Fiber internet is a type of broadband internet service. It works by fiber-optic cables converting to light electrical signals, carrying data and sending the light through transparent glass fibers roughly the size of a human hair, according to the North Carolina Department of Information Technology. DSL transmits data over copper telephone lines and cable modems transmit data through coaxial cables. Fiber internet transmits data at speeds that are significantly faster than DSL or cable, usually by tens or possibly even hundreds of Mbps. Unfortunately, fiber-optic internet isn’t as widely available as other types of internet services.
Depending on where you live and what kind of fiber-optic internet service providers are operating in your area, you’ll have access to either FTTC (fiber to the curb), FTTH (fiber to the home), or FTTN (fiber to the node/neighbor). According to the Fiber Broadband Association, fiber-based broadband services were the second most common type of home internet connection in North America. There are roughly 1,172 fiber internet service providers in the US, according to DecisionData.org.
In this article, you’ll learn about what fiber internet is, whether you should consider it for your home, the top fiber internet service providers, the pros and cons of fiber internet, and the most frequently asked questions surrounding fiber-optic internet.
What is fiber internet?
Fiber internet is essentially a form of broadband internet that delivers speeds faster than DSL, cable, and other forms of broadband internet like wireless. To get fiber optic internet, you’ll need certain equipment, which will depend on the type of fiber internet available in your area.
FTTN uses fiber-optic cables to carry data to a “hub” near your home and then DSL or coaxial cables (also known as “hybrid fiber-coaxial network cables) might carry the data the remainder of the way. FTTC fiber optic internet can carry fiber optic signals further than FTTN connections and stop just short of your house – or at the “curb.” FTTH connections use fiber-optic cables that connect to your home. This type of connection provides the best reliability and speed.
Who needs fiber internet?
Fiber internet is great for gamers, remote workers, and multi-device households because it provides faster speeds than other connections and comes with increased reliability and bandwidth. According to Atlanta Tech, fiber optic internet comes with increased signal strength and eliminates latency issues that users tend to experience with cable or other kinds of internet, and offers improved security and increased resistance to interference.
Top fiber internet providers
There are plenty of fiber optic internet providers that offer services throughout the country. The providers below were selected based on provided speeds, pricing, availability, and satisfaction rating. Note that prices may vary depending on where you live.
|Provider||Availability||Top Speed||Satisfaction rating||Starting price|
|AT&T||21 states||Up to 1,000 Mbps||70/100||$70/mo.|
|Cox||18 states||940 Mbps||60/100||$99.99/mo.|
|Optimum||4 states||1,000 Mbps||63/100||$64.99/mo.|
|Verizon Fios||9 states||940 Mbps||70/100||$39.99/mo.|
|Xfinity||39 states||1,000 Mbps||61/100||$49.99/mo.|
*This information is correct as of 12/29/2019
Remember that the availability of these providers and the prices may vary depending on your location within the US. You can use this zip code finder tool to see which services and providers are available in your location.
Fiber internet pros and cons
In this section, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of fiber-optic internet. While it may be suited for some residential internet customers, some people find that it’s not for them. Find out whether it’s right for your household.
Advantages of Using Fiber Internet
- Speed – With fiber optic internet, you’ll get faster speeds than other kinds of internet, sometimes as high as 1,000 Mbps.
- Value – Fiber optic internet can provide better overall value compared to other kinds of internet.
- Reliability – Fiber optic internet tends to be much more reliable than other kinds of broadband connections with less interference.
- Quality – Because fiber internet uses glass as a conductor, you’ll get improved quality and superior performance.
Disadvantages of Using Fiber Optic Internet
- Availability – Fiber optic internet service isn’t as widely available as other types of broadband internet services.
- Initial Cost – Fiber optic internet is often more expensive upfront than other types.
- Installation – Because fiber internet is newer than other types of technology, installation might take longer if your home does not have the required setup.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we’ll provide answers to commonly asked questions about fiber internet service.
- How can I find fiber internet providers in my area? To figure out whether certain fiber internet services are available in your area, use the fiber internet zip code tool.
- What’s the average cost of fiber internet? The average cost of fiber internet is about $40 per month, but with certain gigabit plans, you could be charged upwards of $100 per month.
- How do I know if I need fiber internet? If you want faster speeds than traditional internet service can provide, fiber internet might be right for you.
- What is an average fiber internet speed? The average speed for fiber optic internet ranges from about 50 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, but it’ll depend on the provider and the plan you select.
- Does fiber internet require special equipment? Fiber internet will typically require a new modem, but internet providers usually allow you to rent or purchase the equipment with your internet plan.
Call now to learn about fiber internet providers near you
Now that you know exactly what fiber internet is and what it can do for you, as well as what it’ll cost, you can decide whether it’s right for you and whether you can reasonably afford it. Remember to use the zip code tool to find a fiber internet service provider in your area. If you need help, you can always call us and get all of your questions answered.