How the fibre communications revolution began

“What the Wheel did for transport,
Optical Fibre has done for Communications”

Efficient transport has been key to opening up our  World.

Transport of both Material and Information requires Energy, and the Speed is vital.

The Wheel:

  • Reduced the energy required to transport (reduced friction)
  • Increased the speed of transport (friction increase with speed is less than for boats)

Optical fibre:

  • Low Energy Loss (Very high transparency)
  • High Speed (Vast information rate in Bits/Second)

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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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