Broadband

Bendable optic fiber big boost for broadband proliferation


Corning Inc., a New York-based fiber optic technology company, has made a major breakthrough in designing fiber optic cables that are 100 times more flexible than present day optical fiber cables. Developed in conjunction with Verizon, the technology would highly boost broadband data capacity and would enable copper wire type flexibility in optical fiber cables.

A quote from article @ PCPro:

Corning's head of marketing communications, Monica Ott, claims he fibre is as rugged as copper cabling offering huge advantages for rolling out fibre-to-the-home. "When you think about how it needs to be rolled out in buildings... it's stapled, it's pulled round tight corners. It allows you to just handle it differently without protecting the fibre so much," she says.

In present day fibers, the light seeps out if the cables are bent beyond a certain degree. In the new cables, nano structures embedded around the core of the fiber prevent the light from escaping, while making the cables highly flexible.

Verizon plans to expand its FiOS initiative (CNN) with these cables. Also, don't forget that fiber is seeing many ambitious customers these days as mentioned at broadbandreports.com. Indeed, with burgeoning cash reserves, Web giants do seem to be aiming to control the whole network, end to end. At any cost, the latest developments are music to the ears of broadband customers.

More sources:

Net speeds get boost from bendy fibre optics (Tech.co.uk)

Corning develops bendable fibre optic cable (Engadget)

6 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

It's going to be a wireless satellite world.Who would R&D anything else?Probably al-Qaeda.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

for years it has been on par with copper to run fiber to the bee box. However expensive connectors, and connecting processes, and fragile fibre have hampered going from the 'bee box' the last mile into the home. This should really help. Someone railed about how great digital TV is, no 'dropouts or degradation'. My cable has PLENTY of dropouts, just now it is 'digital snow', random small square boxes and also freezing or loss of sound. I don't think that coaxial cable is ideal for digital signals. Fibre replacing this should help

paulr
paulr

Wireless is the future? Maybe. But terrestrial wireless at best. Bandwidth is no longer the key issue with perceived connection speed, latency is - at least for web browsing. We're not quite to the point where we can receive SDTV streams on our mobile devices yet, but most 3G phones can receive 2-3mbps and that's a lot of data. However, even with all that bandwidth, I never realize latency under 90ms on my phone, it's generally in the 120-450ms range. Compare this with say 10-65ms for T1 and 15-90ms for generic broadband. The difference between these latencies is quite noticeable with http over tcp/ip, it translates into pages taking 3-20 seconds to load depending on how they're coded. Whenever I web browse on my laptop using cellular data it's always quite obvious - pages load in spurts, due to the transmission delay not lack of throughput. Now, I'm not a satellite telecom expert but I have read on the subject, and due to their distance from the earth to be in geosynchronous orbit, latency is anywhere from 400ms to 1200ms. Even if the bandwidth issues are solved (which they probably could be with newer encoding techniques), you'll never be able to bring that latency down anywhere near terrestrial wireless or wired connections. This translates into very long page loads. Perfectly fine if you want to check your e-mail twice a day in a third-world country, a pain if you're trying to do any online business, and totally useless if you're an online gamer. This is also ignoring the issues of intercepting communications, jamming them (much easier and more realistic than shooting them down), and of course cost, solar flares, etc. Making fiber more user-friendly is a step in the right direction, but it seems like most ISP's don't have a problem getting bandwidth to the end user, but rather have a problem paying for enough backbone connections to satisfy peak demand. DOCSIS 2 is good for over 40mbps and in areas where FiOS is present, many cable ISPs have cranked downstream to over 20mbps. However many of them have instituted almost draconian anti-server and bandwidth abuse policies (blocking all lower port numbers, bots to search for open ports, and no tolerance policies). Some ISP's have even begun inserting adds into ALL web pages via a transparent HTTP proxy to help cover their backbone costs, or protect their profits (depending on how you look at it). Internet connections are becoming less and less of an internet connection but a WEB connection, finely tuned for mass exchange of HTTP content with established servers and little else. It wouldn't surprise me if they start putting users on private networks and connecting them via NAT in a few years' time, to help minimize conspicuous bandwidth usage and save IP's. You'd still be able to get on youtube and myspace fine...

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

here's why satellites suck and fiber is way better: the chinese recently shot down a satellite as a test. need I say more? first hint of worldwide trouble and alot of satellites will be floating bits of rubble in the ocean. bad solar storms can disable them too. fibre on the other hand is buried underground muchof the way very low bandwidth (compared to fibre) limited switching ability - they can only beam down so many signals at a time. limit to how many satellites can be put up in the sky due to cost, bandwidth allocations, etc uplink speed: for home users have to use phone line for upload if you use satellite internet conx. satellites are good with small dishes for biz to bypass local phone net costs. fiber usually only fails if a backhoe hits them or a quake cuts the line. (or a squirrel chews thru the lines tho they are usually pretty well armored) Subsea landslides can slice 6" fiber trunk cables like butter. One other fun source of failure is if too much total energy is applied to one fibre, it can send a wave of destruction, melting the whole fiber inside to the other end. (source: sciam article on erbium doped self-amplified fibers)

wyattbest
wyattbest

Intel's new chip-sized, cheap lasers should also come in handy for making fibre ubiquitous.

Editor's Picks