It’s data sent through pulses of encrypted light. It travels along flexible, hair-thin glass fibers. Fiber optics is the latest telecommunications technology. Users can stream more than one HD movie or video conference without interruption.
Fiber Internet often has equal upload and download speeds.
It’s data sent via electricity. It travels along copper wires. Cable has delivered TV for decades, and it also works for TV and Internet. Cable has the infrastructure to serve hundreds of customers on a single Internet connection.
Cable Internet often has download speeds that are faster than upload speeds.
Which is best for availability, reliability, infrastructure and future prospects?
Glass fibers don’t need electricity. So, high-voltage electrical equipment and power lines don’t pose a threat for interference. Cable operates on copper wires. Those are susceptible to service interruptions during a power outage. EDGE: Fiber
Cable Internet operates in major markets and can deliver to customers who receive cable TV. Fiber-optic networks aren’t as widespread, and serve a growing but select market. EDGE: Cable
Fiber-optic Internet delivers to a subscriber’s home on a dedicated line. Cable Internet carriers sometimes split your connection with as many as 500 neighbors. EDGE: Fiber
Infrastructure is in place for cable Internet anywhere cable TV is served. Data travels on existing cable TV lines, on different frequencies than TV. Cable speeds exceed that of dial-up, and sometimes even DSL.
Cable Internet speed isn’t contingent on your distance from a provider’s home base, as it might be with DSL. Cable providers sometimes offer incentives such as a free router or no-contract Internet.
Advancements in DSL and satellite – as well as the advent of fiber Internet – have pushed the technological envelope for cable, too. Many cable carriers have eliminated extensive contracts, or done away with them altogether.
Cable Internet providers can also offer access to a national Wi-Fi network for connection capabilities when the subscriber is out and about. Certain providers offer money-back guarantees and enhanced speed offerings to keep pace with fiber Internet. This includes speeds in excess of 100Mbps.
With speeds sometimes as fast as 1 gigabit, downloads can occur almost instantly. Games, songs and movies are a snap to load. Fiber-optic networks operate on a higher frequency than cable and other methods. Fiber-optic Internet users send data faster and over bigger distances than cable or DSL.
Fiber-optic transmissions of data also suffer less degradation than cable over long distances. More than one user can engage in media-rich web activity at once. With equal speeds for downstream and upstream, common web activity happens in an instant. Upload photos to social media or download a full-length movie in seconds.
Fiber-optic users can video conference with no lag time. The connection isn’t subject to the usage volume limitations you might experience with cable Internet. A cable connection might serve as many as 500 customers on a single line, slowing things down when more people are online.
Lightweight cables create an efficient network that is less costly than copper to maintain.
Bundle TV, home phone or both with fiber Internet
Fiber-optic networks can deliver more TV channels, in HD quality. Sound quality with fiber-optic TV is also exceptional. Fiber optics deliver 10 times the resolution of digital TV. Fiber-optic TV also isn’t subject to power surges and static. No signal compression is necessary.
Fiber-optic phone lines bring 99.9% reliability to your calls, and crystal clarity. A fiber home phone won’t be subject to dead zones and dropped calls. Fiber phone carriers usually offer plans for local calls, nationwide long distance and international calling.
From many fiber-optic Internet carriers, you can select TV or home phone for a Double Play bundle. A Double Play bundle would work well for a family with more than one person who streams movies.
The most cost-efficient bundle from most carriers includes Internet, TV and home phone. It also carries a convenience of one monthly bill, from one carrier, for all three services. Plus, the three services integrate with each other: You can schedule DVR recordings with your mobile device. Opt for on-screen call waiting, and more, with Triple Play features.