This is a question that has bothered me for a while. In the past many years, no company has been able to develop a material that can transmit light nearly as well as fiber optic glass, or at least not as cheaply.
After doing a bit of research, I found that although there is fiber optic plastic, the quality is considerably poor when compared to the standard glass medium. I would assume that developing a highly-transparent, high-quality plastic that is cheap to manufacture would be considered the holy grail of data communication (not to mention, quite profitable.)
Why is it that in the many, many years that fiber optic data transmission has been around, no one has been able to develop such a form of plastic? In fact, I've never even heard of such research making headlines on the more common tech news sites.