Fiber optics


A technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) to transmit data. A fiber optic cable consists of a bundle of glass threads, each of which is capable of transmitting messages at close to the speed of light.


Fiber optics has several advantages over traditional metal communications lines:



The main disadvantage of fiber optics is that the cables are expensive to install. In addition, they are more fragile than wire and are difficult to split.


Fiber optics is a particularly popular technology for local-area networks. In addition, telephone companies are steadily replacing traditional telephone lines with fiber optic cables. In the future, almost all communications will employ fiber optics.






Abbreviation of Fiber-Optic Digital Device Interface, a set of ANSI protocols for sending digital data over fiber optic cable. FDDI networks are token-passing networks, and support data rates of up to 100 Mbps (100 million bits) per second. FDDI networks are typically used as backbones for wide-area networks.

An extension to FDDI, called FDDI-2, supports the transmission of voice and video information as well as data. Another variation of FDDI, called FDDI Full Duplex Technology (FFDT) uses the same network infrastructure but can potentially support data rates up to 200 Mbps.