Yesterday’s copper to today’s fiber: innovation never stops

For over 10,000 years, humans have used copper to conduct heat, sound, and electricity. Copper cables use an electrical volt to transmit information, and for over 100 years, the telecommunications industry relied on copper wiring to bring people and communities together, and help businesses grow.

The first practical use of copper wiring was in the 1820s following the invention of the telegraph system. Since then, any device requiring an electrical or electronic signal used copper to conduct the electricity needed to deliver messages.

As the west, and especially Montana, expanded following various mineral and mining booms, the population grew, and with it, the need for telecommunication services was necessary. As the demand grew, copper provided some of the most significant technological breakthroughs of the 20th Century.

While copper wiring helped support the infrastructure needed for fast and dependable communication, today’s telecommunications industry uses the reliable and fast connection that only fiber can provide. The growth of fiber began in 1961, when Elias Snitzer published a theoretical description of single-mode fibers, with a core small enough to carry light with one waveguide mode, demonstrating a laser directed through thin glass fiber.

As copper wiring continued to be the industry-standard for reliable network connectivity, the practical use for fiber optic became apparent when Bell Laboratories developed and patented the process to mass-produce fiber optic cables, driving down the price and signaling an end to copper’s dominance. Once fiber took off, it supported the rapid growth of the internet, smartphones, and the IoT that have dominated our business landscape.

Vision Net’s Transport team has spent the last 20 years installing fiber optic networks throughout Montana and has been a leader in network transformation throughout the region. With our ongoing fiber training, Vision Net is well-equipped to provide the connectivity your business needs.

Demand for bandwidth doubles roughly every 18 months and, with our increasingly connected world, it shows no signs of slowing. Since the data connection you choose will support your business’ growth, it is important that you make the best investment you can. Vision Net’s 100% digital fiber network spans over 5,000 miles from the North Dakota border to western Montana and provides a secure connection to keep your business running. Learn how Vision Net’s robust fiber network is the best choice for your business.