History of Fiber Optics

Often dubbed the “Father of Fiber Optics,” Charles K. Kao led the development and use of fiber optics in telecommunications in 1965 when he showed how the high-loss of existing fiber optics came from impurities in the glass, rather than from an underlying problem in the technology itself. In 2009, Kao was awarded half of the Nobel Prize in Physics for “groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.”

Kao’s scientific works have helped shape the foundation for the optical communications of today’s networked societies. Mankind depends on the effectiveness of communication and Kao’s discoveries in fiber optics have paved the way for advancements in the telecommunications industry.

Traditionally, if you were to make a phone call to Europe, the signal would have to be transmitted up to a satellite and then back down to Europe. This process can create distortion and echoes. However, with fiber optics, if the phone call is transmitted through a transatlantic fiber optic cable, there is a direct connection and your call will come in much clearer.

The possibilities for fiber optics are nearly limitless because fiber optic cables are very flexible, efficient, durable, and the signal cannot be easily distorted through them. Today, they are used mostly in telecommunications, such as the Internet and cable TV. Fiber optic cables can support very fast Ethernet connections and therefore, many companies today utilize fiber lit buildings and fiber networks to optimize their business’ connectivity.

In order to effectively analyze the fiber presence in a particular city or metro area, metro fiber and fiber lit buildings data sets can be utilized. GeoTel Communications offers fiber maps in a variety of sizes, as well as custom-made fiber maps for client requests. Our metro fiber data set can be combined with Fiber Lit Buildings to determine which US carriers have a fiber presence inside a building. Give us a call at (800) 277-2172 to learn more about our telecom data products!