In retrospect it's wonderful that so many buildings had the foresight to install fiber optics in their walls. The copper lines originally used are now past their breaking point, having exceeded their limitations. Copper has become woefully inefficient when faced with the current need for lightning-fast data transmission and cyber security.
Though many buildings installed glass fiber, much of it is still lying dormant and unused. There is an opportunity to maximize the infrastructure of a company by making use of this valuable tool currently not realizing its full potential. By utilizing wavelength division multiplexing, it is possible to increase and optimize the currently existing fiber without resorting to expensive upgrades.
Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) is a method in which multiple signals on laser beams at various wave lengths are transmitted along fiber optics. Optical signals at different wavelengths travel together along the same optic network and then diverge where necessary to reach their destination. This means that one single cable can carry a multitude of information along the network. WDM is similar to frequency-division multiplexing, but instead of taking place at radio frequencies WDM is processed in the infrared portion of the spectrum. With exponential growth in the use of the Internet, many companies have discovered that they dreadfully underestimated their original fiber needs. Nobody could have predicted that we would become so globally interconnected. Using WDM, companies are able to use existing fiber to fulfill much of their needs. Current systems offer 4-32 channels of wavelengths and the advantages of using WDM are enormous. No major construction is needed to implement the usage of the already-in-place fiber optics. Additionally converting to WDM does not make your current equipment obsolete. There is room for future expansion with this method, such as adding fiber optic amplifiers or repeaters to boost data signals.
At this time those industries who can least afford it (businesses, hospitals, universities), are compromising functionality due to the limitations of the copper systems. It is becoming necessary for them to switch over to glass fiber, much of which is already installed, and for them to begin utilizing wavelength division multiplexing as a means of transmitting their sensitive data. Currently fiber optics are the safest, and most secure method of data transmission.
With the continually increasing demand for IoT (Internet of Things) it will become of paramount importance that companies begin looking for ways to use their already existing infrastructure more efficiently and cost-effectively.