Could Long-Distance Fiber Become Cost-Effective?


It appears carriers and fiber providers may have the ability to lay fiber over long distances without repeaters in the future. This innovation should translate into lower implementation costs, and the savings could spill over to users. And it’s all thanks to researchers from the University of California, San Diego.

Analysts from this academic think tank figured out that crosstalk distortions are “predictable” and “reversible” – and with the help of a frequency comb, they were able to send data over 12,000 kilometers of fiber. The signal was strengthened by crosstalk reversing en route, and the end result was “20 times stronger than the previous limit without any signal degradation.” On the other side of the transmission, the researchers were easily able to decipher the data.

Interestingly, the interference-cancelling tech brings back memories of the noise-cancelling function of headphones introduced years back. Instead of getting static or a buzz in your ear, you get your favorite tunes. In the case of fiber, you get uncompromised data at the desired point of destination. And it works the same way – you know what’s coming, you keep an eye out for it, and you get rid of it.

Laying fiber will still require standard amplifiers and this new distortion-reversing technology. That’s just a reality of fiber implementation. But expensive repeaters won’t be necessary anymore, making it much less costly to develop. It’s an exciting development for fiber, and we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more innovations in the connected world.

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