As I have have whinged on about for some weeks now, I have a fibre to the new house here.
What I have is an Etherway which is a glass fibre run to the exchange where it is then logically connected back to another Etherway in London in to one of our data centres where it then connects to the Internet.
I had a fibre to my old house, and in those days they ran a "fibre tube" and then "blew" fibre down it (compressed air). These days they use "fibre cable". The engineers say they prefer fibre tubes.
But what is fibre cable?
Well, it looks pretty boring, 6mm black hard cable, with a fetching yellow stripe down the side :-)
Inside it looks slightly more interesting...
As you can see, there are some steel wires for strength - allowing it to be pulled, and even strung overhead from poles. It has the red fibre stuff, which I assume is also for strength (anyone got any other suggestions), and a white tube which contains the actual glass fibres, and some gel.
This fibre cable has 4 fibres, colour coded with some coating which can be stripped off easily.
And basically, that is it - fibre optic glass (which is two layers of glass of different densities) covered in a colour coded coating, in a gel filled tube, in a strong black cable. Simples
Apparently this is not how you terminate fibre though :-)
The engineers have splicing equipment so they can splice a tail with standard plugs on to the end of the fibre, and joint it as needed underground to get to the exchange.