Types of Fibre Optic Cable- A Comprehensive Guide

Types of Fibre Optic Cable

Fiber optic cables are transforming data transmission in the field of modern communications. They are a key component of the Internet, telecommunications, and data networking industries because of their capacity to transfer enormous volumes of data across great distances with little loss. Anyone working in the sector has to grasp the many kinds of fiber optic cables and their unique applications as technology develops. This blog will examine the various types of fiber optic cables, their parts, and how to select a fiber optic cable repair service.

What Is a Fiber Optic Cable?

A fiber optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing. They’re designed for long-distance, high-performance data networking and telecommunications. Fiber optic cables provide higher bandwidth and can transmit data over longer distances than traditional copper cables. This makes them ideal for rapid and reliable data transfer applications, such as internet connections, telephone systems, and cable television.

What Are the Components of a Fiber Optic Cable?

A fiber optic cable is composed of several key components:

Core: The core is the thin glass center of the fiber where the light travels. The core’s diameter is one of the defining characteristics of the fiber optic cable.

Cladding: The cladding, a layer of glass that reflects light back into the core and allows it to travel down the fiber, surrounds the core.

Coating: This is a protective layer of plastic that surrounds the cladding. It protects the fiber from damage and moisture.

Strengthening Fibers: These provide additional strength to the cable, helping it withstand the physical stress during installation and throughout its operational life.

Outer Jacket: The outer jacket is the cable’s protective outer covering. It shields the internal components from environmental factors and physical damage.

Types of Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cables come in various types, each designed for specific applications. The main categories are Single-Mode, Multi-Mode, Plastic Optical Fiber, and Bare Fiber Optic Cables.

Single-Mode Fiber Optic Cable

Single-mode fiber optic cables are designed to carry light directly down the fiber with minimal reflection. They have a small core diameter (typically around 9 micrometers) and are used for long-distance communication, offering high bandwidth and minimal signal attenuation. Single-mode cables are usually used in applications such as long-distance telephone transmission, cable TV, and high-speed internet backbones.

OM1, OM2, OM3, OM4, OM5

These designations are used for Multi-Mode fibers, not Single-Mode. The confusion often arises due to their standard classification under fiber optic cables, so let’s explore them briefly here for clarity:

OM1: Supports up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths of 33 meters. The core size is 62.5 micrometers.

OM2: Supports up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths of 82 meters. The core size is 50 micrometers.

OM3: Laser-optimized, supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 300 meters. The core size is 50 micrometers.

OM4: This is similar to OM3 but supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet at lengths up to 550 meters. The core size is 50 micrometers.

OM5: Supports 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet. It is optimized for shorter wavelengths and has a core size of 50 micrometers.

Multi-Mode Fiber Optic Cable

Multi-mode fiber optic cables have a larger core diameter (50 or 62.5 micrometers), allowing multiple modes or rays of light to propagate through the core simultaneously. Due to modal dispersion, these cables are suitable for shorter distances, which can limit bandwidth over longer distances. Multi-mode cables are commonly used in LANs (Local Area Networks), security systems, and data centers.

OS1 and OS2

These designations are used for Single-Mode fibers, describing their performance and application.

OS1: Typically used for indoor applications, such as in data centers and campuses. It can support distances up to 10 km at 10 Gigabit speeds.

OS2: Suitable for outdoor and long-distance applications, supporting distances up to 200 km at 10 Gigabit speeds.

Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)

Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) is an alternative to traditional glass optical fibers. It uses polymer as its core material and is typically used for short-distance applications where flexibility and ease of installation are critical. POF is commonly found in automotive networks, home networks, and industrial settings. It is less expensive and easier to handle than glass fibers but has higher attenuation and lower bandwidth capabilities.

Bare Fiber Optic Cables

Bare fiber optic cables refer to fibers that have not yet been terminated or installed in a protective jacket. They are used in applications where the fiber needs to be customized for specific installations or repairs. Bare fibers are essential for fiber optic cable repair services and for testing and calibration purposes.

How to Choose the Right Fiber Optic Cable?

Selecting the appropriate fiber optic cable depends on various factors. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:

Consider Cable Size and Distance

The size of the cable and the distance it needs to cover are crucial. Single-mode fibers are best for long distances, while multi-mode fibers are suitable for shorter ranges. Assess your installation requirements to choose the right type.

Connection Speed

Determine your network’s speed requirements. Single-mode fibers offer higher speeds over longer distances, making them ideal for high-bandwidth applications. Multi-mode fibers can handle high speeds but are limited to shorter distances.


Evaluate the cable’s performance characteristics. Consider factors like attenuation, bandwidth, and the ability to handle environmental conditions. Single-mode fibers generally offer superior performance over longer distances.


Choose a fiber optic cable that suits your application. Multi-mode fibers are versatile for various indoor applications, while single-mode fibers are better for outdoor and long-distance installations.


Consider the cost implications. Multi-mode fibers are typically less expensive than single-mode fibers. However, the overall cost will also depend on installation complexity, maintenance, and the need for future upgrades.

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Network Drops provides expert fiber optic cable repair services, ensuring your network runs smoothly and efficiently. With a comprehensive understanding of the fiber optic color chart and advanced diagnostic tools, Network Drops can quickly identify and resolve issues, minimizing downtime and enhancing performance.


In conclusion, fiber optic cables are essential to modern communication networks. Understanding the different types of fiber optic cables and their components and how to choose the right one for your application can significantly enhance your network’s performance and reliability. Whether setting up a home network, a data center, or a long-distance communication link, selecting the appropriate fiber optic cable is crucial for achieving the best results. For expert advice and fiber optic cable repair services, consider consulting professionals like Network Drops, who can ensure your network operates at its peak efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the different types of Fibre optic Internet?

Fiber optic internet can be broadly classified into:

FTTH (Fiber to the Home): Direct fiber connection to residences.

FTTB (Fiber to the Building): Fiber reaches the building, with internal wiring distributing the connection.

FTTN (Fiber to the Node): Fiber extends to a central node, with the final connection using copper cables.

FTTC (Fiber to the Curb): Fiber reaches the curb near homes, and the connection from the curb to the home uses copper or coaxial cables.

Q2. How does fiber optic cable work?

Fiber optic cables work by transmitting light signals through the core. The light signals are generated by lasers or LEDs, which travel through the core and reflect off the cladding. This process, known as total internal reflection, allows the light to carry data over long distances with minimal loss.

Q3. Is fiber optic cable more expensive than copper cable?

Due to the materials and technology involved, fiber optic cables can be more expensive than copper cables. However, they offer higher bandwidth, longer transmission distances, and better overall performance, which can offset higher costs through improved efficiency and reduced maintenance.

Q4. What are some applications for fiber optic cable?

Fiber optic cables are used in a variety of applications, including:

Internet and broadband connections


Medical imaging and diagnostics

Cable television

Military and aerospace communications

Industrial automation and control systems

Q5. Is fiber optic cable difficult to install?

Installing fiber optic cables can be more challenging than installing traditional copper cables due to their fragility and the precision required for splicing and terminating fibers. However, technicians can effectively install fiber optic cables with proper training and the right tools. Professional installation services are often recommended to ensure optimal performance.