A #fiber optic network is a system of transmitting data using light pulses through optical fibers. This process differs from its predecessor – electronic data transmission – in a number of ways. Not only is it more reliable than the latter technique, meaning that there is less loss of data in transmission, but it is more cost effective (over large distances) and efficient as well. Electronic networks normally require the use of copper wire, whereas #fiber optic communication utilizes silica glass or plastic as a conduit. Because of the expense of copper, the materials used for optical networks are cheaper and more capable of spanning long distances.
However, electronic communication is still preferred in cases where the communication distance is short because the technology is cheaper over small distances. Copper cables are also capable of transmitting electricity itself, a benefit not shared by fiber optic cables.
The technology requires the application of receivers – devices that convert electronic signals into optical ones – on either end of the cable. The cables are normally routed underground and because of their relative simplicity, they can be used to create vast networks of data transmission. Each individual cable is minuscule – some are small as a human hair – but they are gathered in bunches creating larger cables that allow for maximum efficiency in the data transmission process.
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