This chapter is a starting point to look around and see where you’re going before you dig into details. The goal is to put fiber optics and communications into context and show how they go together. I start with a personal commentary about the turbulent times of the past several years, then explain the plan for this book. A brief history of fiber optics follows, which introduces some important concepts. Then a brief history of communications explains the need for bandwidth and how fiber optics filled that need, perhaps too well. Finally, I explain some of the terminology of the field to help you in your looking about.
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