When the Romans developed lead pipes some 2000 years ago, they must have been beyond excited with the level of ease it must have caused them.
Moving water through those pipes at that time was indeed an invaluable feat. Now, imagine moving massive digital data through similar technology in nanoseconds.
Network speed has always been an insatiable need since the dawn of the internet. While it remains insatiable, we might have it the highest milestone yet in data connectivity speed, and this is primarily a product of the innovations of fiber network technology.
Fiber network technology is no new science. We have smooth telephone calls because of it, but what’s quite remarkable is how it can significantly improve your Internet speed. The mechanism of this is known as fiber optics, and here is how it works.
How does fiber optics work?
Fiber optics is the transfer of information via light beams through thin glass cables. Now, that’s a little vague. Let’s dig a little deeper.
In fiber optics, information is carried through fiber cables. These cables contain optical fibers, which are glasses drawn so thin, they become almost as flimsy as human hair.
The drawn glasses are the core of the cable, and they’re usually wrapped within a thicker roll of glass or plastic known as the cladding.
The cladding isn’t necessarily a protective gear for the core. It also plays a crucial role by keeping the light that goes through the core sealed inside it.
As you must have guessed, light in this technology is neither an aesthetic factor nor data. The light serves as a data carrier; each beam or light pulse sent through the core contains binary codes.
Binary codes are information represented in ones and zeroes, and a binary code comprises bits organized in patterns known as bytes.
The exciting thing is, a pulse could travel as far as 50 to 60 miles without interference. Optical amplifiers are incorporated into the transmission systems so pulse signals can travel several miles further without degradation or data loss.
In summary, the concept of fiber optics relies on the speed of light to sustain its reputation as the fastest means of data connection in today’s world. You can only imagine how fast your Internet connection would be with the use of fiber networks.
The fastest known record in fiber network connections is 1000 Mbps, approximately one gigabyte per second. Does it get any better than that?