Nowadays, fiber optics is one of the means most used by companies that carry out telecommunications work, since these elements are used to transmit or send a huge amount of data without any type of interruption, which allows having services of Internet at the highest speed, although at first it was used for TV and telephony.

What is fiber optics and how does it work?

The fiber is a thread with very fine dimensions whose material is usually transparent, usually they can be made of glass or highly processed plastics, through this the light impulses from both a laser and an LED will run, which allow the transmission of data from one place to another with a high level of speed.

This service acquires great importance, since little by little it revolutionizes the ability to send and download information with great weight, quickly, in addition to boosting the world of telephony by allowing a huge number of calls simultaneously.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of optical fibers?

Using a fiber optic internet service is not usually an economic investment in the short term, since it represents an important bet whose benefits are usually more than the investment, everything will depend on the activities and needs that you want to cover.

Advantages of fiber optics

  • High speed transmission : One of the main reasons why many opt for this system is its high speed transmission range, achieving a comparison with other alternatives where 100 Mm / s can be downloaded with fiber, up to 1 Gb / s can be achieved. s. which optimizes the speed of downloads and back-ups in a matter of minutes.
  • Increase the quality of video and sound: One of the most used technologies today is communication through video calls, by opting for fiber optics the quality and sound will not suffer any type of interference, delay, cuts or failures in the audio.
  • High level of security : Most of the services that work through wireless networks have a high level of vulnerability to theft or interception of data, on the contrary, with fiber the detection of any type of intruder is easily detected and immediately, protecting the data from any type of external intervention.
  • Without interference : the cables are fully protected from electromagnetic phenomena, in fact, it is immune to them, which guarantees that the speed is never altered nor is there the option of losing the connection.
  • Bandwidth : In general, when it comes to an internet connection, there are many devices that send and receive information, since several elements are connected at the same time, the internet speed decreases, since the benefit of fiber is that no matter the number of teams the speed is kept at its maximum limit at all times.
  • As for its installation, it is quite simple , the cable is quite thin so it takes up little space, it is also resistant to corrosion, heat or cold due to the coating of its materials.

Disadvantages of fiber optics

  • The main problem with this service is that it represents a significant investment, since it makes a profit based on the amount of information transferred by the operator and other digital devices.
  • Specialized personnel are required to achieve the required splices and fusions during installation
  • The fibers, although well coated, are quite fragile and the fact that one is damaged represents a great difficulty for the internet service, since repairing them is extremely difficult.
  • Access to this service is only available in cities that already have these cables installed.

What are the parts of fiber optics?

The type of cable that will be used for the optical fiber will depend in many cases on the type of connection to be installed, either external or internal, however, we will describe some of the main parts that these cables usually have, which are described in the service catalog so that its operation is better understood.

It is necessary to highlight that these components are not present in each of the elements of the different cables, although the vast majority are.

Dielectric core element

It is only found in certain types of cables, it is capable of providing a high level of cable consistency, since this type of filament is not capable of conducting electricity.

Moisture Drain Thread

As its name indicates, it fulfills a function capable of expelling the high levels of humidity to which cables are usually exposed, protecting the filaments at all times.


Undoubtedly the most important element in indispensable of all, since this is the channel through which the data transmission process happens, the most common is that they are made from plastics that have gone through various processes or glass.

Within this element, the main processes called reflection and refraction occur, which we will talk about later.

The general creation process consists of creating strands by placing the glass at very high levels of heat, melting the glass and creating each strand through a geo system. buffers

They are a black coating that contains the fiber, it usually has a kind of internal gel for a higher level of efficiency and protection, in addition its black color is designed so that the light that passes through the fiber can not escape from any side.

Mylar and Flameproof Tape

These two elements are covers that serve to protect the cable from different problems, the first is an electrical insulator while the second is responsible for protecting it from both heat and flames.

cy elements

This last group is made up of tear and synthetic threads, which are in charge of protecting and making the cable as consistent as possible, especially the synthetics fulfill the function of supporting the constant stretching of the thread.

The other element that provides consistency is the sheath, which also provides insulation and is located in the upper layer of the entire cable.

What does reflection and refraction mean in optical fibers?

The optical fiber is responsible for manipulating the light through these finite strands of cable, so it should not be forgotten that light, like all waves, is affected by two physical processes called reflection and refraction.

As for refraction, it refers to the change in direction that occurs in waves when moving from one place to another, while reflection is in the same way a change of direction in the path of the wave, only in this case it returns To the starting point.

 What are the different types of fiber optics?

Within the market covered by this service there are usually only two types of options, which are called singlemode and multimode.

Single-mode fiber optics are capable of transmitting only a beam of light through the fiber, managing to move it around 300 km.

Multimode fiber optic whose name makes the difference clear, can transmit multiple beams of light, however, it is only useful for close distances of 2 or 3 km, some of its advantages are that they are usually cheaper, in addition to being easier to install.

In general, the light is projected in the single modes by a laser, due to its high level of transmission, while for the multimodes LEDs are usually used.

Types of fiber optic connectors

Another important element is the connectors that are placed at the end of the optical fiber, and that allow the correct connection, there are different models such as:

  • FC: used by the majority of companies dedicated to telecommunications to transmit data.
  • SC and SC Duplex: practical models that also serve for data transmission.
  • LC and MT-Array: It is usually used for servers, since it allows the passage of transmissions with a high level of density.
  • ST or BFOC: Due to its level of reach, it is more convenient to place in areas that require greater range such as buildings or in a high security system.

How fast does the optical fiber reach?

It should be understood that the speed with which light travels is clearly reduced thanks to some physical factors, since when traveling through a vacuum the speed is much higher than when it passes through the optical fiber it reaches 200,000 km / s, which is which would translate into a speed of 1.5 Tbps, when combining certain channels it reaches a cap of 40 Gbps.

Although it is necessary to emphasize that no matter how high the speed achieved by the fiber is, it is often limited by the same download capacity that the hardware has, which is a slightly more complex issue since it encompasses different parts such as the network card, storage unit, router among some more.


Undoubtedly, this type of high-range technology will dominate the communications system, due to its speed, stability and quality of data transmission, being a resource that will allow to improve the exchange of information more and more, however, this technology is not so accessible to all parts of the world due to the complexity of the wiring and its high price.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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