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Fiber Optic Internet

Different types of technologies are used to transfer data and fiber optic technology is one of the them that facilitates the fast transfer of data over optical fiber networks. In the fiber internet technology, information is coded in a beam of light and send down via special cables known as optical fiber cables (OFCs). In this type of transmission, the signal is light and the medium used is the OFC. Optical fiber cables are made of clear plastic or special type of flexible glass that allows light to travel easily.

Fiber Optic Technology

An optical fiber cable is made up of numerous thin strands of plastic or glass, called as optical fibers. A single optical fiber cable can have as few as two strands or many hundred strands, depending on the application. Each of the strands in the cable have a thickness of less than a tenth when compared to normal human hair and are capable of carrying huge quantity of data. This means that a single fiber cable can carry millions of bits of data per second. Fiber optic internet makes use of light-based technology to carry data.

How Optic Fiber Internet Works

As said above, fiber internet makes use of light signals to transmit data. The light signals travels down the fiber optic cable by repeatedly bouncing off the glass or plastic walls. Every tiny particle of light (called a Photon) bounces down the glass walls of the optical fiber when light is made to hit the wall at angles less than forty-two degrees, as though the glass were a complete reflecting mirror. This phenomenon is known as total internal reflection and is one of the things that keep the light signal trapped inside the fiber.

The structure of the cable is the other important thing that keeps the light signal inside the pipe. Optical fiber cables are made up of two parts, the major part in the middle of the cable is called the core. It is through the core of the cable that light travels. The layer that is wrapped around the core is called cladding. The primary function of cladding is to keep the light signal inside the optical fiber cable.

Optical Fiber Internet in the United States

Statistics shows that fiber internet has enjoyed consistent popularity in the United States. As per the reports from various agencies, the deployment of fiber has seen good annual growth. The below stats and graph will let you have an idea about the growth of fiber internet in the country.

  • North America experienced record increase in fiber internet to homes in the last three years, with 2016 showing a growth rate of about sixteen percent.
  • In the periods from 2004 to 2013, large telecom providers like AT&T®, Verizon®, CenturyLink®, and Frontier® accounted for almost eighty three percent of the fiber to the home (FTTH) build, while the small providers just accounted for the remaining seventeen percent of the additions. However, in the last 3 years, the large providers accounted only for fifty two percent, whereas the smaller FTTH providers accounted for about forty-eight percent of the additions.
  • The number of homes connected to fiber internet in the country increased to 13.7 million, even though the total take rates have declined slightly down to 45%. This decline is normal in the aggressive build periods where the backbone buildup of the networks will be faster than the connections.
  • As per the studies and forecasts of various agencies, fiber optic internet infrastructure and connections will witness a steep increase in the country until the year 2020.

Why Choose Fiber Internet

As per the experts, fiber internet offers the fastest possible internet connection, with the potential to provide as much as 1 Gbps speed for both downloads and uploads. Data speeds of about 300 Mbps are very common in fiber internet and the technology has much potential for businesses and households that needs ultra fast internet service. As optical fiber technology transmits data using light rather than electrical signals, it is not vulnerable to damage from lightning or any interference from the electrical wires. This means, fiber internet offers one of the clearest and consistent broadband internet connections that you can have.

Benefits of Fiber Optic Internet

On top of being cost effective and fast, fiber internet offers the following benefits:

  • As optical fibers are thinner, more fibers can be bundled together in a single cable. This allows the transfer of more amounts of data through a single cable.
  • Chances of fiber networks catching fire are relatively low as no electricity passes through the optical fiber cables.
  • Fiber networks are highly efficient in transferring digital signals without any loss.
  • The other major benefit of fiber networks is that the speed of the signals will not diminish over very long distances.
  • With fiber internet, you can do things faster on more connected devices without experiencing delays.
  • The lag time or buffering is very low with fiber internet, so that you can stream your favorite shows and moves much faster.
  • As the download, and upload speeds are very high, you can transfer large amounts of data in no time using fiber internet.

Installing Fiber Optic Internet

If you are planning to move on to fiber optic internet but are not sure of what to expect from the installation, you can read on to understand the process of installing the service.

The Equipment

The first equipment is the fiber optic cable itself. If you have chosen fiber to the premises (FTTP), the technician will run the cable to your house and to the terminal jack. On the other hand, if you have chosen fiber to the node (FTTN), the OFC will end at a hub located near your house and the distance from the hub to your house will be covered using traditional DSL or cable lines.

You will also require a new modem to access the FTTP services, as traditional DSL and cable modems will not work with the fiber internet connection due to differences in signal translation. The traditional cable and DSL modems converts analog signals to digital signals, whereas optical fiber modems (also called as Optical Network Terminal) converts light signals to digital signals. Most of the fiber internet service providers will also offer the required equipment along with the installation package, however it will be a good idea to verify the details before signing the contract.

The Process

The first thing to do is to ensure that your locality is able to receive fiber optic internet service. You can contact any internet service provider in your area to know about this. After ensuring that your area can get the service, you can schedule the installation. In addition to that, you need to understand that the installation costs and times can vary depending on the current arrangement of your home. If your home already has an established OFC connection, installation and set up will be faster, else, the installation will take time, as new lines will need to be laid out to bring the service.

OFC can be connected to your home through either underground or aerial means. Aerial installations are fast and can be done the same day; however, underground installation will require digging and can take longer time than aerial installation. After establishing the OFC line, the technician will install the terminal equipment or modem. The terminal can be mounted in the basement, garage, or outdoors. You will be able to connect the wireless router to setup the Wi-Fi network as soon as the terminal equipment is functional.

Installation of optical fiber internet is fairly easy and can be an effortless way to get access to high-speed broadband internet. Most of the internet service providers offer fiber internet bundles and can also complete the professional installation of the network for you. As fiber internet is one of the fastest internet connections available in the country that offers reliable connection and low latency, it can be a good option for households and businesses requiring high-speed internet service.


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