Fiber Optic Technology in Everyday Life

BY: Christina Hansen


Cable television is one network system today that is making a drastic step forward by spreading out from its long established role as an entertainment service industry which includes on-demand video and broadcast television to a high-speed data service industry.

The original design of cable television systems was the one-way, analog transmission system using coaxial cable. Today, cable television companies have found that fiber is the perfect choice for transmitting signals to multiple customer locations.

In this distribution system, each location is connected to an isolated terminal by a dedicated optical fiber and the tuner connected with each individual customer TV set is stationed in the remote terminal. Channel-selection signals are sent over the fiber from the customer location to the remote terminal. The single selected channel is the only channel transmitted over the fiber from the remote terminal to the associated TV set.

This application helps to prevent an outage for a large number of customers during a period of time and this in turn gives the cable companies a better customer relationship. It also helps to increase the company's revenue by giving them a return path in which they can use for telephone connections and Internet.

Because of the growth in demand for communication signal transmission, cable television is in the midst of advancing their existing systems with fiber optic technology.

Benefits to End Cable Users

With fiber optic technology, cable companies can offer their customers a much better quality picture while at the same time reduce their operating costs because fiber optics cost much less to maintain.

One of the main uses of fiber optics to cable companies is the large information carrying capacity, which is hundreds of times greater than copper wire. Fiber optics also offer essential protection from electrical interference and lightning.

Fiber optics are highly reliable because they do not corrode in moisture, do not short out in water, and still perform at high speeds in any type of harsh weather. Optic cables are very lightweight because of their small size, and their long lengths make them easier to install. With fiber optic cables, there is no danger of fire hazards because they do not transfer any electricity.

Signal Improvement

Without losing power, fiber optic cables can carry television signals for a very long distance because of the technology of using very thin strands of glass. In different areas of the network, both single mode and multimode signals will be used. Signals will be sent from the central office to optical nodes using single mode fiber and then it will be converted to multimode.

Optical cables use light signals instead of electricity and this makes the signals much clearer and offers a very low signal loss over a wide range frequency with no interference to other signals.

Within the next few years, most cable television companies will have fiber optics installation, making it an advanced and versatile communications network solution.