Fiber Internet Begins to Take Over in the United States

We've known for many years that fiber internet is a superior and faster broadband service, with better uptime and better speed. Despite this, fiber services have been slow to enter areas and even slower to catch on with consumers. That doesn't mean no one is jumping on the Fiber Internet bandwagon or that it isn't very slowly and surely bringing faster internet to Americans.


Context

  • What Exactly is Fiber Internet?
  • How Fiber Optic Internet Bests Cable
      • Speed
      • Reliability
      • Room
  • Fiber is Growing but Sometimes Scarce
      • Complex Infrastructure
      • Money Matters
      • Practicality


What Exactly is Fiber Internet?

Fiber Internet Begins to Take Over in the United States

Most Americans use cable broadband, satellite internet, or DSL, not Fiber Optic internet. This is true despite the fact that fiber internet is faster than either DSL or cable internet. The hallmarks of fiber internet are its speed and unique fiber optic cables. Some tests have shown fiber internet to be nearly as fast as the speed of light itself, with the physical construction of the cables being impervious to harsh weather conditions that sometimes plague regular cable internet and DSL. 

DSL has especially fallen behind in popularity because of its old-school reliance on phone lines. Landline phone lines are some of the connections most susceptible to weather and day-to-day wear and tear because they tend to be the oldest lines laid across the country. Regular cable is a bit better, but it still suffers from interference due to weather and other environmental conditions.

If you traveled back in time and told 2001 dial-up internet users about the future and 1 gig+ fiber optic internet download times, they'd probably think you were lying to them. The idea of even cable would have seemed nearly impossible back then, but the fiber is in a whole other realm even apart from cable. 

Fiber cables communicate by using light, one of the fastest things around, and are made of more durable cable structures than your run-of-the-mill cable internet service. That fact would have astounded old-time internet users.

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How Fiber Optic Internet Bests Cable

Most Americans would choose fiber internet service if it was only a matter of speed and quality. It's an easy choice to make given some of the blazing fast speed readings being proudly advertised by today's top fiber optic internet providers like Charter Spectrum. Fiber wins out on multiple fronts.

1. Speed

The most obvious resource that internet users prize above all else is the speed of their connections. The faster your internet, the faster video streams, pictures load, and files download (or upload). Commercial enterprises must have fast internet for all of their computer systems and other electronics that rely on the internet. 

Credit card transactions are sometimes run through this type of system, so it's vital to quickly process everything. Fiber accomplishes this and is usually the choice of commercial enterprises who need speeds of one gig or even faster.

2. Reliability

Even cable internet has connectivity problems. If you've ever been in the middle of a big download or are watching a terrific movie that you're fully immersed in, you've also probably known the terror and sadness of seeing your internet go down. 

Because of the composition of regular internet providers' cables, weather, and environmental conditions - such as harsh temperatures - can affect their reliability. With fiber internet, the weather is less a factor. if you want internet connections that don't bend or break in the face of lightning storms, snowstorms, and extreme temperatures, fiber is the right choice.

3. Room

Today's household has as many as 10 or more devices connected. Each of those devices relies on the internet connection in the home, so the faster your internet, the more room you have to accommodate more devices. 

It's for this reason that larger households and businesses are making the shift to fiber internet. Thanks to more speed, you have room for half a dozen or even more people to hop on video game consoles, smartphones, and smart televisions. For households that have even more smart devices, Fiber is the obvious choice.

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Fiber is Growing but Sometimes Scarce

So, fiber internet is faster, more reliable, and more accommodating to lots of users. Why, then, do the majority of households still rely on regular old cable? Like all new technologies, fiber can be a lot more expensive and even difficult to find in every area of the U.S. Rural areas still haven't received the luxury of cable sometimes and they are forced to choose a long-range omnidirectional antenna, so it's no surprise that they also don't have so much as a single fiber-optic connection available. That's the first of a few good reasons more people haven't adopted the latest big thing in internet connectivity.

1. Complex Infrastructure

FTTH construction - or "fiber to home" - lines must be fixed into a new network of fiber optic cables. This can take time and lots and lots of money for companies to finally add this type of internet. Because of that, some ISPs are still sticking with what's there. If your ISP hasn't added fiber internet to your menu yet, be sure to ask them about it. This will sometimes eventually bring fiber to an area.

2. Money Matters

Fiber internet provides faster download and upload speeds and more reliable connections. It is also very expensive for providers to add as a feature. Because of this, you'll notice that your fiber internet costs significantly more sometimes than your regular cable service. 

For some American households, fiber is out as an option simply because it's more expensive than regular broadband service. It's kind of like innovations in the Fleet industry. Yes, they're available, but not everyone can afford to buy the latest thing.

3. Practicality

Everyone is excited about fiber internet, but that doesn't mean everyone needs it. For smaller American households, the idea of 1 gig internet doesn't necessarily cause much excitement. If you're living by yourself and only have a couple of devices, it's possible that the internet at the speed of light just doesn't sound like something you need today, especially if it comes at a tremendous price. 

Many families and even businesses owners now skip over fiber options just because they don't feel like the added speed is going to help. Most movie streaming services function just fine at 25 Mbps, and there are cable companies offering many more times that speed. The need to upgrade isn't pressing for some people.

Fiber internet continues to grow at high rates around the country, especially for businesses that require a constant connection and one that's blazing fast. It's possible that at some point, fiber will overtake regular broadband cable as the connectivity of choice. For now, people often choose what's cheap and what's there instead. The growth rates for a fiber show big gains in recent years, though, so progress is slowly and steadily progressing for the world's fastest internet connectivity type. 

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