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Corning Celebrates 40 Years of Optical Fiber

March 31, 2010
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Corning Inc. is launching a year-long anniversary celebration of the company’s invention of low-loss optical fiber. Corning’s 1970 breakthrough made the theoretical promise of fiber-optic technology a reality and revolutionized the communications industry.

“The invention of low-loss optical fiber in 1970 helped launch the communications age,” said Martin J. Curran, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Optical Fiber. “Today, optical fiber innovation is as vibrant as ever. Over the past four decades, Corning has built on its groundbreaking invention by continuing to develop new fiber technologies for submarine, long-distance, enterprise, and fiber-to-the-home networks that enable faster, better, and more cost-effective communication.”

In 1970, the Corning researchers responsible for the discovery-Robert Maurer, Ph.D.; Peter Schultz, Ph.D.; and Donald Keck, Ph.D.-reported the first optical fiber with loss below 20 dB per kilometer, which demonstrated the feasibility of fiber optics for telecommunications. Corning followed that breakthrough by inventing processes to manufacture optical fiber in mass scale, enabling the deployment of low-cost, high-capacity optical transport systems that have become an integral part of our daily lives.

Today, optical fiber transmits data, voice and video at speeds unimaginable in 1970. Corning currently offers optical fibers with a loss level of less than 0.17 dB/km, and researchers continue to develop new innovations that will enable fiber to go faster and farther than ever before.

For more information, visit www.corning.com.

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