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The Basics of How Fiber Optics Work

As telecommunications technology continues to advance, the debate over copper cable verses fiber optics has all but ceased to exist. The past 20 years have provided solid evidence that fiber optics installation offers crystal clear data transmission that is faster, cheaper, more reliable and easier to maintain than its copper counterpart.

To get an idea of how fiber optics work, picture a narrow pipe that is several miles long with an interior surface that has been coated in a perfect layer of mirror. If you were to look in one end of the pipe while a person shone a light into the other, you would be able to see the light due to its reflection off the perfect mirror- even though they’re miles away, and even if the pipe was curved. If the other person turned the light on and off like a Morse code, you could effectively communicate with one another through the pipe. That’s the basic idea behind fiber optic cabling.

Since a cable made out of mirrored tubing would be bulky and difficult to execute perfectly, real fiber optic cabling is made out of pure glass that can reflect light even at great distances. The glass is pulled into a strand about as thin as a piece of hair and then gets coated in two layers of plastic to create a mirror-like surface and total internal reflection. Because light travels through the fiber at very shallow angles it stays completely contained within it.

In order for a telephone conversation to be sent through a fiber optic cable, analog signals must be converted to digital signals via a laser that transmits bits. Today, a fiber optic cabling company can install single-laser systems that transmit billions of bits per second, or newer systems that use multiple lasers in different colors that fit multiple signals into the same fiber. Such systems can carry signals over great distances: equipment huts that retransmit signals over long distance lines can be as far as 40 to 60 miles apart. With proper installation, the signal remains at full strength from one end to the other.

CTS is a leading fiber optic cabling company offering custom design, innovative engineering, and highly trained cable contractors in Tucson. CTS also provides professional consulting and project management to meet your unique fiber optics installation needs, as well as follow-up maintenance to ensure your continued satisfaction. To find an expert cable contractor for fiber optics installation in Tucson or Phoenix call CTS at 877-685-2626 or contact us online.

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