How the fibre communications revolution began

Famous paper: "Dielectric-fibre surface waveguides for optical frequencies" by Charles Kao & George Hockham

“Dielectric-fibre surface waveguides for optical frequencies”, C. Kao & G. Hockham

The famous paper that launched the optical fibre communication revolution: “Dielectric-fibre surface waveguides for optical frequencies” by Charles Kao & George Hockham, published in the Journal of the IEE in July 1966.

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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