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Forbes  Aug 16  Comment 
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Fiber optics are lines of thin glass or plastic that can send digital information by transmitting light signals. Optical fibers have the diameter of a human hair and are bundled up into optical cables. The fiber optic network is the next step in telecommunication network technology. Optical fiber is superior to the traditionally used copper wiring in essentially every category. The dominance of sending information using digital vs. voice technology also plays right to the capability of fiber optics. Fiber optics are being used most notably in telecommunications, but there use spreads to the medical, cable, defense, and engineering industries.

The Difficulty with Fiber Optics

Network Installation: Making the actual optical fiber is cheaper than copper wiring, but installing fiber optics into a network is another story. In the 16 states that Verizon is introducing its FiOS system, the company reported that it plans on spending close to $23 billion from 2004 to 2010 in network installation. [1] It costs telecom companies about $1000 per subscriber to install the fiber to the home FTTH . [2] This is mainly why fiber optics has seen most of its use in network backbones and not as much popularity in the final distance to buildings and homes.

Fiber Flexibility: There was a concern with fiber optics because its glass or plastic composition made it difficult for it to be installed in buildings or areas that required sharp turns. However, this problem was solved somewhat as Corning (GLW) developed a bendable fiber in 2007.

  1. Fiber Optics: Bringing the Next Big Thing to New York
  2. The Pros and Cons of Fiber Optics
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