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What To Know About High Speed Fiber Internet

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Is Your Community Connected? What to Know About High-Speed Fiber Internet

By Amanda Ellis on March 27, 2023

In a time when much of our lives take place in an online environment, whether it’s work, socializing or just relaxing with music or a movie, internet access is essential. In particular, today’s world of remote work, video communication and constant streaming demand not just connectivity but ideally high-speed fiber internet. The work-from-anywhere trend has allowed many of us more flexibility than we’ve ever had in where we live and work — as long as we have access to a solid internet connection. Additionally, fiber internet is boosting business capabilities, too, and allowing them to broaden their horizons when it comes to the communities they operate from.

Fortunately, high-speed fiber internet is becoming much more widely available, even in rural areas, where it can serve as a catalyst for small town revitalization and open even more options when it comes to being able to truly work from anywhere. Let’s review everything you need to know about fiber internet in your home and workplace. 

Why People, Communities and Businesses Prefer Fiber Internet

High-speed internet access is only becoming more important for people as remote work and virtual school have become ubiquitous. Often those are even happening simultaneously in the same household, and fiber internet can keep everyone’s connection strong. 

We’ve been empowered to get things done from just about anywhere — provided we have access to an internet connection that can support plenty of uploading, downloading, streaming and video conferencing. Fiber internet access can boost overall quality of life by enabling people to live in their favorite rural, small or midsize communities, or near their hobbies and loved ones, even if work or school is elsewhere. Smaller communities also tend to have a lower cost of living that can help remote workers save money and make their income work harder for them.

For those communities, offering fiber internet can help entice new residents, entrepreneurs and remote workers to move to their cities. Remote work has not only represented added flexibility and quality of life for individuals, but also new opportunities for communities to catch the attention of folks with newfound freedom to choose where they want to live as work has become less tied to specific locations. With fiber internet not yet available everywhere, it’s a huge selling point for the communities who have it to draw talent and even businesses, especially alongside the affordability, outdoor recreation and many other amenities smaller communities are better equipped to offer than their larger counterparts. 

For businesses, fiber internet means maximum efficiency and an environment where multiple employees can simultaneously complete high bandwidth tasks without slowing speeds. Outages that could impact productivity are also much less likely with fiber internet. Even if employees are remote, if they’re based in a connected community, you can be confident that they have fiber internet access from their homes or even the nearest coffee shop.

What exactly is fiber internet, anyway?

How does fiber internet work? Fiber brings you a speedy (at the speed of light, in fact) and dependable connection through fiber-optic cable. That means hundreds of tiny strands of glass or plastic transmit data and information across the cables using pulses of light. 

What is a fiber connected community?

Connected Communities are certified neighborhoods and communities powered by fiber internet. We at Livability now certify communities, in partnership with Fiber Homes, for top notch connectivity, based on the percentage of households with access to high speed internet. If you want a connected place to call home, you’re looking for a fiber connected community — and that doesn’t necessarily mean a large urban community. Many rural and suburban communities offer fiber internet and better service than urban areas. 

Why become a connected community?

As a connected community, you position your city to attract new residents — including remote workers, entrepreneurs and others — to enjoy your quality of life and unique attributes. Communities with high-speed internet enjoy a unique edge since not every place is yet equipped to offer fiber internet. And your current residents also want access to the fastest, most reliable internet available. 

How do you know if your next house is a fiber home?

Ninety percent of homebuyers today prioritize fast, reliable internet when house hunting. Visit Fiber Homes to find out if a certain address — a home, a business or an apartment complex — offers access to high-speed fiber internet. 

What are the advantages of fiber internet?

Fiber internet benefits include offering the fastest download and upload speeds plus excellent streaming unhindered by peak usage times. With no concern about overloading the system, fiber internet providers can offer equal upload and download speeds. Fiber is the only type of internet service able to provide this, and it makes all of your internet use for working from home, completing virtual school or just entertainment, much easier. From video meeting applications like Zoom, Teams or Google Workspace to online gaming to live virtual events, or all of those simultaneously, fiber brings you the best internet experience.

Considering the benefits, it’s also one of the most cost-effective internet options. And with fiber, equally fast speeds are available for multiple devices at once, even streaming your favorite shows and movies in 4K. 

What are the disadvantages of fiber internet?

At this time, availability is the main disadvantage. Though fiber internet infrastructure is expanding rapidly, it’s not yet available everywhere. That’s because it’s a logistical challenge and lengthy process to lay all the necessary fiber-optic cable to connect communities, particularly in sprawling rural areas.

How is fiber internet better than alternatives?

Simply put, fiber-optic internet is your best option for both speed and reliability, and is rapidly becoming more widely available and affordable. Besides fiber, internet access today can come from (in descending order by speed):

– A cellular network like 5G
– Cable
– Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) operating through phone lines
– Wireless radio wave
– Satellite 
– Dial-up using your phone line 

How’s your existing internet speed?

If you’re curious what your current internet speeds look like, check out Speedtest.net

For most folks in the U.S., fiber or cable are their two main viable options for internet service. DSL, satellite, radio frequency and dial-up are most commonly be seen in extremely remote and rural areas where other infrastructure isn’t yet available.

How does fiber compare to cable?

Cable internet can be relatively fast and affordable, but does not offer the speed and reliability of service that fiber internet offers. Cable is widely accessible and often available bundled alongside home phone and TV services. In fact, cable internet utilizes the same cables as those services. These cables can be susceptible to weather conditions, power outages and also slow speeds during peak usage, which isn’t an issue with fiber connections. Fiber-optic cables also boast significantly better signal durability over distances than traditional copper cables.
While fiber internet is more expensive than cable, it also tends to be a better value considering its significantly faster and unencumbered download and upload speeds.

What about 5G? 

Some mobile providers are using fifth generation mobile network 5G to compete as home internet providers. Overall though, 5G adoption has been slow thus far. Its most important impact is that 5G mobile coverage is faster than 4G, plus it boasts lower latency and a mobile network that won’t be slowed down by many connections in the same area, like at a sporting event. 5G’s advantage is primarily about capacity – how much bandwidth is available – but its lower wireless range is a disadvantage requiring more cell towers to work properly. Additionally, 5G would be a substantially more costly home internet solution and isn’t fully rolled out across the country. (Even so, did you know that 6G is already sort of a thing?)

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