Local Area Networks (LANs) and Fiber Optics

BY: Christina Hansen


Local Area Network (LAN) is a combined group of computers, or computer systems, connected to each other that allow shared program software or data bases. LAN systems are used by colleges, universities, office buildings, and industrial plants, for making use of optical fiber.

LAN in Colleges and Universities

With the technology of LAN and fiber optic applications, college students and professors can do their research from their rooms and offices without having to go to the library. It provides access to other campus colleges, enabling staff members to perform research with other college professors.  It also enables students to take special courses from instructors at other colleges. College students in rural areas can now have quality-advanced curriculum without the high traveling expense.

Purchasing software programs for a network will save the college a tremendous amount of money and also allows for easier upgrading. Colleges can also have passwords on their programs for denying access to unauthorized users. Using passwords, they do not have to worry about programs being illegally copied.

Colleges or universities with a large number of students can add additional computers, scanners, and modems to the network for students to share.

LAN provides dollar savings for students by allowing them to e-mail their friends at home and on other campuses instead of having to pay for a long distance phone bill.

LAN and Office Buildings

More and more companies today are demanding that fiber optic applications be made available when considering an office building as a rental place for their businesses. Some companies will even pay more to rent a building or office with fiber optic applications because they feel it is very important for their business to have access to a fast communication network.

Companies that use fiber optic cables to set up their LAN do not have to worry with dangling and tangled cables, and their data is transmitted at an even higher quality and speed than with other network applications. With the fiber optic system, the company does not have to be concerned about a fire hazard because no electricity runs through the cables. Many very large office buildings use fiber optic lighting for their offices or for outdoor advertisements.

LAN and Industrial Plants

High-speed and high-quality communication links are needed in industrial plants. To monitor their processes online, industrial plants can use a fiber optic application to connect their control systems to their computer networks. A plant can also collect valuable information from other machines and plants that might help their plant’s machines run more smoothly and efficiently.

Optical fibers have many physical properties that make them an excellent choice for the harsh environmental conditions found in industrial plants such as electromagnetic interference (EMI), extreme temperatures, and even lightning strikes. Fiber optic cables are rugged, have a very large bandwidth, have long cable lengths, and are immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI).

By combining both LAN and fiber optic applications, colleges, universities, and businesses can obtain an almost endless stream of information on a daily basis. Companies can also use both of these to increase productivity while providing a convenient, safe environment for their employees and customers.