Fiber-optic technologies were created in the late 20th century. As a matter of fact, this technology made its appearance in the early 1980s. Since the invention of this technology, communication services have been completely revolutionized. Because data is transmitted over fiber-optic cables by light instead of electricity, data literally does travel at the speed of light. This makes fiber-optic networks far superior to their copper counterparts. There are a variety of fiber-optic cables that are used to make up a fiber-optic network, and these are single-mode fiber, multi-mode fiber and plastic fiber.
Single-Mode Fiber Cables
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B002BG1O1A” locale=”us” height=”139″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/11yKt18on2L._SL160_.jpg” width=”132″]Because this type of cable allows for a single data stream to travel over a very long distance, it is used for the purposes of facilitating data transmission over long-distance fiber-optic networks. A single-mode cable is obviously much narrower than a multi-mode fiber cable, thus it is not used for transferring multiple data signals. The narrow core will not allow it.
Multi-Mode Fiber Cables
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B001B1DV0S” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AO7aKkhaL._SL160_.jpg” width=”137″]Multi-mode fiber cables are used to transmit multiple strands of data over short distances. Because the core in this type of cable is much thicker than that of the single-mode fiber cable, it is not used for long distance data travel. While this type of cable is beneficial for allowing multiple streams of data to travel over one wire, this cable cannot support the amount of bandwidth that a single-mode cable does. The transmission quality will dissipate after reaching a certain point.
Plastic fiber cables are not used for data transmission because they lack the purity that is needed for this process to be successful. These types of cables are either used for decoration or for entertainment purposes, and they create lighted fibers that are of varying colors. The reason that plastic fibers are used for decoration and entertainment purposes is because they are much cheaper than the glass cables, and they are more durable.
Fiber-optic networks are gaining more popularity, as people are realizing their benefits. These networks are cropping up in major cities as well as in isolated rural locations. Because of the popularity, greater emphasis is being put on researching to improve the quality of fiber-optic networks. At present, research suggests that data quality will be able to be improved because technicians will have the ability to tune signals similarly to how radio signals are tuned today. Currently, developers and researchers are exploring the possibility of creating tunable single-mode cables. While fiber-optic networks offer superior quality communication services in that they are free of feedback, tunable cables will add even greater enhancements.
Eric Blair writes about computer netwoking and fiber optic technologies used when making Cisco FluxLight transceivers.