Applications Of Optical Fiber To CATV Systems (1975)

By Dr. T. M. Straus, Theta-Com & Dr. F. L. Thiel, Corning Glass Works & Dr. M. Barnoski, Hughes Aircraft

The advent of low loss optical fibers has stimulated interest in the possible application of this new technology to CATV. In addition to low loss, fiber optics offer the potential advantages of broad bandwidth, small cable size, and immunity to RFI. This study summarizes the characteristics of the fiber optic components and systems. Extrapolations of presently available cost and performance data are applied to three types of CATV applications:

  1. Relatively low data rate upstream data transmission,
  2. Super trunk type applications, and
  3. Downstream trunk and distribution of a large number of television signals.

The sensitivity of the assumed systems to parameter variations is investigated. This investigation indicates that fiber optics may have a very limited application in CATV systems within three-five years. However, both economic and technological factors must be overcome before widespread use of fiber optics can become a reality.

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