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If you have ever used the internet (clearly yes, if you’re reading this blog post!), watched cable television, or used a landline telephone, you have relied on fiber optic cables. Fiber optics provide high-speed data transmission and can be frustrating, even life-critical, when data transmission gets interrupted. The technology plays such an important role in our lives, and it is crucial to protect it from things like critter damage with our Line Guard and Pole Guard.

How Do Fiber Optic Communications Work?

A fiber optic cable contains thousands of glass (optical) fibers inside a protected, insulated casing. The fibers are extremely thin strands of glass, slightly thicker than a strand of human hair. They carry communication signals using pulses of light.

The optical fibers are bundled together into an optical cable. The core is surrounded by a layer called the cladding. It is made of material that reflects light back into the core, keeping the signal inside the cable. Surrounding it all is a buffer coating of plastic that protects the insides from damage and moisture.

An electrical digital signal is converted into a light signal, which is then is sent through the cable. Because data sent over fiber optic cables travel at light speed, information can be sent much faster than could be done over metallic wires, such as copper.  Fiber optic cables can also carry a high load of data as well.

How Are Fiber Optic Cables Used?

Using beams of light to carry information has completely transformed the world of data transmission. The speed, resilience, and efficiency of fiber optics have led to use in communications, medicine, the military, and more.

The most common use of fiber optic cables is in the world of communication. They are very useful for internet connections, cable television, and military bases and installations.

Massive amounts of information can be sent over fiber optic cables. They can be strung overhead, buried underground, and even under the ocean.

Protecting Fiber Optic Cables

Due to our reliance on fiber optic cables, damage to them can result in significant disruptions to people's lives. While the cables are designed to withstand environmental damage, they are still susceptible to extreme weather conditions, human error, and even mischievous animals like squirrels and rodents.

It is not clear why critters take to gnawing the cables, but they have been known to do considerable damage. According to PC Magazine, Level 3 Communications reported that squirrels were responsible for 17 percent of damages to the company's fiber optic network in one year. Repair and replacement grow costly for both the consumer and supplier!

Critter Guard has designed barriers to humanely keep squirrels and other rodents away from fiber optic cables and prevent costly outages. To learn more about how to keep your lines from becoming a squirrel's latest chew toy, contact us today.