How Fiber Optic Cables Work The traditional method of data transmission over copper cables is accomplished by transmitting electrons over a copper conductor. Fiber Optic cables transmit a digital signal via pulses of light through a very thin strand of glass. Fiber strands (the core of the fiber optic cable) are extremely thin, no thicker than a human hair. The core is surrounded by a cladding which reflects the light back into the core and eliminates light from escaping the cable.
A fiber optic chain works in the following manner. At the one end, the fiber cable is connected to a transmitter. The transmitter converts electronic pulses into light pulses and sends the optical signal through the fiber cable. At the other end, the fiber cable is plugged into a receiver which decodes the optical signal back into digital pulses.