Fiber Optics and the Internet

Fiber-optic cables are made up of thin glass or plastic wires and constitute the fundamental information transmission technology of the Internet. Fiber cables transmit information through rapid pulses of light (up to 200 trillion per second, Figure 1). They can thus convey vast quantities of data much more rapidly than other technologies such as satellites. Because fiber cables are essentially impervious to interference, they are the preferred means of moving information for large companies, media outlets, and governments.

Figure 1 A Close-Up of Fiber Optics


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High-capacity fiber lines are particularly important with regard to access to high-density material, such as graphical content on the World Wide Web. For high-volume users (typically large ...

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