There is more to unpack here than just a simple question. Optical cables are intended to just directly pass the digital data from one location to another using light. Can't get much faster than light, so... No, USB is not "faster" than Optical. And distance is also not an issue, but in most Home Theater environments, not really an issue for USB either. Optical cables are more fragile than USB cables, and the ends must be handled delicately as the light needs to not have any cracks or blemishes on the surface, which would prevent the signal from reaching the intended receiver.
A digital signal is a digital signal, the use of optical over USB would depend more on the equipment available - Most TV monitors, sound bars, and HE equipment use optical for the size of the connection. USB tends to be more computer based.