How does Fibre work?

Fibre-optic internet, often referred to as “fibre,” works by transmitting data using pulses of light through thin strands of glass or plastic called optical fibers. Here’s a simplified explanation of how fiber internet works:

  1. Data Transmission: When you send or receive data over the internet, it is converted into digital signals. These signals are then transformed into pulses of light by a device called a laser or LED (light-emitting diode).
  2. Optical Fibre: The pulses of light travel through the core of the optical fibre which is surrounded by a cladding layer. The core and cladding have different refractive indexes, ensuring that the light remains within the fibre and doesn’t escape.
  3. Total Internal Reflection: As the light pulses move through the fibre, they undergo a process called total internal reflection. When the light reaches the boundary between the core and cladding at a certain angle, it reflects back into the core instead of escaping.
  4. Multiple Data Channels: Fibre-optic cables can contain multiple fibres bundled together. Each fibre can transmit data independently, enabling high-speed, simultaneous data transmission. These are often color-coded to keep track of different data channels.
  5. FibreOptic Network: The optical fibres are connected to a network of equipment, including switches, routers, and optical network terminals (ONTs). These devices help direct the data to its destination and manage the flow of information within the network.
  6. Signal Regeneration: As the light pulses travel long distances through the fibre, they may weaken due to attenuation (signal loss). To counteract this, regenerators or repeaters are placed at intervals to amplify and regenerate the signal, ensuring it maintains its strength and quality.
  7. Data Reception: At the receiving end, the light pulses are detected by a photosensitive device, typically a photodiode or photodetector. The device converts the light back into electrical signals, which computers, smartphones, or other devices can then be processed and used.

Fibre-optic internet offers several advantages over traditional copper-based internet technologies. It provides faster speeds, higher bandwidth, and more reliable connections. Additionally, fibre is less susceptible to electromagnetic interference and can transmit data over longer distances without significant signal degradation.

It’s important to note that fibre-optic internet’s actual implementation and technical aspects can be more complex and involve additional components and protocols.