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  • How Fiber Optic Cables Work


    There are two main types of fiber optic cable, which are single mode and multi-mode.

    Single mode: Single mode fiber optic cable is a narrow strand that only has one mode of transmission. Single mode fibers are able to transmit at high speeds over long distances as a result of their small core. Because single mode fiber optic cable provides longer transmission distances and faster transmission rates than multi-mode fibers, it costs more than fibers that are multi-mode.

    Multi-mode: The reason that multi-mode has a lower cost than single mode is because it has a large diameter. As a result of this larger diameter, multi-mode is able to produce high bandwidth at high speeds when it travels over medium amounts of distances. However, in long distances, the large diameter can cause problems because the multiple paths of light can result in various types of distortion.

    How is information transmitted through a Fiber Optic cable?

    Regardless of which type of cable is used, information is transmitted in the same manner. Because the inside of fiber optic cable is coated with a reflective service, total internal reflection is present within the fiber optic cable. In order to transmit information through the interior of the fiber optic cables, analog information must first be converted into digital signals. Once this information is converted, lasers are able to transmit the digital signals in the form of pulses of light.

    Because there is total internal reflection within the fiber optic cables, the information that is being transmitted in the form of light is able to continuously bounce off the reflective surfaces of the fiber optic cable. This is important, because even when the fiber optic cable is laid through an area that requires it to bend or twist, the total internal reflection allows the light to continue traveling through the cable to its final destination.

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