in general, optical fiber is a more delicate and expensive method of wiring.
However, commercial entities and industries have implemented extensive use of optical fibers and reaped the accompanying benefits, such as improved bandwidth, decreased vulnerability, improved strength, reduced loss of data, thinner and lighter cables, and most importantly, more reliability.
How Optical Fiber Works
Data is translated into photons in an optical fiber, i.e., light particles. When traveling, these photons turn into waves that get reflected throughout the wire with almost no losses at all. The core of the optical fiber is usually fiberglass, angled such that the light gets reflected and refracted in the most efficient way possible.
Data essentially flows in a ‘zigzag’ manner, bouncing throughout the cable to ultimately reach the end-point quickly. This data transmission method is known as total internal reflection.
Pros & Cons of Optical Fiber Installation
There is no doubt that optical fiber has changed the way we communicate. Some of the critical benefits that industries and commercial entities can reap from optical fiber include:
- Improved bandwidth
- Very little to no power loss during data transmission
- Easier data transmission over longer distances
- Lower physical profile (reduced size and weight)
- Electromagnetic interference-resistant
- Improved communications security
- Wires are more flexible and reliable
Unfortunately, optical fibers are difficult and slightly more expensive than copper wires. If not installed properly, there is a risk of the light scattering from joints, resulting in data loss or reduced speed.
The optical fiber construction market is expected to grow over the next couple of years, with a forecasted CAGR of 9.9% from 2020 to 2028. This is proof of how quickly the world is moving towards optical fiber.