construction of fiber optics

Construction of Fiber Optics: Anatomy of a Cable

construction of fiber optics

In today’s world, where high-speed internet and data transmission are essential for our daily lives, the technology behind fiber optics plays a critical role. This fascinating innovation uses thin, flexible strands of glass or plastic to transmit light signals that carry vast amounts of data over long distances. As a result, there’s no doubt that fiber optics is an essential component of modern telecommunications. So, in this article, we’re going to help you understand how a fiber connection is built. The construction of fiber optics involves precision engineering and innovative techniques that have revolutionized the way we communicate and access information. But how exactly is it constructed?

Let’s dig in.

The construction of fiber optics in five parts

Learning about the anatomy of fiber optics basics can seem pretty daunting. I mean, there’s a lot involved when you’re talking about the internet that’s as fast as the speed of light. But, when you break up this future-proof internet into five optical fiber components, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand. 

So, let’s get down to brass tax and go over each component that makes up this technological marvel.


The optical fiber core is the physical medium which light travels through. It enables light to pass through by sending optical signals from an attached light source to the receiving device. The core looks like a continuous strand of glass or plastic with a diameter that’s thinner than human hair.


Cladding fiber is a thin layer of glass or plastic that covers the core of the fiber cable. It has a lower refractive index than the core, which is necessary for the construction of fiber optics to work. A refractive index measures a material’s ability to bend light, and if the cladding didn’t have a lower refractive index than the core, it wouldn’t be able to keep the light confined to the core.

Think of cladding as the boundary that keeps the light waves confined to the core when the signal moves a great distance. Thus, when cladding is wrapped around the core, signals don’t get dissipated when traveling through the length of the fiber. 


The construction of fiber optics isn’t complete without the plastic coating that goes over the cladding to give strength to the optical fiber. It reinforces the fiber core, provides protection against cable bends, and helps absorb shocks.

Strengthening fibers

Every fiber optic cable structure has strengthening fibers to help shield the core from excessive tension and crushing forces during the installation process. These fibers are typically made of a high-strength material such as glass or plastic, and they serve to protect the delicate core of the fiber optic cable. And, if you haven’t noticed a pattern already– these components are all about protecting the core. This is because the core is the most critical and vulnerable part of a fiber cable. As a result, protecting it is essential to the construction of fiber optics.

Overall, the strengthening fibers are an important component of the fiber construction process because they help create a durable and reliable network for high-speed data transmission.

Cable jacket

The cable jacket is the final layer in fiber optic cable construction. It’s the outer layer of the cable and it protects the cable from environmental hazards. Such hazards could be fishing gear, sharks (which are attracted to electrical fields), and the effects of the construction of fiber optics.

How does fiber internet work?

Imagine an incredibly thin strand of glass or plastic– thinner than a strand of human hair– that can transmit light signals over long distances. And in turn, each of these light signals carries vast amounts of data at incredibly high speeds. This makes it possible for you to stream your favorite movies, video chat with old friends, and access information about virtually anything in the blink of an eye. 

But how is this possible? Well, once fiber optic installation is complete, light enters the fiber optic cable and bounces off the walls of the cable at such an angle that it stays trapped inside. A good analogy for this is to think about how a water slide keeps you inside the flume. You (the light signal) may bounce like crazy between the walls of the slide (the fiber optic cable), but because of the slide’s curvature, you don’t fly out. Thus, this is how the bouncing light signals can travel up to 62 miles without any loss of quality and in a matter of nanoseconds.

So, it makes sense that everyone wants this insanely fast internet connection. But, other than its lightning speed, what are the other benefits of fiber optic internet?

Construction of fiber optics benefits

Fiber optic internet is the real deal. Unlike other internet connections, fiber optic doesn’t slow down or get interrupted by obstacles like bad weather or heavy traffic– even during peak hours. 

With fiber, you get to experience crystal-clear video calls, speedy downloads, and buffer-free streaming. As a result, it’s a game-changer for anyone who relies on the internet for work, entertainment, or just staying connected with friends and family.

installing fiber internet

How is fiber optic internet installed?

Installing the construction of fiber optics involves taking a home out of the “household passed” stage and bringing it to the “connected” stage. So, let’s go over what each stage means.

Household passed

Wondering, “How to get fiber internet to my house?”. You need to make sure that your home is in the “household passed” stage. This means that there’s a fiber optic cable that runs by your home but just isn’t connected yet. So, your home can be served by an ISP’s fiber distribution plant, but it has yet to have fiber installed. In other words, it’s like being eligible for a prize that you haven’t cashed in yet.


This is the stage where you cash in your prize, i.e., you get connected to fiber internet and get to reap all of its benefits. A fiber “drop” cable connects to your home, which allows you to order and receive internet from your fiber ISP. Through a fiber optic cable, the fiber “drop” connects the fiber service provider’s access point to the ONT near your home.

There are two methods for getting fiber connected to your home: Cable pulling and cable blowing.

Cable pulling

Installing fiber internet with the cable pulling technique uses specialized equipment to pull the fiber optic cable through conduits or trenches that have been dug into the ground. The cable is attached to a winch which pulls it through the conduit or trench.

During the construction of fiber optics, it’s important to ensure that the cable is pulled gently, as any damage to the cable during installation can lead to performance issues down the line. So, unlike when you haul your garden hose out, you don’t want to use any excessive force when dealing with fiber cables.

Cable blowing

The cable blowing technique is another method for getting a fiber internet connection. This method installs fiber optic cables by using compressed air to blow the cable through a duct. The cable is attached to a device called a cable blowing machine. This machine uses compressed air to push the cable through the duct at a controlled speed. 

Cable blowing is ideal for longer-distance installations and requires less manual labor. As a result, it’s the faster and more cost-effective option of the two methods.

Fiber is the future

As our world becomes increasingly connected, fiber optics will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future of communication. Thus, fiber technology is an incredible feat of engineering that has transformed the way we communicate and share information. It’s no secret that the construction of fiber optics tells a remarkable tale of human ingenuity and technological advancement.If you’re ready for lightning-speed, future-proof internet, you can learn more about Fiber here.


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