What Is Fiber Optic Cable and Its Advantages and Disadvantages?

Last updated on September 21, 2023

Want to know all about the fiber optic cable and if it’s right for your home network? Here are its pros and cons that you need to know about.

Fiber optic cable is a type of cable that transmits data by light. Fiber optic cable is made up of two types of optical fiber: a core fiber, which carries the data, and a cladding layer of glass or plastic that protects the fiber. During manufacture, the core fiber is surrounded by a protective layer and an outer jacket.

The biggest advantage of fiber optic cable is that it can transmit data faster than other types of cables, and it is more secure because the signal cannot be intercepted. The biggest disadvantage is that it is more expensive to install, and the equipment needed to use fiber optic cables is also expensive.

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What is Optical Fiber?

fiber optic cable

The optical fiber is made up of glass threads that can transmit modulated data over light waves. According to this website, optical fiber cables have many advantages over other types of communication cables, including high bandwidth, less vulnerability to interference, and weight. The main disadvantages are that installation is expensive, more delicate, and difficult to repair than other types of electronics.

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How it Works

The way light waves work in optical fiber is when they are transmitted through the threads of the core and cladding, the materials actually turn inward at a particular angle. This is how they cannot reflect and bounce all over. Optical fibers have a special ability to resist internally bending light waves unless some obstacle inside disrupts these waves.

An optical fiber is a thin thread of fiber material that can be made out of glass or plastic. The core of the fibers is located in the center, and the exterior material protecting it is called cladding. If the light in the core happens to not strike on to any border at less than a 90° angle, then the light will not be able to bounce off and travel.

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Types of Optical Fiber

The classification of optical fiber is usually based on refractive index, materials, and mode of propagation light.

Some types of optical fiber include glass and plastic, and different indices transmit light. Some of them are single-core with cladding to give a uniform index for refraction, while others start with the index “reducing” when a certain distance from the fiber axis, in which the indices change.

Single-mode cables are mainly used to transmit signals for a long distance.

Multiple-mode cables are mainly used to transmit signals for a short distance. If the combination of modes of

Propagation is step-index, then it will be single-mode, if the combination of modes of propagation is graded index, then it will be multimode.

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Optical Fiber Applications

You can achieve the communication of data from one location to another using light pulses. Plastic cables design or glass cables are currently available in designing these cables. These cables took the place of copper wires in the telecom industry, and now the world is connected to the internet. Making a phone call, video downloading, website checking, and more is possible using light beams of fiber optic wires.

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Advantages and Disadvantages

The following are the advantages of optical fiber:

One of the advantages that fiber cables have to provide is faster speeds because the light is in the form of what people call the fastest thing. Plastic has much more bandwidth than copper twisted-pair cables, which will send your data signals quicker, and you will not have any electrical interference and noise. Other advantages:

  • Low loss.
  • It can carry long distances easily.
  • A fiber optic cable is better than traditional copper wire at transmitting long distances and preventing electromagnetic interference.
  • The fiber optic cable is longer than a copper wire, but it occupies less space and transmits data for a longer distance.

Disadvantages of optical fiber include the following:

  • The cables are hard to combine, and there will be a loss or beam in the cable as it scatters.
  • The installation of these cables is cost-effective.
  • They are not as powerful as wires.
  • Special test equipment is often required for an optical fiber cable.
  • Fiber optic cables are more difficult to repair and are easily damaged and break.

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