Experts in Voice and Data Cabling Active Communication Company Ltd

Fibre Optic Cabling

fibre optic cabling

Fibre optic communication networks have revolutionised the way information (data, image and voice) is transmitted across the globe. If you are looking to take full advantage of this technology for your next installation then you need to choose ACCL. With over 25 years experience you can be sure of a top class service. ACCL can help you plan, design, install and maintain your optical communication network both today and in the future.

Fibre optic cables are the modern alternative to traditional copper cabling, with the ability to transmit far greater amounts of data more quickly and with more reliability. Fibre optic cabling helps to maintain the data signal transmission without degradation, making it more ideal for long distance communications. There are several other factors which make fibre optic cabling superior to its copper predecessor as well (see below for further explanation). For networks that need the best of the best, fibre optic cabling is the obvious choice - and at ACCL, trained engineers are ready to professionally handle and install your next fibre optic network.

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What is Fibre Optic?

Fibre optic strands are known as optical fibres, and are at first glance quite simple: they are simply thin lengths of glass or plastic which can transmit light along their length. The strands carry light by trapping it within the core of the fibre using the principle of total internal reflection. The full explanation is fairly complicated, but essentially, light which strikes a barrier at a specific critical angle will be fully reflected and none will pass through that barrier to escape the core. Because light travels extremely quickly and will not degrade when reflected within the core, fibre optic cables are both a rapid and reliable way to transmit information.

Fibre optics itself refers to the science and engineering behind the usage and design of optical fibres.

Uses of Optical Fibres

Optical fibres have many, many uses: they are frequently used in children's toys, in operating rooms, for decorative purposes, et cetera. The fibres are ideal for use in networking and telecommunication cables due to their flexibility and ability to quickly transfer data over long distances.

History of Fibre Optic Development

Optical fibres rely on the ability to guide rays of light through refraction. Jacques Babinet and Daniel Colladon demonstrated this principle in the early 1840s. Their studies paved the way for the development of optical fibres, though they themselves did not invent the fibre optic cable. The actual glass fibre was not invented until the 1950s, supported by the research of physicist Narinder Kapany.

In 1966, Standard Telephones and Cables suggested that optical fibres would be a viable means of communication with a few changes - for one, the new fibres must be made of pure silica glass to avoid impurities which would scatter light within the fibre. In 1970, the first communications-appropriate fibre optic cable was invented by a team of researchers under Corning Glass Works. Their work made optical fibre telecommunications possible and led to the eventual creation of the Internet.

1975 saw the development of the first commercial fibre optic communications systems. Several 'generations' of fibre optic cabling systems have been created since then, each faster and more reliable than the last. Currently, transfer rates of up to 14 terabytes per second are possible over distances of approximately 160 kilometers.

Fibre Optic Vs Copper Cabling

It should be no surprise by now that fibre optic cables have many technological advantages over older copper cabling. Fibre optic transmits data with less signal degradation over long distances and is able to carry far more information than copper cable. It doesn't suffer from electromagnetic interference and does not conduct electricity, unlike copper cable. Finally, it can stretch for much longer distances without losing its speed or quality.

Obviously, fibre optic cable is superior to copper in many ways - but this doesn't mean that fibre optic cable should always be the first choice for a network. Fibre optic cable is more expensive to purchase, install and maintain and is often considered overkill for networks which don't require massive speeds. Active Communication Company Ltd works with both copper and fibre optic cabling and knows the ideal circumstances under which to use each.

Types of Fibre Optic Cable

Active Communication Company Ltd works with the following types of fibre optic cabling.

Multimode

Multimode fibre optic cabling is ideal over medium distances for providing high bandwidth and speed. The reason multimode cable is so named is that the fibres contain multiple paths through which light may travel. The ability to travel along multiple paths helps to transfer data more quickly, but also allows data to be more easily confused over long distances. Multimode cable is therefore recommended for distances no greater than 2 kilometers.

Singlemode

Singlemode fibre optic cabling is better over long distances than multimode because there is only one path through which light may travel. This prevents data from being scrambled and allows for much greater distances than multimode: up to 100 kilometers.

OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4

OM stands for Optical Mode, and the differences within this family of fibres is denoted by the number. The exact performance of each cable will vary depending on the conditions. Under identical conditions, though, OM1 fibre is by far the slowest. OM2 provides a slight upgrade, then OM3 makes a significant jump in speed and distance. Finally, OM4 is the latest and greatest, only recently released and easily superior to the rest of the OM fibres.

OS1

OS1 (Optical Singlemode) cable is a commonly used type of fibre optic cabling over long distances, as described under 'Singlemode.'

Fibre Optic Cabling - Review

As with any sort of cable, the installation of fibre optic cable is a complex task that must be completed perfectly in order for a data network to function. Despite the advantages of fibre optic over copper with regards to distance and signal integrity, a large number of components may still be required to properly connect all the cables within the data network. Construction work may also be necessary to keep cables out of the way of human traffic. Therefore, professional installers are a must when it comes to installing fibre optic or any other sort of cabling within a network.

Active Communication Company Ltd offers highly trained network cable installers to suit any need, and conforms to international and European standards so there's never any doubt as to the quality of the network. For the installation of any type of network, ACCL is sure to deliver.

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ACCL experts in fibre optic cabling