Since the first commercial introduction in the 1980s, optical fiber technology has undergone an almost exponential growth. Currently over 2 billion fiber kilometers are deployed globally with 2014 global optical fiber production exceeding 300 million fiber kilometers. 1 Along with the staggering growth in optical fiber production and deployment, an increase in optical fiber technologies and applications has also followed. Although the main use of optical fibers by far has been for traditional data transmission and communications, numerous new applications are introduced each year. Initially the practical application of optical fibers was limited by cost and sensitivity of the optical fibers to stress, radiation, and other environmental factors. Tremendous advances have taken place in optical fiber design and materials allowing optical fibers to be deployed in increasingly harsh environments with exposure to increased mechanical and environmental stresses while maintaining high reliability. With the increased reliability, lower cost, and greatly expanded range of optical fiber types now available, new optical fiber deployments in harsh and high radiation environments is seeing a tremendous increase for data, communications, and sensing applications. An overview of key optical fiber applications in data, communications, and sensing for harsh environments in industrial, energy exploration, energy generation, energy transmission, and high radiation applications will be presented. Specific recent advances in new radiation resistant optical fiber types, other specialty optical fibers, optical fiber coatings, and optical fiber cable materials will be discussed to illustrate long term reliability for deployment of optical fibers in harsh and high radiation environments.