What Is an Optical Cable Used For?

optical-cable-used Credit: rick/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

An optical cable is used to transfer signals using light through thin, flexible glass fibers known as optical fibers. This method of data transmission is extremely fast because light travels faster than anything else in the known universe.

The technology for transmitting data on pulses of light dates back to as early as the 18th century, according to Timbercon, Inc., a manufacturer of fiber optic cables. However, the modern means of directing the light along flexible glass fibers did not begin development until the 1960s. In the 1980s, Sprint installed the nation's first 100 percent fiber optic network. Since then, innovations have made the cables thinner, lighter and more flexible.