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Top 10 Advantages of Fiber Optic Internet Connections

Optical Fiber
(Last Updated On: April 24, 2023)

Most of us have heard that fiber optic internet speeds are “better,” but that’s vague. What does that mean? Is it faster and more reliable? What are the other connection methods we are comparing? What is the difference between fiber optic and cable speeds? Is it more expensive?

And if fiber optics is as excellent as they say, how do we get it?

What is Fiber Optic Internet?

Fiber optic internet is a data connection carried by cables filled with thin glass or plastic fibers. Data is transmitted through them in the form of pulsed beams. Fiber optic internet is around 20 times faster than regular cable, at 1Gbps.

Why is fiber optic cable internet so much better than regular cable internet? Because there is no copper wire to spoil the job. Cable internet sends its signals down metal wires. Metal heats up, weakening the signal and absorbing interference. That’s why cable and DSL networks are much slower and unwieldy than fiber optics.

3 Types of Fiber Optic Cable Internet

There are three types of fiber optic internet, from “wow, I can’t believe how fast this is” to “well, this isn’t much better than regular cable.” The speed of each type of fiber depends mainly on how far the fiber travels to your modem.

FTTH or FTTP: “Fiber to the Home” or “Premises.” This is the fastest and most reliable fiber connection because the fiber goes straight to your door.

FTTC: “Fibre to the Curb.” This sends fiber to a utility pole outside your house but uses the coaxial cable. The short length of copper wire is a bottleneck.

FTTN: “Fiber to the Node” or “Neighborhood.” Fiber optics reach within a mile of your house. The long journey through the wire makes it the slowest of the three options.

3 Types of Fiber Optic Cable Internet

10 Advantages of Fiber Optic Internet Speed

Is fiber optic internet service better? In a word, yes. It is faster and more reliable than cable networks or DSL. But it has other major advantages, like no throttling and better TV picture quality. Let’s take a quick look at ten ways fiber optic cable internet beats standard cable.

1. Speed

For Internet speed comparison, see the list below. It shows how long it takes to download a 2-hour movie over fiber optic and cable networks.

Time to download a 2-hour HD movie:

Fiber optic internet speed 1 Gbps: 40 seconds

Cable internet speed 100 Mbps: 7 minutes

DSL speed 25 Mbps: 30 minutes

Fiber Optic Internet Speed

2. Reliability

We’ve all had it happen. You’re watching The Incredibles with your kids, and suddenly Bob Parr’s face gets blocky. He freezes in mid-air. Is it a diabolical freeze ray? No, it’s your slow cable internet connection. Your 4-year-old says, “Daddy, why did it stop?”

The truth is your cable connection should be fast enough to stream video uninterrupted, but peak traffic is overloading the wires. This is where the speed difference between fiber optic internet and cable TV becomes apparent. Fiber can handle more users and data, and the speeds are consistently high.

Another bonus? Fiber-optic cable internet doesn’t require live lines, so it’s not as prone to interruptions as cable internet. As long as the fiber optic cable remains intact, it can continue to transmit your bits and bytes even in the event of a power outage.

Fiber Optic Internet Reliability

3. No Throttling

Have you ever noticed the power goes out when you need it most? For instance, when do you really want your air conditioner to work on a hot summer Sunday?

That’s because those hot days overload our powerlines. Everyone is maxing out their A/C at the same time. The same thing happens with our cable internet systems. Internet providers use “throttling” to prevent those outages.

At peak times, your ISP may lower your cable speed from 100 Mbps to 20 or lower to ration their service. Fiber optic internet speed doesn’t throttle because it’s less susceptible to overload.

Fiber Optic Internet No Throttling

4. Same Speed for Download and Upload

“I downloaded this movie in 3 minutes, but it took 3 hours to upload.” If you’ve ever said this, you’re not alone.

Wired networks have different download and upload speeds, with upload speeds much slower. That’s based on how people use the internet.

Most of us download more than upload, so internet providers give most of their bandwidth to downloads.

5. Higher Quality TV

Wired networks with speeds of 100Mbps or less may sometimes struggle to deliver 4K internet streaming. Fiber internet service won’t even blink at it. Even a fiber optic connection running at a sub-optimal 500Mbps will have no trouble streaming high-quality 4K TV and movies.

Fiber Optic HQ TV

6. Better Gameplay

If you enjoy playing Fortnite or League of Legends, you probably already know that fiber optic speeds are the holy grail of gaming connections.

That’s not to say the game uses a huge amount of bandwidth. Compared to high-quality video streaming, the amount of data consumed by the game is minimal, 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. Whereas on a cable network or DSL connection, there are a lot of hiccups all the time. Thanks to fiber optic network providers, smooth and constant data flow mean the game obeys whenever you twitch your mouse hand.

Fiber Optic Internet Better Gameplay

7. Healthier

You may have heard of the race for 5G internet access. Carriers like Verizon and AT&T are working to cover the entire country with this new, lightning-fast service. It has a speed of 10Gbps, 10 times faster than fiber optic internet. So why even bother with fiber optics?

One reason is that fiber-optic cable internet might be better for us. The World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no reason to fear 5G wireless internet signals because they cannot penetrate human skin.

But hundreds of scientists and medical experts recently petitioned the WHO, claiming that 5G will increase the likelihood of cancer. Fiber optic signals are trapped in their cables, so they don’t carry those dreaded things.

8. Connecting with Multiple Devices

The days of the “home computer” are over. 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 internet usage increases, so does our need for reliable and fast data transfers.

Fiber optic internet providers ride to the rescue.

Fiber Optic Connecting with Multiple Devices

9. Safety

Fiber-optic cable internet service and the faster connections of 5G aren’t just for fun; they’re going to make our world safer. The U.S. government created the National Broadband Plan in 2010, which called for a stronger national network to improve public safety.

As the plan points out, first responders need faster, more reliable internet for voice, data, and video to help them save lives.

10. Telemedicine

Telemedicine enables healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose, and even treat patients remotely. Faster fiber-optic speeds make telemedicine more reliable, thanks to higher-resolution video chat. It can also help the elderly and disabled to live more independently.

Fiber Optic Internet with Telemedicine

Fiber optic internet speed is about 20 times faster than regular cable internet and 80 times faster than DSL. With prices only $10 to $20 more monthly, fiber is the right choice for most internet users.

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