Choosing Fiber-Optic Broadband Over Regular Internet

Perhaps you’re using a traditional Internet connection and have been thinking about switching to broadband lately. All your friends are doing, but you’re a little unsure why.

Just in case you weren’t aware of the difference, “fiber-optic” refers to the cables that transfer the Internet data. Instead of the copper cables used in standard internet connections, the cables are made of glass or plastic. This enables faster data transfer.

So, what else is so good about broadband, then?


Image by mightyohm, used under Creative Commons license 2.0

The speed
Well, first of all, there’s the speedier data transfer you get with broadband, allowing you to watch films, surf the Net and play games faster than ever before. This is all down to the fact that the fiber-optic cables use light rather than electricity to transfer the data. Some companies offer 1 GB per second, but do you need it? If you use the internet for work, or use it heavily for leisure such as streaming films and playing games, etc., then you’d be better off with a broadband connection. Otherwise, you should look at an alternative service and save some money.

The distance
If you own a large company, fiber-optic cable broadband is a particularly good choice because of the distance the signal carries. In the case of copper-cable Internet networks, the cables carry the signal from the central office, but this diminishes the further away it travels from the central office. With fiber-optic cable, some signals can travel as far as almost 25 miles away.

The sturdiness
The old-school, traditional copper cable isn’t as tough as fiber-optic cable. It can withstand about 25 pounds of pressure without suffering any damage, which isn’t a great deal. If there are any maintenance work being carried out in your telecommunications area, the cables can easily become disrupted and damaged. This is a stark contrast to the fiber optic cable, which can handle between 100 and 200 pounds of pressure and is less like to be disturbed during routing operations.


Image by mikecogh, used under Creative Commons license 2.0

The reliability
When you use copper-cable Internet, you leave yourself open to all kinds of safety hazards and potential disruptions. Since electric current passes through it, old or extremely worn copper cable can transform into a fire hazard. Meanwhile, considerable changes in weather conditions, such as moisture or fluctuations in temperature, may see you lose connectivity.

The reliability of the network can be further compromised by radio or electric signals, or if there is some kind of maintenance work or construction work going on in your area. If you invest in fiber-optic broadband, this is much less of a concern, as fiber tends to be independent of the phone company – copper cables all go back to the Central Office of the telephone company – of its equipment or of its termination points.

These are some of the main advantages to having fiber-optic broadband instead of copper cable. There’s also the fact that this internet option is gradually becoming cheaper as it becomes more popular. Why not check what kinds of prices the world’s different companies are providing it at? See if your local Internet provider matches up.

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