In recent years it has become apparent that fibre-optics are steadily replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of communicating signal transmission. More evedence to this is the NBN rollout, which will allow fast internet for the majority of Australian homes and businesses once completed.
Fibre Opitic systems span the long distances between local phone systems as well as provide the backbone for many network systems. Common users include cable television services, university campuses, office buildings, industrial plants and electrical or utility companies.
A fibre-optic system is similar to the copper wire system that fibre-optics are replacing. The difference is that fibre-optics use light pulses to transmit information down fibre lines instead of using electronic pulses to transmit information down copper lines.
At one end of the system is a transmitter. This is the place of origin for information coming on to fibre-optic lines. The transmitter accepts coded electronic pulse information coming from copper wire. It then processes and translates that information into equivalently coded light pulses. A light-emitting diode (LED) or an injection-laser diode (ILD) can be used for generating the light pulses. Using a lens, the light pulses are funnelled into the fibre-optic medium where they travel down the cable.
Light pulses move easily down the fibre-optic line because of a principle known as "Total Internal Reflection". The principle of TIR states that when the angle of incidence exceeds a critical value, light cannot get out of the glass; instead, the light bounces back in. When this principle is applied to the construction of the fibre-optic strand, it is possible to transmit information down fibre lines in the form of light pulses.
5 Key benefits of upgrading to a Fibre Optic Network:
- SPEED: Fibre optic networks operate at higher speeds.
- BANDWIDTH: Large carrying capacity.
- DISTANCE: Signals can be transmitted further without needing to be refreshed, boosted or strengthened.
- RESISTANCE: Greater resistance to electromagnetic noise such as radios, motors or other nearby cables.
- MAINTENANCE: Fibre optic cables cost much less to maintain.