How the fibre communications revolution began

1973 Video transmission system. GaAs Laser, Single Multimode fibre, PPM, Avalanche photodiode.

1973 Video transmission system. GaAs swan-cavity Laser, Single Multimode fibre, Pulse Position Modulation, Avalanche photodiode.

Video transmission system. GaAs sawn-cavity laser, butt-coupled to: Single strand of plastic coated Multimode fibre, Pulse Position Modulation, Avalanche photodiode. 1973.

2016: Half a Century of Optical Fibre Communications

2016 is 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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