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What is fiber internet?

Fiber internet, also called “Fiber-optic internet” or just “fiber,” is a broadband connection that can reach speeds of up to 940 Megabits per second (Mbps) with little lag time. Fiber-optic cable, which can send data at about 70% the speed of light, is used in this technology. Also, fiber-optic cables are not as affected by bad weather as other types of traditional cables are, which helps keep outages to a minimum. It also works well against electrical interference

Fiber is the best way for many people to connect many devices at the same time. When you use Fiber, you can:

  • Upload and download files quickly
  • Enjoy smooth online gaming and video chatting with friends and family
  • Back up your entire hard drive to the cloud, including large photos and videos, in minutes instead of hours
  • Download a 2-hour HD movie in seconds, compared to waiting 30 minutes or more over a 20 Mbps traditional internet service

How does fiber-optic internet work?

Fiber-optic internet is a complex technology that allows the transmission of information in the form of light rather than electricity. There are many pieces that make up this advanced technology, but two key components are optical fibers and the so-called “last mile” of the fiber-optic network.

The diameter of an optical fiber is about 125 microns, which is a little bigger than a human hair. Several of these fibers are put together to make cables (not to be confused with coaxial cables, which are made of copper). Pulses of laser or LED light are sent down the line by the optical fibers. This sends information in “binary” form, which is like the 0s and 1s used in electronics.

Optical fibers

Up to the corner area

Once these very fast pulses of light get to their destination, they are turned into electricity that your devices can understand and use. This is done by a special piece of hardware called the optical network terminal. The signal is then sent to the user through an Ethernet connection. The “last mile” is the distance between the main fiber network line and the end user (though it is often much shorter than a mile).

“Pure fiber” means fiber connections that go all the way to the home, business, or desktop computer of the end user. This is the fastest and most expensive “last mile” option because it brings the full speed and reliability of fiber right to the customer.

Copper cables are often used instead of fiber optic cables to connect a “street cabinet” to an entire housing block, campus, or residential building. This option is cheaper, but the “last mile” loses a small amount of fiber speed.

History of fiber optics

Many people think that fiber-optic is a new technology, but it has been used in telecommunications since the 1970s.
In 1988, fiber-optic cables were laid under the ocean to connect the U.S. to Europe. Over time, more and more lines were put under the sea, and now there is a huge network of fiber-optic cables that goes all the way around the world. With their high speeds and reliable data transmission, growing fiber networks have made huge strides in the telecom field. Some people even say that fiber-optic technology is what made the Information Age possible.
Copper lines have been replaced by fiber-optic lines in developed countries for many years. These lines are the “backbone” of our current internet networks. Fiber lines are now less expensive to install than copper lines, but that wasn’t always the case. So, as technology keeps getting better, fiber-optic networks are quickly growing in cities and going right to people’s homes.

2-minute history of fiber optics

How is fiber different from other types of internet?

Fiber is different from other types of internet connections because it doesn’t use electricity. It sends light through the core of fiber glass.

Technology related to the Internet has changed a lot over time. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of connections that are still used and how they work:

Dial-up internet

Dial-up is much less common now than it was 20 years ago. It uses the copper phone lines that are already in place. Dial-up uses the landline’s audible frequency, which is why you hear a series of beeps and other sounds when it connects. And because they both use the same line, you can’t use the phone and the internet at the same time.

The average speed of a dial-up connection for downloading and uploading is about 56 Kbps, or about 0.05 Mbps.

DSL internet

DSL (digital subscriber line) internet also uses telephone lines to transmit data. But in contrast to dial-up, DSL uses inaudible frequencies, so it doesn’t compete with your voice phone service.

Average speeds for DSL are between 1 and 100 Mbps for downloading and up to 20 Mbps for uploading.

DSL (digital subscriber line) internet also uses telephone lines to transmit data. But in contrast to dial-up, DSL uses inaudible frequencies, so it doesn’t compete with your voice phone service. Average speeds for DSL are between 1 and 100 Mbps for downloading and up to 20 Mbps for uploading.

DSL (digital subscriber line) internet also uses telephone lines to transmit data. DSL, on the other hand, uses frequencies that can’t be heard, so it doesn’t interfere with your voice phone service.

Cable internet

Cable internet uses the same line (or at least the same type of line) that your cable TV service uses. This line is called “coaxial cable.” Cable internet speeds vary a lot. On average, you can download at up to 940 Mbps and upload at up to 50 Mbps.

Is fiber internet faster?

Different speeds of data can be sent over high-speed internet connections. Fiber is considered to be more reliable and faster. It is a great choice for telecommuters, gamers, households with multiple users, and businesses.
Over a wired connection to your router, Fiber can give you speeds of up to 940 Megabits per second (Mbps) for both downloading and uploading.

You can’t think about speed without taking WiFi into account. Wireless technology, which tends to lose signal strength (which means less bandwidth) compared to the wired connection that goes into your router, can slow down your normal connection speed.

What are the benefits of fiber for internet users?

Fiber internet is great for high-bandwidth homes where multiple people want to stream video, play online games, back up data, or send and receive large files at the same time, especially over long distances.

A fiber-connected home can provide a great experience across all devices and internet-connected systems, from home security to smart thermostats, ovens, refrigerators, and other appliances.

Other important benefits of fiber optic internet

Fiber optic internet provides users with many benefits, including the following:

  • Easily to stream video and audio files – Fiber Internet has enough capacity to stream Netflix, Radio Paradise, and YouTube videos.
  • Highly Secured Internet connection – Fiber optic cables are substantially more secure than copper wire Internet connections which is more likely to intrude by hackers.
  • Faster upload and download speeds – Fibre Internet makes it simple to accomplish both uploading and downloading at the same time. Internet content, cable programming, and mobile apps are all included.
  • Be more competitive at online gaming – Online gamers may be familiar with “latency,” the time lag between pressing a button and seeing its effect on their character. This issue is resolved by the “real time” experience provided by fibre optic networks.
  • No more signal interference – Signal interference from radio and EM waves is mostly avoided in fibre optic links.
  • Trusted technology – Fiber optic Internet uses light signals to transmit data, thus it’s easier on the connections. Additionally, fire and extreme weather can damage Copper wires, which can disrupt data transfer and connectivity. Vibrational signals are used by DSL Internet to transmit data, and these vibrations can eventually wear out copper connections.
  • Economical – Due to widespread production of fibre optic cables by fibre providers, the price of fibre Internet connections has decreased.
  • Look to the future – Fiber optic technology continues to expand in all areas. You can trust that the high performance Internet service you are enjoying now will continue for years to come

upload download speeds explained

Download speeds vs upload speeds

For those who don’t know, internet plans are often measured by how fast you can download things and how fast you can send things. What do these words mean? In simple terms, the download speed tells you how fast your internet service can move information from remote servers to your device, while the upload speed tells you the opposite. Megabits per second (Mbps) are usually used to measure both how fast you can download and how fast you can upload.

Both are also important parts of a great time on the internet. For example, high download speeds help with things like streaming videos and downloading large files, while high upload speeds are important for things like video chatting and online gaming.

You can use this tool from AT&T to find out how fast your internet is right now. Even if you don’t have AT&T Internet, it will still work.

With faster speeds, you also don’t have to wait as much when you stream on demand. “Buffering” is the time it takes for a video to load when it stops and has to catch up. With  Fiber Internet, you can download a full-length 4K or HD movie in just a few seconds.

As an example, this is how long it would take, on average, to download a large media file (6.5 GB) by internet type:

  • Dial-up                    11 days
  • DSL                          1 – 14 hours
  • Cable                       1 minute – 14 hours
  • Fiber                        About 1 minute

Lmitations of fiber internet

Cost is the reason fibre Internet is uncommon. Fiber is far more expensive to install and does not justify the expense since cable lines are frequently already in place. The 20-100 Mbps speed provided by cable is sufficient for the majority of users, as most Internet downloads will not max out that connection.

Your speed is only as fast as the slowest link, and while fibre is unquestionably superior to copper, you may not experience an increase in actual download speeds due to server limitations. On a 1000 Mbps fibre connection, it may appear that an app like Steam downloading a 10 GB game would take only a few seconds, but in reality, you will only receive roughly 50 Mbps maximum speed from Steam’s servers.

If you use an application that can take advantage of the enhanced speed or if you have many computers in your home, fibre may be a suitable choice for you. Currently, however, this service is only available in a handful of places.

What is dark fiber?

You may have heard the terms “dark fiber” and “lit fiber” and wondered what they mean. Well, you might be surprised to learn that the most expensive part of building a fiber-optic network isn’t the cable itself, but the cost of digging up the ground to bury the cable. So, after the digging is done, many telecommunications companies put down extra fiber-optic cables to make room for future growth. “Dark fiber” refers to cables that are not yet being used, while “lit fiber” refers to lines that are already connected (or “lit”) and are being used by telecom companies to provide fiber internet services.

what is dark fiber

What makes fiber different?

Access to the internet will always depend on your budget and how much time you have, but there are many good reasons to choose internet that runs on a fiber network. One thing is that fiber has the potential to send data much faster than DSL or cable internet.

It’s important to know, though, that your exact internet speed can change based on a number of things, such as your internet service provider. Internet plans that use AT&T Fiber, for example, can offer upload speeds that are up to 20 times faster than cable. 1

Internet 1000’s wired upload speed is compared to Xfinity, Spectrum, and COX’s 1Gig service, all of which have upload speeds of 35 Mbps. Go to to find out more.

Can fiber have Wi-Fi?

Fiber optic is not the same as Wi-Fi, but you can use both if you have the right equipment. In-home Wi-Fi works because of a technology called a “gateway.” Because of bandwidth, faster internet can help get more coverage to more people. For example, if you have an AT&T Fiber internet plan and an AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway, you can get Wi-Fi coverage everywhere in your home.

Is it worth getting gigabit internet?

People who like fiber-based internet in general are likely to like gigabit internet as well. It takes that high performance all the way up to a download speed of up to 940Mbps. Take Internet 1000 as an example. It can help you do all of the following cool things.

  • Upload a 4-minute HD video in 1 seconds.
  • Upload 10 photos in less than 1 second.
  • Download a 1GB file in less than 1 minute.
  • Stream HD video on up to 9 devices, 4K Ultra HD on up to 2 devices*.

*Speed/Time examples are estimates and based on wired connection to gateway.

Only you can decide how much speed you need to meet your own internet needs, but it’s also easy to see why so many people would decide that gigabit internet is worth it.

Wrapping Up

Fiber internet plans are popular. Checking with each provider to see if these internet choices are available might be tiresome. examines all main providers for you.

If your community has fibre internet, you should switch. HD streaming and high-speed gaming dominate the internet. You don’t want a slow coax cable internet connection.


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