By Eli on September 22nd, 2016 at 9:10 am
Can fiber-optic cable be repaired?
Yes. Fiber-optic strands are high-quality glass. During installation, fiber-optic networks sometimes need splicing to cover more ground. These splices can be seamless, and won't degrade the network. Technicians can attach connectors to broken fiber-optic lines for repair, too.
Can fiber-optic cable freeze?
It’s not the cables that freeze, but water near them. When water near fiber-optic cables freezes, it can impact performance. Crystallized water causes micro-bends in the glass fibers, which can result in signal degradation. When the ice melts, the strands’ integrity and network speed usually return to normal.
Does fiber-optic need a modem?
No. Fiber Internet subscribers need an Optical Network Unit. It serves a similar function as a modem, for Fiber to The Home (FTTH.) The fiber-optic line connects to the ONU, and coaxial cables connect to your router. Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fiber to the Node (FTTN), don’t connect fiber to the customer.
For those networks, fiber carries the signal for most of the distance. Coaxial cable connects a home from a cabinet or node off-site.
Is fiber-optic Internet wireless?
It can be. For FTTH, FTTC, or FTTN connections, a router disperses a wireless signal. Homes can act as hot spots, allowing wireless devices to share the bandwidth. Wireless Internet through fiber-optics can support more than one user. It can even support simultaneous data-heavy activity, such as gaming, streaming, and videoconferencing.
Is fiber optic cable expensive?
A complete overhaul of a copper network with fiber-optic cable can become expensive. Fiber networks tend to need less maintenance, and carriers can recoup costs over time. The gap in cost for copper repair and fiber installation is shrinking. Fiber is cost-effective. Fiber-optic lines aren’t susceptible to electromagnetic interference, as wire networks can be.
Technicians don’t install fiber cable in conduit, a protective sheath, to guard against interference. That's one less cost.
How fast should fiber-optic Internet be?
That depends on the speed tier chosen from a provider. Copper-wire Internet can be distance-sensitive. Fiber Internet doesn’t degrade with distance from the provider’s access point. It's not subject to speed fluctuations the way networks whose customers share a connection are.
Fiber-optic lines send data far faster than cable or DSL modem speeds.
What is fiber-optic TV?
The technology works the same as for fiber-optic Internet. Fiber-optic cables aren’t susceptible to interferences that can affect copper wires. That can make them more reliable. Fiber’s resistance to signal degradation also gives it an advantage.
Where was fiber optics invented?
Ancient Romans drew glass into fibers. This came way before telephones and the Internet, of course. French inventors Claude and Ignace Chappe built the first optical telegraph. Developed in the late 1700s, it used a series of lights on towers to send messages.
Physicists contributed to fiber development in the 1800s. By the late 1800s, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Inventor William Wheeler developed light pipes to illuminate homes. His technology led to fiber-optics.
Fiber-optics were also used for medical purposes and inclusion into television’s early years during the 1900s. In 1930, Heinrich Lamm sent an image through a fiber-optic bundle. By midcentury, cladding, lasers and light pulses had made their way into fiber-optic lexicon.
In 1975, a British police department installed the first non-experimental fiber-optic link. Telephones on fiber-optic networks debuted in 1977, in Long Beach, Calif.
By the 1990s, optic systems carried 100 times more data than cable. The Trans-Pacific Cable 5 Network runs under the Pacific Ocean. It connects Japan, Guam, Hawaii. Continental U.S. Global fiber networks followed.
Today, fiber-optics delivers the highest technology for broadcast, medical, military telecommunications use, and more. It’s also the source for fast, consistent Internet speeds. Fiber networks support crystal-clear landline phones, and comprehensive TV packages, too.