Data transfer rates keep improving each day in the wake of technological advancements and higher demands for better services. To match these demands, optical fiber internet is now available for public use. This technology is seen by many as one of the greatest inventions of the modern era. It effectively kicked slow dial- up internet connections to the past.
These fibers use light pulses to create an electromagnetic medium through which data is sent at extremely high speeds. Unlike conventional Ethernet cables which use copper to transmit data electronically, they use a glass fiber to transmit data in form of light. Data transmitted through such media with lower attenuation and dispersion. These 2 aspects make them suitable for long distance data transmission.
In digital communication, the capacity of transmitting information is directly proportional to the carrier frequency of the signals that are transmitted. The frequency that optical fibers offer exceeds that available in radio transmitters. The former hence have high data transmission rates and enormous bandwidth. Their information carrying capacity can also be boosted by the use of wavelength division and multiplexing operations.
They also have lower transmission losses as compared to normal transmission media. This can be attributed to the use of optical amplifiers made out of special materials. With these fibers, data can be transmitted across a longer distance with minimal loss. This also eliminates the need to install many repeater stations because the signal remains strong irrespective of distance.
Electromagnetic interference is a problem that users of ordinary Ethernet fiber have to contend with. In stormy weather, this becomes extremely unbearable, as the data can be extremely distorted as a result of interference. This is however not an issue when optical fibers are used instead. Their bit error is extremely low, which makes them resistant to electromagnetic interference and noise.
Some critics argue that this method cannot be faster than a wireless medium. However, wireless data transfer rates are affected by several factors. These include the connection speed offered by the internet service provider, how much electricity that passes through the router and the effectiveness of the antennas. Some of these factors may be less than perfect most of the time, slowing down the connection. On the contrary, optical fiber solely relies on the speed of light, putting them at an obvious advantage.
These fibers also have another benefit of unlimited bandwidth. The medium has the capacity to support any speed or bandwidth, since their limiting factor is only the active components at either end. Upgrades to a network running on this medium can be made without necessarily changing the underlying cabling. Only the active components need to be changed to achieve this.
A network running on optical fiber is also secure. Information conveyed in this medium can only be tapped physically. This is difficult to achieve without tampering with the whole system and gives it an edge over normal cabling because of the enhanced security.
The cabling is also cheaper than equivalent lengths of copper cable. This saves money for both the service provider and the client. Due to this and many other benefits, people see optical fiber internet as the future of digital communication.