History of Fibre Optics

A Long, Long Time Ago

Who would have thought that such an important and modern technology would have had its start over 100 years ago. But that’s the truth! Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, also invented a machine called the photophone. He called it his most important invention. It could transmit sound using a beam of light-very similar to modern fibre optics. And this was only in 1880! Unfortunately, without advanced lasers, the technology wasn’t very practical.

The 1st Generation

Fibre optics were originally proposed in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1970 that they were successfully developed. It was at this time that lasers were developed that could be transmitted long distances. The first started being used for communication purposes. Finally, in 1977, the technology really started to become viable. It was the year after that the first fibre optic cable system in the world was installed in Hastings, East Sussex, UK. Although it is not currently in use, it worked for years providing television services to the surrounding area.

The Middle Eras

As fibre optics moved into the 80s and 90s, it slowly grew faster and faster. During it’s 2nd and 3rd generations, this was due to the discovery of indium gallium arsenide alloy. Soon optical amplification and wavelength-division multiplexing came into play. These technologies allow more data capacity and greater speed.

Where It Is Now

Fibre optics technology is now in what is known as its 5th generation. Scientists are working to extend the range over which fibre optics can operate. Now, society needs it more than ever: people are always connected to the internet, streaming large videos, and wanting more access faster. In addition, the world of fibre optics has become more corporate. Many of these firms and companies are combining and consolidating. Large entities like Verizon and AT&T use fibre optics to convey large amounts of data to their customs via phone lines and the internet.