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How Does Fiber Optic Internet Work?

Fiber Optic Internet

Today there are a few kinds of internet connections. There is, of course, wireless internet like we have on our phones. That uses radio waves to connect. Then there is fiber optic internet. Most of our home internet connections use this method.

Fiber-Optics Internet – How it Works

Fiber-Optic cables transfer our data (phone and internet) at nearly two-thirds the speed of light. Instead of the traditional way, which sent data in the form of electric pulses. Optic cables use light to send the data signals.

The laser light in modern fiber systems has a data transfer rate of billions of bits per second. Additionally, they can have color-coded lights to transfer different signals into the same cable. By coding signals with different colors, we can send and receive more information at the same time.

How is Fiber-Optic Internet Better?

There are numerous benefits of using optic cables over traditional cable and DSL internet:

Fiber Optic Internet is Faster

Light travels much faster than electricity. Traditionally, data was transferred using electric currents. Optic cables increase the speed of our internet connections to a minimum of 1 Gbps. The table below will give you an idea of optic-fiber internet speeds:

Approx. File 1000 Mbps Fiber 100 Mbps Cable 25 Mbps DSL
4-minute audio music file 4 MB 0.03 sec. 0.03 sec. 1 sec.
9-hour audiobook 110 MB 0.9 sec. 9 sec. 36 sec.
45-minute TV show 200 MB 1 sec. 16 sec. 1 min, 7 sec.
2-hour movie 1.5 GB 12 sec. 2 min, 8 sec. 8 min, 35 sec.
2-hour HD movie 4.5 GB 38 sec. 6 min, 26 sec. 25 min, 46 sec.


Fiber–Optic is More Durable

Copper is a metal, and as such conducts heat. That makes it more susceptible to damage from external factors. The environment can cause a lot of damage to traditional copper cables. Alternatively, optical cables are not negatively affected by the environment.

Additionally, it might not seem like it but fiber-optic is more durable than copper. Though copper is metal and fiber is glass and plastic. The fact is that copper can maintain its structural integrity for up to 25 pounds. Whereas fiber can withstand 100 pounds of pressure.

Optic Cables are Exempt from Interference

Data in optic cables is transferred using light to carry the signals. That means the data traffic will not be affected by interference from electromagnetic signals. Since the cables are made of glass and electricity, hardly any external factors can influence it

Unlike with traditional cables that use electric current to transfer data. Those are highly influenced by external signals. Electromagnetic signals, of course, but data transfer can also suffer interference from radio signals. These can lower the signal strength or halt it entirely.

Do You Need Fiber-Optic Internet?

Fiber Optic systems have been put in place in most cities, at least in the developed world. So if you are using the internet, it is likely fiber-optic. If you still haven’t gotten your optic connection then you could try speaking with your service provider. Most internet service providers like Frontier and Verizon only offer fiber-optic internet connections.

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