What is fibre?

Fibre optic cables have become very popular pretty quickly. Have you ever wondered why? The answer is simple, really. In this day and age one of our primary focuses is communication and internet connection. The reason that fibre has become so popular is because it allows for faster and more efficient telecommunication and data networking.

What sets fibre apart from other types of cables – such as copper? Well, for one, fibre optic cables are made from glass and the communication signals are provided by light-emitting diodes – LEDs – or semiconductor lasers. These glass strands are just a bit thicker than a single hair.

(as you can see in this image, strands are very thin and thus the cable is too. 1: Outer jacket. 2: Strength member. 3: Primary and secondary buffer. 4: Cladding)

Glass, called cladding, surrounds the centre of the cable – known as the core – whose job is to provide a path for the light to travel. The purpose of this surrounding layer of glass is to refract the light inside of the cable to avoid the loss of signal as the cable bends. Plastic then surrounds the cladding.

(this image depicts the make of fibre optic cables)

There are two primary types of fiber cables, which are called single mode and multi mode fiber. Single mode fiber uses very thin glass strands and a laser to generate light while multi mode fibers use LEDs.

Benefits of fibre

Regardless of the types of fibre cables you use, there are definite advantages.

Fiber optics have a higher capacity. If you compare fiber to wired cables, fiber optic cables provide higher bandwidth and can transmit data over longer distances.

Light travels extremely fast and can travel much longer distances down a fiber cable without losing its strength, therefore it lessens the need for signal boosters. The light signals, however, do not travel at the speed of light because of the denser glass layers, instead traveling about 30% slower than the speed of light.

Fibre is also less susceptible to interference. A traditional network cable requires special shielding to protect it from electromagnetic interference and, while this shielding helps, it is not entirely sufficient to prevent interference when many cables are strung together in close proximity to each other. The physical properties of glass and fibre cables avoid most of these issues.

It is not difficult to understand why fibre has become so popular and why it is replacing most cables. Fibre optics ensures faster and more efficient data networking – something that is pretty much a necessity in the world we live in today.

Fortunately, our team here at Artibeus offers fibre installations and splicing that has left many of our clients happy. If you are wanting to top up your internet connection or simply repair your already installed fibre, contact our team.