Corning Incorporated has announced a significant milestone – delivering its 1 billionth kilometer of optical fiber. The company celebrated with an event at its optical fiber manufacturing facility in Wilmington, North Carolina, the world’s first optical fiber manufacturing facility, which today remains one of the world’s largest.
Corning invented the first low-loss optical fiber in 1970, which helped launch the age of optical communications and ultimately transformed the way the world creates, shares, and consumes information. Since that time, Corning optical fiber has been deployed in hundreds of thousands of networks across the globe, from long-haul and submarine networks to access networks and data centers.
“The invention of optical fiber ushered in a communications revolution,” said Wendell P. Weeks, Corning’s chairman, chief executive officer, and president. “This life-changing innovation began with a group of people who had the audacity to believe it was possible to transmit a beam of light down a hair-thin strand of silica with minimal signal loss. Yet in 1970, I don’t think even our most visionary scientist could have imagined the speed or carrying capacity of today’s fiber – or that Corning would one day be celebrating delivering its 1 billionth kilometer. Today, we continue to transform the way the world connects with ongoing fiber innovations and end-to-end optical solutions. In fact, I believe we’re just getting started.”
In an increasingly connected world, optical fiber is the backbone of telecommunications networks. A single optical fiber link can carry 20 terabits of data per second – enough to support 4 million simultaneous HD video streams – and that capacity is growing. Optical technology has enabled instantaneous video downloads, online gaming, and always-on highspeed consumer services, as well as life-changing applications such as telemedicine, telecommuting, and smart city technology.
With its virtually unlimited bandwidth-carrying capacity, durability, and simple installation techniques, optical fiber will be critical in building next-generation networks and delivering the technologies to enable 4G densification and the transition to 5G, fiber-to-the-home amenities, and advanced business services.
Today, Corning remains the worldwide market leader and is the most widely deployed brand of fiber. Through continued fiber innovation and deep customer relationships, Corning reached the 1 billion kilometer milestone. Keeping its focus on the future, the company will continue to invest in its optical communications business to retain its industry leadership position.