Fibre refers to optical fibre, which is a flexible, transparent fibre made either with silica or plastic, to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair.
Optical fibre has a variety of uses and in the context of telecommunications, is used to transmit data. It is largely superseding the traditional copper wire technology, because of several inherent properties:
• Optical fibre has a much greater bandwidth than wire. The amount of information that can be transmitted per unit time of fibre over other transmission media is its most significant advantage
• An optical fibre offers low power loss, which allows for longer transmission distances
• Optical fibre is immune to electromagnetic interference. It can also be run in electrically noisy environments without concern as electrical noise will not affect fibre
• Optical fibre is much thinner and lighter than metal wires and occupies less space than cables of the same information capacity. Lighter weight makes fibre easier to install
• Optical fibre does not radiate electromagnetic energy and thus, emissions cannot be intercepted.
Because physically tapping optical fibre takes great skill to do undetected, optical fibre is the most secure medium available for carrying sensitive data
• Optical fibre has greater tensile strength than copper or steel wires of the same diameter. It is flexible, bends easily and resists more corrosive elements than copper (such as water)
Because of the advantages highlighted above, optical fibre provides high speeds and data transmission. While there are often practical limitations to the speed and data transmitted under other technologies, optical fibre provides the most scalable form of data transmission. “Gigabit internet”, where data is transmitted at >1000Mbps is not uncommon with optical fibre, with the feasibility to scale this as required.