This may be a little hard to understand.

I have little knowledge in electronics, but I had an idea about optical fiber for data transfer, as far as I understand, ports/inputs/terminals/pins must be connected and sorted to the right terminals, otherwise data won't be able to be sent through the data pairs(for example RJ45 & CAT cables)


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

Sorting and connecting for a few data pairs (such as CAT cable) isn't really a problem, but in the situation like the internet, where a dramatic increase in wires/fibers are used (i assume), sorting and connecting the tiny cables by hand could take a lot of time, for each repeater/amplifier

My question is:

  1. Will it work if fibers are randomly connected to ports in the terminals without physical sorting?

where they instead are later sorted electronically through test signals, (1,2,3,4 etc) for each fiber?

  1. Does this already happen, if not, why not?

Note: Sorry for my bad terminology, I hope you understand!


If you can't keep track of which cable is which by labelling them, then you'll have to do the testing in any case. At which point, you might as well connect them physically in the right order, and avoid the expense and other penalties associated with an electronic sorting mechanism.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you elaborate on the expense and penalties? \$\endgroup\$
    – mateos
    Oct 23 '17 at 3:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, obviously, the ability to route signals arbitrarily among the inputs requires additional circuitry (recurring cost) and design effort (nonrecurring cost). With high-speed signals, the penalties associated with that circuitry may include reduced bandwidth and/or increased latency. Since your question is so broad, I really can't be more specific than that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Oct 23 '17 at 3:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, my goal is to reduce latency and increase bandwidth \$\endgroup\$
    – mateos
    Oct 23 '17 at 7:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, in a sense. You were trying to increase the throughput of the installation process. The bandwidth and latency issues that I'm talking about apply to the signals themselves after installation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Oct 23 '17 at 12:48

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