Optical fibers are used as a medium for telecommunication and computer networking because they are flexible and can be bundled as cables. They are particularly well-suited for long-distance communications, because light travels through the fiber much faster than electrical impulses through cable. This allows long distances to be spanned with few repeaters. Additionally, the per-channel light signals propagating in the fiber have been modulated at rates as high as 111 gigabits per second, although in deployed systems, typical speed is 10 or 40 Gbit/s. Each fiber can carry many independent channels, each using a different wavelength of light (wavelength-division multiplexing – WDM).
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