Since its invention by Corning Glass researchers Robert Maurer, Donald Keck, and Peter Schultz in 1970, it was clear that optical fiber would eventually become the nerve of telecommunications networks. The fiber-optic cable race started in the 80s for long distance transatlantic communications systems and moved to long haul terrestrial links in the late 90s during the Internet bubble. The run up ended in March 2000 with a fiber glut that marked the beginning of the great telecom crash. Since then, the fiber-optic business has become very cyclical with significant ups and downs and is now sustained by Google and Facebook building their own undersea and terrestrial fiber-optic networks to link data centers, as well as China, which spent $182B between 2015 and 2017 to build its own network. Now with 5G on the horizon, all service providers and governments are looking for fiber. Clients, please log in to view the full content.