Fiber-optic broadband is often confused with the more widely used term “fiber to the home” (or FTTH), but in fact, they are different. Fiber optics themselves refer to a method of transmitting data and signals over long distances using light sent through optical fibers.
These optical fibers can be made from glass or plastic and their sizes vary depending on how much bandwidth needs to be transmitted at any given time; the bigger the fiber, the more bandwidth that can be moved.
It makes sense then, that fiber optic connections running directly to your home allow for high-speed internet access without ever having to leave your property (where FTTH connections require you to be at home in order to access the fiber).
These connections require a technician to come and install hardware to reach your home, but if you’ve ever had cable internet installed, the process is basically the same.
Why should you get fiber-optic?
The answer depends on what kind of connection speeds you’re looking for. Fiber optics has an emerging Gartner Digital Marketspace.
Fiber-optic broadband offers some of the highest download and upload speeds available, with 1 Gbps currently being the maximum speed that’s available from service providers.
This means that it’s capable of transmitting data at a rate equal to 1000 Mbps or 1 gigabit per second (where one byte – 2^10 = 1024 bits).
Currently, FTTH is the only option for obtaining these speeds over a wired internet connection, although there are wireless internet options that provide up to 1 Gbps.
Even if you don’t need the incredibly high speeds available from fiber optics at this time, getting a fiber connection can allow for future upgrades should you decide that you want faster speeds later on.
Additionally, while cable and DSL broadband providers offer service in some areas throughout rural America, the installation of these technologies is often not possible in far-flung areas due to distance limitations.
Fiber optic connections do not have distance limitations and can be used just as well in many more places than cable or DSL connections.
Getting Your Own Fiber Optic Connection: Overview and Cost
There’s one other benefit to having your own fiber optic connection: it allows you direct access to customer support.
Whereas with cable and DSL services, the infrastructure provider (the company that installs connection hardware) is not your service provider for internet access; you are instead simply leasing the right to use their lines by paying a monthly fee.
With fiber optics, however, you will never have to deal with anyone other than your own service provider making any changes or repairs to your connection hardware.
Many people report feeling more secure knowing that they’ll always be able to reach someone if something goes wrong or needs to change with their broadband connection.
The cost of installation can vary between $750-$1000 on average per home, but there are often discounts available for existing customers looking to upgrade speeds or install additional outlets in newly-built homes.
Get Fiber Optic Internet Today
The installation process for fiber optic broadband is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require too much time or effort.
The same can’t always be said of cable or DSL connections which need to be installed at the hardware level by technicians who know what they’re doing but think of it as an afternoon project and YouTube will often tell you everything you need to know about how to do it yourself! Once your connection is installed, you can expect speeds greater than 50 Mbps.
This is on par with some of the fastest customers receive from major providers using their existing coaxial cables strung through telephone or electrical poles.
When choosing a service provider for your new fiber-optic connection, there are many options available that vary in terms of speed and price point so you’ll want to do some shopping around before deciding on one.
Your first step should be checking out the various plans that each service provider makes available in your area, but if you find that none of them offer exactly what you’re looking for, consider purchasing a fiber optic modem to install yourself and simply pay for internet access.
If this all sounds like too much work or too much money, there are still other options available. Companies such as Comcast now often offer internet packages over their existing cable infrastructure with speeds up to 300 Mbps (as of the time of writing).
While speeds like this aren’t quite as fast as those available with FTTH connections, getting an upgraded package will cost significantly less than installing a new connection from scratch and maybe enough speed to meet your needs today.
If you decide that fiber optic internet might be right for you, the best thing to do is contact your current provider and see if they can provide service in your area.
If not, don’t worry, as there are usually a number of other options available so you should contact some of those companies and ask them about their installation process and what kind of speeds they offer.
When it comes down to it, most providers will tell you that FTTH is simply a more reliable connection with faster upload speeds than traditional cable or DSL connections so switching over may be the best decision you’ve made all year long!
- Internet speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical (same download speed as upload)
- Hardware included: Not required, but recommended for use with this type of connection
- Modem purchase needed: Possible if you wish to bring your own modem and avoid monthly lease fees
- Cancellation fee: None knew. Theoretically, no contract = no cancellation fee, but check with the provider just in case!
Also Read: Leaf Proxies Review | Worth Buying?
Fiber optic internet connections are quickly becoming more and more common as the technology continues to improve.
If you’re looking for faster speeds at lower prices, fiber may be the way to go, but if not consider upgrading your service to a tier closer to gigabit speeds or check out what companies like Comcast have to offer in terms of upgraded packages over their existing cable infrastructure.