Fiber U Self-Study Programs  

Self Study Lesson Plan: Fiber Optics In Communications
Level: Introductory

Fiber Optics In Communications and How It Works

fiber optic communications

Level: Introductory

Intended For:

  • Anyone new to fiber optics who wants to get started and/or learn how it works
  • Managers and supervisors involved in projects involving fiber optics
Objectives: From this self-study program you should learn:

  • The history of fiber optics in communications
  • What types of communications systems use fiber?
  • How fiber optics is used in may areas of communications
  • How are communications signals transmitted over optical fibers?

How fiber works  How fiber works!

"Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961

Fiber optic communications often seems like "magic," sending incredibly fast communications signals over hair-thin strands of glass as pulses of light, even sending multiple signals of different "colors" over the same fiber at once! Well, it is not magic, just straightforward technology, and relatively easy to understand. This short self-study program is aimed at the person getting started in fiber optic communications, intended to give you an overview of how fiber optics technology developed, where fiber is used and why, then quick a introduction to how it works.

After this course, you may want to continue to the Basic Fiber Optics course or any of the more specific applications courses.

None. This is the place you start.

Get Started
You may use the videos or the Online Guide links to study the material - they are essentially the same.

Topic Watch FOA Videos (YouTube) 
Read FOA Online Guide 
The History of Fiber Optics
The History of Fiber Optics 
Fiber Optic Timeline  
Where is fiber optics used in communications and why? Fiber Optics & Communications  Fiber Optic Networks 
How does an optical fiber transmit light? How Optical Fiber Guides Light Optical Fiber 
How electronics and optics are used to create a fiber optic link Fiber Optic Datalinks   Fiber Optic Datalinks 

Want to Learn More? Here Are Some Study Guides

If you want to learn more about fiber optics, we suggest you start with the most popular introduction to fiber optics, Lennie Lightwave's Guide to Fiber Optics (online), also available in a printed version on Amazon.
Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics

At a higher technical level you can read the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics  or take the Fiber U Basics of Fiber Optics Course.  
FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics

This information is provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a benefit to those interested in teaching, designing, manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic communications systems or networks. It is intended to be used as an overview and/or basic guidelines and in no way should be considered to be complete or comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a basis for learning, as a reference and for creating their own documentation, project specifications, etc. Those working with fiber optics in the classroom, laboratory or field should follow all safety rules carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any of this material.


(C)2022, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.