Definition & Meaning
An optical network is a type of data communication network built with optical fiber technology. It utilizes optical fiber cables as the primary communication medium for converting data and passing data as light pulses between sender and receiver nodes.
An optical network is also known as an optical fiber network, fiber optic network or photonic network.
Through its use of light as a transmission medium, an optical network is one of the fastest communication networks. It works by using an optical transmitter device to convert an electrical signal received from a network node into light pulses, which are than placed on a fiber optic cable for transport to a receiving device.
Unlike copper based networks, the light pulses of an optical network may be transported quite a distance until the pulses are regenerated through an optical repeater device. After a signal is delivered to a destination network, it is converted into an electrical signal through an optical receiver device and sent to a recipient node.
Moreover, an optical network is less prone to external inference and attenuation and can achieve substantially higher bandwidth speeds than copper networks.