Definition – Fibre OpticsFiber optics or optical
Fiber optics or optical fibers are thin, long strands of extremely pure glass with a diameter almost equal to that of a human hair. These are formed into bundles which comprise the optical cables. Optical cables are utilized to send light signals across long distances. The electromagnetic carrier waves thus formed are used to transmit information. In optical cables, several hundred thousand optical fibers are bundled together. A jacket or outer covering protects the bundles. The technology was discovered in the seventies and thereafter, it has been a significant contributor to the progress made in Information Technology.
Benefits of Fibre Optics
Optical cabling systems are definitely expensive but prices are coming down as years go by. There is no doubt that quality wise, the optical cabling is much superior and also more reliable. Optical cables also have a longer life than the traditional copper cables. But, copper cables are easier to install with the use of simple tools and methods. For using VoIP systems, currently, optical cabling seems the best option. Factors like Power over Ethernet (PoE) then come into consideration, however. There are several cabling networks, many specializing in optical cabling, which research a customer’s present and future needs and offer help to make cabling choices.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is basically the transmission of voice communication over Internet Protocol – based networks. Till recently, companies used Internet connections to transmit data related to web documents. VoIP uses the huge improvements made in transmission speed and quality to transmit voice data. Use of optical cabling in such cases significantly enhances voice quality and clarity while using VoIP Phone and other systems, especially for long distance transfers.
The spectacular advantages that optical transfers have over electrical transmissions have led to optical cables replacing copper wire cables for transmission through all major networks covering large distances in the developed countries. Fiber optics communication permits larger tracts of data and voice transfer over greater distances with higher bandwidths than any other means of communication. The fibers ensure that signals don’t have much loss while traveling over them in comparison to copper wires. Optical fibers are also not at all prone to electromagnetic interference, making them economically ideal and competitive for Business VoIP. For the same reason, now most Cable Phone companies use optical cabling for long-distance telephone lines.
VoIP and Optical Fibres
In the delivery of voice data using Internet Protocol (IP), voice information is sent in a digital format in small packets, avoiding the old circuit-centric route of a public telephone network. Both VoIP and Internet Phone service have a greater advantage in that one can avoid the rates charged by the normal telephone service providers. The transfer of information can be done in large quantities, faster and with greater clarity through fiber optics which involves data transmission in the form of light impulses through glass or plastic wire (fiber).
Concerns on Use of Fibre Optics
However, transmission through fiber optics requires repeating after certain distance intervals. Fiber cables are delicate and need protection in the form of a jacket, which is not required for copper wires. Installation of optical cables, as for a new wiring network for that matter, is always costly and labour-intensive. For these reasons, the optical fiber has not become the automatic cabling choice yet but it’s getting there gradually because of the obvious advantages it offers to customers who need to transfer data, voice or video communication over long distances.