10BASE-F, one of several physical media specified by IEEE 802.3, is the use of optical fiber in an Ethernet local area network (LAN). Like other specified media, 10BASE-F supports Ethernet's 10 Mbps data rate.

In addition to 10BASE-F, 10 megabit Ethernet can be implemented with these media types:


  • 10BASE-2 (Thinwire coaxial cable with a maximum segment length of 185 meters)
  • 10BASE-5 (Thicknet coaxial cable with a maximum segment length of 500 meters)
  • 10BASE-T (ordinary telephone twisted pair wire)
  • 10BASE-36 (broadband multi-channel coaxial cable with a maximum segment length of 3,600 meters)

This designation is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) shorthand identifier. The "10" in the media type designation refers to the transmission speed of 10 Mbps. The "BASE" refers to baseband signalling, which means that only Ethernet signals are carried on the medium (or, with 10BASE-36, on a single channel). The "T" represents twisted-pair; the "F" represents fiber optic cable; and the "2", "5", and "36" refer to the coaxial cable segment length (the 185 meter length has been rounded up to "2" for 200).

Also see 100BASE-T and Gigabit Ethernet.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About 10BASE-F

Dig Deeper on Network protocols and standards