It’s no surprise that the movement of information has played a critical role in the development of our world. We have become accustomed to the idea of data being sent in multiple ways. A wired cable carrying sound from our voices into a wall socket when speaking over the telephone, while another line carries this information to a local telephone exchange or sending information via radio waves when speaking over a cell phone. Fibre optics are an upgrade to this existing idea of data transmission. Sending coded data via beams of light through a glass pipe.
Fibre optic cables transmit data using beams of light called pulses. The data is coded in the same means of coding that makes up all we see on the internet, Binary. A series of binary ones and zeros called bits. These bits are sent in organised packages called bytes. The presence of a pulse of light might represent a Binary One and no pulse of light might represent a Binary Zero.
Fibre Optics carry light extremely well over long distances with low distortion of the signal.
Fibre Optic cables consist of extremely thin optical fibres. Each optical fibre is made up of two elements.
The Core – made of glass and is situated in the centre. This is where the light passes through.
The Cladding – A thicker layer of plastic or glass that wraps the core providing insulation.
Light pulses are sent through the core. Light hits the glass at a shallow angle and reflects back again. The Cladding, being made of plastic, keeps the light within the core. Light pulses are able to move through the core without escaping. This is what is referred to as Total Internal Reflection.
What is Last Mile?
The last mile is referred to as the final stretch of fibre that connects the end user or consumer to the Fibre infrastructure (backbone). The last mile supplier will install an optical network terminal or ONT which will convert the light pulses into information we can use, Ethernet. This is what we will connect our devices to.
Fibre infrastructure or Backbone is what makes it possible for users across the globe to access the internet. This is made up of Fibre Optic cables. These cables are run across the sea floor connecting continents. This is the core of the internet. The second you connect to the internet or visit a website, regardless of what device you are using, the information you receive and send are all being transported by this infrastructure.
Depending on what is available, an ISP (internet service Provider) can choose between multiple types of last mile connections. This would directly impact how strong your fibre optic connection is. These are all referred to as FTTX or Fibre to the X where the X represents the end of the fibre connection.
FTTH, FTTP or FTTB – Fibre to the Home, Fibre to the Premises or Fibre to the Business. These are considered the best last miles and is pure fibre straight to your premises. These tend to be the most expensive and involve no copper cables.
FTTB – Fibre to the Building. Fibre lines are distributed throughout the building via copper lines.
FTTC – Fibre to the Curb. This connection refers to the nearest pole or box. It is then distributed to your home or premises via copper wires.
Depending on your actual location will determine what last mile you or your ISP will choose. The term “Feasibility” will come up when enquiring about fibre and is simply the termination used by your ISP when deciding what type of last mile is available in your area.
Benefits of Fibre?
You may be wondering whether the benefits of fibre out way the cost of having it installed. While Fibre optics are a newer form of internet connectivity, many businesses and homes have found significant pros and returns on their costs.
Speed – Fibre internet faster than the traditional copper or DLS speeds. Often users can expect between 5Mbps to 100 Gbps depending on the speed packages available. Business owners and Home users should notice no impact in speeds during high demand times. These speeds are often Symmetrical meaning equal download and upload speeds.
Reliability – Fibre Optics are far stronger that copper and are not impacted by weather. Unless the fibre line is physically cut, it is not susceptible to electrical interference. Fibre Optics also have very low value and as such are far less effected by any form of cable theft.
Signal – With Fibre Optics, the strength of internet does not degrade over long distances as much as they would over Copper.
Latency – Delays that occur during the processing of data over the internet is referred to as latency. Fibre Optic eliminates most latency issues experienced by users and as such, makes it a perfect choice for quality VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
In essence, we can look at Fibre Optics as being the new generation of Internet data transmission. In our rapidly expanding world of technology, we can expect changes in the way we do and see things and can only presume a newer and far better form of Internet connectivity will eventually come, we say let’s embrace it.
Are you ready for Fibre?
To find out more.
Contact us here at Pancom.