Fiber Optic Advantage
What are the benefits of fiber?Increased Reliability – Fiber optic cables are extremely reliable and are not as susceptible to weather, distance, and other variables that influence telecommunications services delivered via copper facilities. Fiber is currently the most reliable telecommunications infrastructure available anywhere. Faster Speeds – Fiber optic cables have a much greater capacity than traditional copper lines. This means the capacity for faster and much more consistent Internet speeds. Increases in Home Value – Research shows that fiber-to-the-home can increase a home’s value by as much as $5,000 according to research by the Fiber-to-the Home Council and other sources.* *RVA,LLC Homeowner and Developer Survey and Research commissioned by the FTTHCouncil, 2009.
Types of ConnectionsFiber internet is the fastest widely available internet technology. It uses fiber-optic cables, which are capable of transmitting large amounts of information quickly. While fiber is fast, it isn’t available in as many areas as other types of internet. Much of the limitation in its availability stems from the high cost of creating its network infrastructure. Cable internet uses the same types of cables that transmit cable TV services. It has broadband capability and thus can reach high speeds. It is usually available through current or former cable TV providers in their respective areas. Cable internet speeds are usually similar to DSL speeds, but can be even faster in some areas. DSL, short for Digital Subscriber Line, uses a connection that looks similar to a phone line, but the wiring inside is different and allows for broadband transmission. This makes DSL much faster than dial-up. Current or former telephone companies that also provide internet service often use this technology, and it is usually available throughout their service areas. Satellite internet is delivered wirelessly to the receiver, but it still requires wires to transport the signal from the receiver to different locations throughout the building. Because it’s wireless, it’s available almost anywhere in the United States. Satellite internet has bandwidth comparable to DSL and cable but can often feel slower due to latency. Dial-up is the slowest connection technology because it can’t support broadband and thus has limited bandwidth. (See the previous section for more information about this.) Because of its technological limitations, it is almost obsolete.
Immunity to Electromagnetic Interference-Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is a common type of noise that originates with one of the basic properties of electromagnetism. Magnetic field lines generate an electrical current as they cut across conductors. Electromagnetic Interference does occur in coaxial cables, since current does cut across the conductor. Fiber optic is immune to this EMI since signals are transmitted as light instead of current. Thus, they can carry signals through places where EMI would block transmission. Data Security – There are no radiated magnetic fields around optical fibers; the electromagnetic fields are confined within the fiber. That makes it impossible to tap the signal being transmitted through a fiber without cutting into the fiber. Since fiber optics do not radiate electromagnetic energy, emissions cannot be intercepted and physically tapping the fiber takes great skill to do undetected. Thus, the fiber is the most secure medium available for carrying sensitive data.