What’s the big deal with fiber optic internet?

What does “fiber optic” mean?

Fiber optic cables are a bundle of thin glass threads, also known as the fibers, which can quickly and easily transport light waves.  Messages and information can be modulated onto these light waves, which allows fiber optic cables the ability to transmit data, this is essentially how fiber optic internet works.

Now, you may be wondering, what advantage does this have over the traditional copper cables found in power lines?  Well, fiber optics have a slew of advantages over these traditional metal lines.

Advantages of fiber optic internet

First and perhaps most noticeably, fiber optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than traditional metal cables.  Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred through something, almost like water through a pipe; more bandwidth means more data can be pushed through.  What this means for you is that if you and all your neighbors are downloading something at once, with more traditional metal cables, you and all your neighbors will experience a noticeable slowdown, because there simply isn’t enough room for all the data to move through the cable, whereas, with fiber optic cable, there won’t be any slowdown in a similar situation.

Secondly, in order for traditional metal cables to transfer computer data, they must break down digital signals, the natural form of computer data, into electrical signals.  As anyone who has played with electricity in school knows, electrical signals are susceptible to interference from other electrical devices, magnetic fields, and even radio signals.  Fiber optic cables on the other hand, use digital signals, which cannot be interfered with as easily.

Third, fiber optic cables are much thinner and lighter than traditional wires, so more fibers can be bundled into a given diameter of cable, allowing even more bandwidth.  Not only that, but fiber optic cables are 4-8 times stronger than traditional copper cables of the same diameter, making them far less likely to be damaged, this means that your service is far more reliable.  Not only are the cables stronger and lighter, but because they carry light and digital signals rather than electrical signals, there’s no electricity passed through them, meaning there’s no fire or electrical hazard associated with them.

If you’re worried about the security of your data through fiber optics, you needn’t worry as much as with traditional metal cables.  Unlike copper wiring, which can be tapped into, it is not possible to tap into fiber optic cables.  Since the cables are made of glass, any attempt at tapping the cable will simply break it.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, fiber is said to be “future proof”.  Although that statement is a bit of an exaggeration, it does have some merit, because with fiber data is transmitted at the speed of light, the rate of connection is only limited by the equipment itself rather than the fiber, which will allow for substantial speed improvements by equipment upgrades long before the fiber itself must be upgraded.

Mainstream Fiber Networks is dedicated to giving you the best internet service around, with great speed, reliable connectivity, and internet solutions that fit your needs, and we are able to do that due to the benefits of fiber optics.