The rapid advances in fiber optic communications over the past few years have generated increased interest in the computer industry to evaluate and use this technology. A number of prototype links for the interconnection of data processing equipment have been fabricated and successfully tested in data transmission applications. The features of fiber optic links utilized in these applications have primarily been freedom from electromagnetic interference and smaller, lighter cables. Future applications are also likely to take advantage of fiber link features such as high bandwidth and low attenuation. This paper reviews the status of fiber link component and application activity as it relates to today's local data network environment and then suggests how new system designs might take more significant advantage of fiber optic technology.