"An optical fiber (or fibre) is a glass or plastic fiber that carries light along its length. Fiber optics is the overlap of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers. Optical fibers are widely used in fiber-optic communication, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher data rates than other forms of communications. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss, and they are immune to electromagnetic interference. Optical fibers are also used to form sensors, and in a variety of other applications."  to find out more...
Passage  from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_fiber#History
Image from http://www.roblon.com/en/roblon_fiber_optics/fiber_optics_lighting/