Fibre optics

Fibre optic has enabled the development of a data-centric information society by providing a reliable and efficient communications infrastructure

High reliability, speed and security

Compared with traditional copper cables, the physical properties of fibre optics permit the transmission of data over longer distances, with greater security and at higher data rates. Because they are immune to electromagnetic interferences, fibre optics can be used in various environments safely, including those with high radiation, without altering the transmission.

The fibre optics market is dynamic and in constant expansion driven by technology improvements and the growing demand for high data bandwidths i.

Fibre optic technologies, traditionally used for long-distance communications, are increasingly being adopted for local area networks, data centres and cabling in residential and industrial buildings.

Highly versatile


Fibre optics  are also used in industries such as avionics, medical equipment, and automotive. For example, fibre optics provide lighting and safety features in cars, as well as for medical procedures such as endoscopy surgery. Smart grids rely on optical networks to transmit data that helps identify the status of every part of the electric grid. Industries such as oil and gas rely on fibre optic sensors to ensure the safety of their pipelines.

Fibre optics are also part of a new trend to integrate optical and electrical circuits. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) offer the potential for computing and data transmissions at tremendous speeds. They are essential for the implementation of the next generation of smart services, including 5G networks.

Role of the IEC

The fibre optics market relies on IEC International Standards to ensure that its systems, devices and components are compatible and operate safely, and in accordance with agreed sets of parameters. Each of the individual parts of a fibre optics system must be able to work together in order for the entire system to function properly.

IEC Technical Committee (TC) 86 prepares international standards for fibre optic systems, modules, devices and components intended for use with communications equipment. Its activities cover terminology, characteristics, calibration and measurement methods and functional interfaces. IECEE, one of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems verifies that fibre optic systems and components are built to relevant IEC Standards.