Fiber optics refers to the technology of transmitting light down thin strands of highly transparent optical fibers. Fiber optics is used in communications, lighting, medicine, optical inspections and to make sensors. Even in communications, we have "outside plant" fiber optics, used in telephone networks, CATV, metropolitan networks, utilities, etc. Furthermore tehre are "premises" fiber optics, found in buildings and campuses, built in just like "wire". Thus, it is used in a lot of different things - power, security, HVAC, CCTV, LAN or telephone.
Fiber optics are not all the same - Outside plant cables often have very high fiber counts, up to 288 fibers or more. Long distances mean cables are spliced together, since cables are not manufactured in lengths longer than about 4-5 km (2.5-3 miles).
Connectors (generally SC or LC styles) on factory made pigtails are spliced onto the end of the cable.
The biggest advantage of optical fiber is the fact that it is the most cost effective, means of transporting information. Fiber can transport more information on longer distances in less time than any other communications medium.