You wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is grab your cell-phone. You check your notifications and may even wonder why “this is the norm”. With the internet becoming more and more accessible and used more-often-than-not, it’s safe to believe that the internet isn’t leaving us anytime soon. Yet, the question still remains: where did the internet come from? The internet and the function of light-based signals can all be traced back to one major feat: fiber optics. Fiber optics, or optical fibers, are the components that helped create the internet and make international communications possible.
More than half a century ago, fiber optics were invented solely for medical and military purposes. These purposes lie within the subcategory of imaging. Years later, the invention of the laser eventually led to the major use of fiber optics within telecommunications due the discovery that these fibers weren’t majorly affected by air movement and other environmental factors such as fog, haze, and weather. Fiber optics are also able to carry hundreds of gigabits per second through the use of advanced modulation, or the action of adding information to a carrier signal, thus making them more reliable when it comes to more efficient bandwidth. Advances in technology have enabled even more data to be conveyed through a single optical fiber over long distances.
Scientists have since coined this period in time as the “big-data era” due to daily video streaming and dedicated use of hand-held device and computer applications. The need of bandwidth will only continue to grow. Since their first integration, fiber optics have changed the way society communicates. Even so communication is still evolving as we know it and actively creating a difference in the average consumer’s lifestyle.
And yet, one question still remains: what will we do with all this bandwidth? We’ve stepped into this big-data era and have since become equally inspired and enthralled when it comes to developing the devices of tomorrow as well as bettering present communication tools. These fibers have since helped us learn about the rest of the world through the urge of globalization while helping us create a more understanding and knowledgeable society through the spreading of information. The future of the next decade thrives on the use of optical fiber networks.