Fiber optic cable

Fiber optic cable: how this technology works

In recent years we have seen a progressive change in the way we connect to the Internet. We have gone from ADSL to fiber optics and more and more households are using this technology. If we perform a speed test today, the results have nothing to do with those of a few years ago. There is more and more speed and symmetry. The same has happened with the mobile Internet. In this article, we are going to talk about how fiber optic cables work.

How fiber optic works

Until the ADSL the connection arrived by copper cable. The same phone number of a lifetime. However, with the arrival of fiber optics it has been necessary to adapt homes with new wiring. This is what causes many users still cannot contract the fiber, because it does not reach your home. Now many cable internet companies are available at market.

But if we talk about fiber optics, the main base is light. The Egyptians already used mirrors to reflect the light to the interior of the pyramids. Something like that, saving the distances, is what is achieved with this technology.

The light, the key

If we open a fiber cable, we can see that it is composed of very thin threads of transparent material. It also carries glass (silicon) and plastic materials. Through them, pulses of light are sent, which in reality are the data that is transmitted. The light source can be a laser or an LED.

These fibers, these cables, serve to send a large amount of data and at a great speed and distance. Much more than a copper cable allows, as ADSL uses.

One of the main characteristics of optical fiber is that it is immune to electromagnetic interference. This is what makes it not lose speed with distance as easily as it happens with copper.

Without going into mathematical or physical details, the two principles by which optical fiber works are refraction and reflection. The first is the change of direction that the waves carry when they pass from one medium to another. This can be experienced when we put an object in water and it seems to move inside.

On the other hand, reflection is the change of direction of the wave, but towards the origin.

Like everything, it has its pros and cons. One of the advantages is that this type of cable is cheaper than copper. However, it is also more fragile and difficult to install in some cases.

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