Optical fiber has been the backbone of Internet infrastructure for years and almost all our communications rely on it: telephony services, Wi-Fi or CATV. It is also responsible for building-to-building connectivity in campuses and is used in a variety of military applications. But still there are some myths about this incredible technology and we’d like to expose them.
- Fiber is fragile
Yes, glass used in everyday products is easy to break, but although optical fiber is as thin as a human hair it is actually stronger than copper. Optical fiber cables are designed to resist the roughest installations, tolerating higher temperature levels and withstanding more than 200 pounds of pulling tension.
Foto credit: Kainet
- Installations are challenging
Fiber may have been difficult to install many years ago, when connectors had to be polished and terminations needed to be done by hand. Nowadays, technology improvements have made it easy to install and to test.
- Fiber doesn’t support wireless
Due to optical fiber large bandwidth capacity and its long term compatibility with networking hardware, telecoms rely on optical fiber to transmit wireless mobile signals from towers to central networks. So if you are reading this article on your phone, it’s probably thanks to optical fiber technology!
- You can’t bend it
It’s true that fiber was sensitive to bending, but that changed some years back with the introduction of insensitive fiber, a kind of fiber in which an optical trench was constructed into it to reflect light back into the core.This type of fiber is perfect to be used in hard to reach places without affecting its performance.
- Fiber is more expensive than copper
When considering the entire structure, fiber ends up being cheaper than copper. Fiber networks need less equipment, therefore they consume less power, which means lower costs over long terms. Also, optical fiber maintenance costs are less than copper’s.
With information from: Corning.