Talk:Fiber-optic communication

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Fiber-optic communication:
  • Expand introductory section.
  • Add references
  • Add more cross-linking with the other articles on this subject. This article should end up as the "lead" or "overview" article for other related articles.
  • Include more up-to-date information about FTTH (e.g., Verizon FIOS), OC-768 (i.e., 40Gbps), polarization dispersion, and very short fiber (e.g., TOSLINK).
  • Include more information about specific fiber-optic communication devices, such as core router. Perhaps link to lists of sample devices in each technology sub-section.
  • Include more information about the companies in the fiber-optic communication business.
  • Need to edit and revise many of the sections. Most of the sections have incomplete sentences or run-on sentences.

Merger proposal[edit]

I will work on this soon. There seems to be a lot of information on both source sections, and making a new article shouldn't be difficult. johnpseudo 23:02, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I support this change. The communications section is too long compared to the rest of the optical fiber article, and the optical communication article is written to cover too broad a topic, "any form of telecommunication that uses light as the transmission medium," to ever become a coherent high-quality article. The Photon 04:59, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Cable TV[edit]

I think that historically, (e.g., in the '90s) fiber optics for cable television were typically analog rather than digital, carrying essentially the same rf signals that electrical distribuition systems would have carried. This led to different requirements on the transmitters (high linearity), and probably other differences to telephone network optical fiber communication. I assume that analog systems are at least still in use, even if they're no longer being deployed. Can anyone confirm this and edit it into the article? -- The Photon 01:21, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

See Hybrid fibre-coaxial. Downstream is always 'analog'; some systems digitize the upstream and transmit as baseband digital. Also, some FTTP systems use a seperate wavelength for cable TV type signals. Mirror Vax 07:19, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Most cable systems today uses HFC and DOCSIS (talk) 04:44, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

more on the limitations[edit]

  • "With current fibre technilogy [sic], the achievable bandwidth is in excess of 50, 000 [sic] Gbps (50Tbps) and many people are looking very hard for better materials. The current practical limit of about 1Gbps is due to our inability to convert between electrical and optical signals any faster." - Andrew Tanenbaum, in 'Computer Networks' (3rd Edition, Prentice-Hall 1996) [1] 23:07, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
    • I think the 2002 edition of the "fiber-optic communication systems" book I used is probably a little more accurate. johnpseudo 00:10, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Ah, does most of the article reference the book? I didn't see a specific reference link to the book.
Also, I didn't see a succinct summarization of the information above when I scanned the article. - 23:40, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I got most of the information from that book. I figured if I'm going to pay 80 bucks for a textbook, I'd better be able to use it for more than one semester. Do the most recent changes address your concern? Honestly, I think what this article needs more than anything else is a bunch of pictures, but I can't find any that I'm sure fair-use applies to. johnpseudo 01:52, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


In the article we have, "Once in place, such cables require substantially less maintenance." I tagged it with {{cite-needed}} because I originally read it to mean "less maintenance than copper wire." But I now think the real question is probably, less maintenance than what?

--The Photon 05:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

"Fiber optics will bring faster and more powerful service, including supporting streaming video and allowing up to four phone lines per household but requiring less maintenance than copper cables" johnpseudo 06:26, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

In context, I think it's clear that the comparison in the article is with copper wire: "Once the fiber is...assembled into a fiber-optic cable, it ... similar to copper cable. Once in place, such cables require substantially less maintenance." johnpseudo 06:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I missed that line in the referenced article. Do you really consider an article in a local newspaper to be authoritative on the question of whether fiber optic or copper cable requires more maintenance? Most likely, the reporter is just reporting what Verizon told her, and Verizon has a distinct interest in justifying and promoting their recent project.
From a technical point of view, I can't see why either copper or fiber should have an advantage in maintenace --- it should all depend on what kind of cable (jacket, armor, ...) is wrapped around the transmission line. Can you find any more detailed explanation of whether, or why, fiber actually requires less maintenance than copper? Maybe there might be an advantage to the service provider -- fewer lines serving the same number of subscribers means fewer points of failure -- but for the subscriber the MTBF would be the same. Anyway, if you can find a more convincing reference I think that would be an improvement for the article.
Also, sorry to be slow responding, but I haven't been real active lately. --The Photon 05:41, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

First off, I don't think Verizon has any subversive reason to be pushing fiber-optic over copper. They don't sell fiber-optic cable, they buy it. The primary reason fiber-optic cable requires less maintenance than copper cable is that it requires far fewer signal regenerators and amplifiers. The fewer routers, amplifiers, and regenerators you have in the ground, the fewer can break and need repair. There are other reasons for less maintenance, too. Here are a few articles I found: "Fiber optic systems are immune to power induction and ... Fiber offers the highest level of noise and maintenance free service for critical Class A circuits." "Overall, fiber is more expensive than copper in the short run, but it may actually be less expensive in the long run. Fiber typically costs less to maintain, has much less downtime, and requires less networking hardware. And fiber eliminates the need to recable for higher network performance." "...lower operation and maintenance expenses due to fiber's greater reliability. Fiber-optic cables are less susceptible to glitches or interference and can withstand shock and vibration., such as potential disruption from inclement weather" "Fiber optics is affected less by moisture which means less corrosion and degradation. Therefore, no scheduled maintenance is required." johnpseudo 16:07, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

can fiber optic be one of non-destructive test? if yes how do it work?

I added 2 images per image request for fiber cable, and removed the reqphotoin tag. Wikidenizen 19:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Bandwidth-distance product[edit]

500MHz x KM doesnt work 500 x 0.5 doesnt equal 1000. should it be the quotient?Yellow Onion 05:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Ease of Splicing[edit]

Should "Ease Of Splicing" be "Ease of Fusion Splicing"?

The splicing that takes place with fiber optic lines is Fusion splicing. splicing takes you to a page that describes different types of splicing methods, not, not the one referring to what Fiber Optic networks use.

Fiber-optic communication#Comparison with electrical transmission

Zylstra555 (talk) 03:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Sure- go ahead and make the change. johnpseudo 14:26, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Fun stuff... hopefully I wont kill it... Fusion splicing... seems like that stub works. Page updated. Thanks. Zylstra555 (talk) 17:31, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Intrinsic (in fiber) fiber optic modulator[edit]

The section on intrinsic modulators could use a second look. It's not clear that it really belongs in this article.--Srleffler (talk) 14:20, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Should I include an article "The Advantages and Disadvantages of Fiber Optics over Copper Wire?"[edit]

I have info and cited sources on this topic, but I am not sure if I should place this section in Fiber Optics, Fiber-optic communication or any other Fiber-Optic related article. Infinity Spiral (talk) 13:09, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

It's already right here: Fiber-optic communication#Comparison with electrical transmission. johnpseudo 15:10, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
However, the disadvantages listed aren't useful .We are supposed to keep a neutral point of view and I think we should include the disadvantages too. If you can agree with that, then I can simply merge my facts into the article.Infinity Spiral (talk) 21:53, 26 October 2008 (UTC)


The article should discuss the feasibility of widespread fiber-optic connections, at what pace they are gaining popularity and the problems that may delay/prevent it from happening in the future. Is there a huge demand for it? How much would the service cost per month on average? Would replacing coaxial/copper underground cables throughout the country (and other countries) be too expensive a project? etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:30, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

merge with Optical fiber cable[edit]

I think Optical fiber cable should be merged into Fiber-optic communication. Optical fiber cable is currently a poor-quality article that reads like a compendium of technical information, rather than an encyclopedia article for a general audience.-- (talk) 16:59, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, I think maybe that article should just be improved. johnpseudo 18:45, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
No they are two different pages about different things - this article is about the communication over optical fibre, while optical fibre cable is about the construction of the cables. it may not interest you personally, but it's worth keeping. I vote not to merge --Opticalgirl (talk) 20:12, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

fiber optic versus coax[edit]

The article seems to be saying that the advantages of fiber optic over coax are less attenuation and less interference. But isn't greater bandwidth also a big advantage? The article discusses the bandwidth of fiber optic cables at great length, but never compares with coax. It would also be interesting to know how they compare in terms of linearity and phase.-- (talk) 17:06, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

It may be true in the past, but recent developments in using more RF bands on Coaxial makes then more equal footing, with newer technology outpacing bandwidth over fiber optic in the future. (talk) 04:34, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Interesting and surprising. Do you have a citation? -—Kvng 17:21, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Fiber-optic communication#Bandwidth-distance product[edit]

A number of issues with this. It does not mention modal bandwidth for example. There are several dated statements in it. Never say "current" or "highest ever recorded" but say when it happened. This is an active field, so something that was current in 2009 is old hat by now, and records today might be broken by the time someone reads it. W Nowicki (talk) 22:01, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I did a few, but there are more. That section also makes the common confusion between MHz of bandwidth and data rate. That is, it forgets bits per baud. W Nowicki (talk) 23:24, 17 June 2011 (UTC)


Historically, there was a window used below the O band, called the first window, at 800-900 nm; however, losses are high in this region so this window is used primarily for short-distance communications. The current lower windows (O and E) around 1300 nm have much lower losses. This region has zero dispersion. The middle windows (S and C) around 1500 nm are the most widely used. This region has the lowest attenuation losses and achieves the longest range. It does have some dispersion, so dispersion compensator devices are used to remove this.

The above seems to have been removed anonymously without comment. It did have no citations, so no idea if it is nonsense or not. W Nowicki (talk) 18:11, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Nearly all the article is sourced from "Fiber-optic communication systems" by Govind P. Agrawal. The individual statements aren't sourced by individual citations, but all of the original material is in that book. johnpseudo 19:30, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks User:Johnpseudo for cleaning this up. I've learned recently not to be shy about immediately reverting unexplained edits that you don't understand. They can always be reinstated if an explanation is forthcoming but if left, it gets forgotten or tangled with legit edits. --Kvng (talk) 20:43, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
That's helpful, Kvng. Just be sure to check the history for multiple adjacent bad edits so you don't leave one behind like W Nowicki did in this case. johnpseudo 19:56, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Could you clarify that please? I was just trying in good faith to figure out why edits were being done with no edit summary, or ones like"Rv to last good version". Are you saying that these two sections should be cited to that Agrawal book? It might be time to put those citations inline instead of leaving them "at large" while there are others inline. That might make it clearer. Otherwise the rules that say "any unsourced infotmation can be removed" can cause these confusions. Thanks for any help. W Nowicki (talk) 21:12, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

That seems somewhat impractical to me given the degree to which the entire article relies on the Agrawal book. The article as of this version is almost completely from the Agrawal book. That would be hundreds of references. johnpseudo 14:25, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Proposed move from 'Fiber-optic communication' to 'Fiber-optic telecommunication'[edit]

'Communication' is principally a social science, while telecommunications are the sciences and technologies of transmitting/receiving information, data, etc... The principle article, Optical telecommunication has already had its title revised to reflect this. If this proposed move is uncontroversial, I will retitle the article as Fiber-optic telecommunication. Best: HarryZilber (talk) 14:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Weak oppose This does not appear to be an obvious improvement over the current title. A Google search shows more hits for the current title. Do you have any citations indicating telecommunication is the preferred terminology for this subject. -—Kvng 07:46, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I concur with this opinion. When I gave the article this name in the first place it was borrowed almost word-for-word (it was "fiber-optic communication systems") from my textbook on the subject. johnpseudo 16:39, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Article main picture[edit]

Sorry guys, but main picture displays really shitty design. Bad bad bad. Where are cable organizers? Are you totally dumb in your democratical germanys? SHAME ON YOU!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:28, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

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Categorization of Fiber optics[edit]

Editors of this article may be interested in the discussion at Talk:Silicon photonics#Fiber Optics & Silicon photonics. User:Ne0Freedom is trying to remove Category:Fiber optics from Category:Optics and instead put it in his newly created category, Category:Silicon photonics. I strongly oppose this. His view seems to be based on the misconception that anything optical with silicon in it (even silicon dioxide—glass) is automatically "silicon photonics".--Srleffler (talk) 01:52, 22 March 2017 (UTC)