How the fibre communications revolution began

Alec Reeves, inventor of PCM

Alec Reeves

Alec Reeves, famous inventor of PCM (the concept of digitising signals for error-free transmission) and and OBOE (a WW2 bomber navigation system). He let the optical team at STL initially.

2016: Half a Century of Optical Fibre Communications

2016 was the 50th anniversary of the publication that started it all.

Optical Fibre has transformed our world yet is now almost completely ignored.

The reasons?:

  • It is largely hidden (beneath our streets and oceans).
  • No surviving commercial organisation has an interest in promoting the STL history.
  • Few remember just how poor global communications used to be.

Useful Links

For anyone who enjoyed STL

STL Quarter Century Club

For the full story of optical communication see

"City of Light - The Story of Fiber Optics" by Jeff Hecht

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