Is fiber optic internet service better? YES! Aside from being much faster and more reliable vs. cable internet or DSL, fiber internet has other major benefits that blow all other providers out of the water. Let’s take a quick stroll through the advantages of fiber optic cable internet.
For a complete guide to Fiber Optic Technology, click here.
- Speed - Fiber optic internet speed can reach 1 Gbps. That’s 40 times faster than the services currently offered in our area (DSL or Sattelite). As a quick example, the list below shows how long it takes to download a 2-hour movie on fiber optic vs other services.
Fiber internet is known as symmetrical: you get the same upload speed as download speed. That makes sharing photos and files easier and more reliable than ever.
- Fiber optic internet speed 1 Gbps: 40 seconds
- Cable internet speed 100 Mbps: 7 minutes
- DSL speed 25 Mbps: 30 minutes
- 4G LTE speed 35 Mbps: 25 minutes
- Latency - Internet latency is the time it takes for a request to go from a source to a destination on the internet (measured in milliseconds). If you have a satellite ISP, you've endured the noticeable delay after you attempt to visit a URL. Your staring at static page, then all of a sudden, the page loads all at once. Satellite services send large packets of data to space and back, which accounts for this delay. Although they can advertise fast speeds, the service seems MUCH slower due to latency. This very obvious if you've ever tried to do voice-over-IP with a satellite service; there is just enough of a delay to throw off your conversation.
Although latency exists in EVERY network due to distance and speed, fiber's latency is mostly undetectable. With fiber, latency is not an issue. Take a look at the average latency results below:
- Fiber optic latency: 10ms or less
- Cable latency: 100ms or less
- DSL latency: 100ms or less
- Satellite latency: 500-700ms
- Accessibility - Every year, the internet becomes more and more important to our everyday lives, on an individual and societal level. Fiber optic speed provides enough bandwidth to access these emerging online services simultaneously:
- Smart Homes and Security: Smart home technology is one of the Internet of Things (IOT) fastest growing markets connecting every aspect of your home so it runs seamlessly from your smart device. (speakers, TVs, thermostats, plugs, light automation, video door bells, refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers...)
- Independent Living for the Aging or Disabled: Aging in place and independent living are quickly becoming more important to us as the population ages. The most affordable home automation products are cloud-based and internet-dependent. A wide array of products from voice-activated devices to panic alarms can have a profound impact on quality of life for senior citizens, the disabled, and the people who care for them.
- Telecommuting: Fast access to the Internet makes it possible for professionals to telecommute. Symmetrical fiber speeds make uploading content to/for work just as easy as it would be sitting in the office.
- K-12 Education: Aside from the obvious access to information for studying, children and their parents can always be engaged in the educational process through educational web portals. These portals provide an interface to communicate with teachers and administrators, real-time access to assignments and grades, and numerous educational resources.
- Reliability - We've all had it happen - you're watching The Incredibles with the kids and suddenly Bob Parr's face gets blocky and he freezes in mid air. Is it a diabolical freeze ray? No, it's your slow internet connection.
The truth is that your internet connection should be fast enough to stream video without interruption, but peak traffic congests the bandwidth. That's where the benefits of fiber optic internet get obvious. Fiber optics can handle more users and more data at consistently higher speeds.
Another bonus - Fiber optic cable internet doesn't need energized lines, so it's not as prone to outages. As long as the fiber optic cable stays intact, it can keep delivering your bits and bytes even when the lights are out; even through those heavy snow storms that come in from the south!
- Increased Property Value - Studies show that the impact of fiber on property values can be more than 3-6%. On a $600,000 home, that’s a $18k-$28k boost. To put that boost in perspective, it’s equal to adding a fireplace, a bathroom or a quarter of a swimming pool. (Not literally, of course; no one wants a quarter of a swimming pool.)
Today, people are shopping for more than just curb appeal. They’re looking for a quality Internet connection as well.
Fiber Broadband Association, Computer World, Ting Blog, Fios Verizon
- No throttling - Like a highway at rush hour, DSL and Satellite connections get jammed during peak traffic hours. It simply can’t keep pace with our mushrooming internet needs. Internet providers use “throttling” to prevent this. At peak times, your ISP may lower your speed from 25 Mbps to 10Mbps or lower to ration their service. Fiber optic internet speed doesn’t throttle because it’s less susceptible to overload.
- Connecting with multiple devices - Gone are the days a single home computer. We now have multiple devices in our homes, from laptops to PCs to tablets, phones, smart speakers, and IoT devices like smart locks and thermostats. As our internet use increases, our need for reliable and fast data transmission does too.
Fiber optic's steady signal, low signal loss, and 10 times more bandwidth means we can connect with multiple tablets, laptops, and several phones at once. Even with different people streaming music and video simultaneously, fiber optics can handle the load.
- Increased Mobile PHone coverage - If you use a cell phone up here in our beautiful mountain communities, you're familiar with using network extenders to increase the coverage of your phone. With the steady signal, less signal loss, and additional bandwidth of a fiber optic connection, the wifi strength that powers your network extender is greatly increased. Your network extender will be more successful in increaseing your phone's coverage. Yep, that means when you won't be dropping that call to Uncle Charlie as you walk from the kitchen to back deck.
- Future Proof: - Global internet traffic has exploded. Cisco predicts in it’s Visual Networking Index White Paper, that today’s IP traffic will increase threefold over the next 5 years. In fact, internet speeds of just 2 or more years ago, are no longer acceptable for today’s increasing demands. Not only is fiber the fastest service available today (by a longshot), but fiber has the capability of future-proofing through dark fiber. Dark fiber, optical fibers that are part of a fiber cable but are not currently being used, can be a great asset to an ISP or municipality. When new tech becomes availalbe that requires more data transmission, fiber optic lines may ALREADY be able to accomodate the unforeseen demands of the future. Additionally, dark fiber can be sold or leased out in the future, helping to speed up the investment return for ISPs or provide extra money to a municipality.
- Higher Quality TV - Just bought a 4K TV or thinking about buying one? Sales of Ultra High Definition 4K TVs reached ~ 108 million in 2019. The next-gen resolution standard (8K) is already available. Those TVs pack four times more pixels into the same real estate, which makes for much crisper pictures. But it also sucks a lot more bandwidth from your internet connection.
DSL, Satellite, and even Cable connections struggle at times to deliver 4K internet streaming. Fiber optic internet service won’t even bat an eye. A fiber optic connection running at even a sub-optimal 500 Mbps should have no trouble streaming high-quality 4K TV and movies.
- Healthier - You may have heard about the race for 5G internet access. Carriers like Verizon and AT&T are hustling to blanket the nation with the new, lightning-fast service. The World Health Organization (WHO) says there’s no reason to fear 5G wireless internet signals because they can’t penetrate human skin. But hundreds of scientists and medical professionals recently petitioned the WHO, claiming 5G will boosts the potential for cancer. Fiber optic signals remain trapped in their cables, so they don’t carry those fears.
- community improvement - And Fiber-optic Internet doesn’t only improve homes. It’s great for communities too! Fiber-ready areas are more attractive to businesses, especially those that rely on the fastest Internet speeds. More businesses mean more jobs and a better economy. Fiber internet can also improve public services, including healthcare, safety and education.
- Telemedicine - Telemedicine lets health care professionals evaluate, diagnose, and even treat patients remotely. Much faster fiber optic internet speeds make telemedicine more reliable, thanks to higher resolution video chats. It can help the elderly and those with disabilities live more independently as well.
- Video conferencing: - Video streaming uses a huge amount of bandwidth. On average, HD video streaming uses 6 Mbps upstream bandwidth per user.
- Better gameplay - For any gamers out there (kids, grandkids), if you love playing Fortnite or League of Legends, you may already know fiber optic internet speed is the holy grail of gaming connections. It’s not that gaming uses mega bandwidth, in fact, compared to high-quality video streaming, gaming sips a tiny fraction of the data at less than 1 Mbps.
So what’s the problem? Consistency. A tiny hiccup at the wrong moment can get you killed in your game of choice. And there are lots of little hiccups in a sattelite or DSL connection all the time. Thanks to fiber optic internet, the smooth and constant flow of data means whenever you twitch your mouse hand, the game obeys.