Whether you’re aware of it or not, the fiber optics revolution is well underway—and it has a discernible impact on your daily life. Thanks to fiber optics, we can now transmit massive amounts of information at record-breaking speeds, with minimal interference.

The sheer speed and volume of information transmission has paved the path for innovations across a number of industries. In this age of video streaming and quick downloads, we sometimes forget just how far we’ve come. Read on to learn more about this impressive transformation—and to gain insight into the future of fiber optic technology.

Fiber optics may seem like an inherently modern concept, but the basis of the technology has actually been around for millennia. Fiber optics are believed to have originated in Ancient Rome, where glass is said to have been drawn into fibers.

However, much of the credit for modern fiber optics is owed to a team of researchers from Corning Glass. This innovative team developed ‘optical waveguide fibers,’ which they found could carry 65,000 times as much information as traditional copper wire.

Following the success of the Corning Glass team, the United States government successfully linked computers via fiber optics at the NORAD headquarters. This was just one of many early projects that demonstrated the wide range of opportunities that fiber optics offered.

Since the initial explosion of the fiber optics industry, this technology has seen wide-scale adoption, with interest surging in the past decade. The Global Fiber Optic Cable Industry 2018 Market Research Report revealed a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.45 percent between 2013 and 2018. A report from Million Insights projects a CAGR of 12.6 percent by 2022.

Much of the recent growth in the fiber optics market can be attributed to the transition from local area networks (LANs)—which once dominated fiber optics—to wide area networking (WAN). Fiber-based WAN promises to solve many of the headaches prompted by DSL and other common approaches. Uniquely secure and easily repairable, fiber offers faster and more reliable connectivity than the alternatives.

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