Fiber Optic vs. Broadband Internet Services
As a society, we are always connected. We expect more from our internet services. Whether that be from nearby cable or fiber optic internet providers, or a local broadband ISP. Today, fast and reliable connectivity is no longer a luxury, it is a must. These service expectations increase exponentially in the workplace. When internet service is fast and reliable, employees are productive, clients are happy and business grows.
When the opposite is true, your business can really suffer. Conference calls and videos are choppy; data storage and protection is slow, or worse – compromised. Employees can be become frustrated and less productive, which effects your bottom line. There’s no doubt that internet connectivity plays a significant role in business operations. When paired with the availability of multiple service providers and access options, selecting the right internet for your business or company can be a difficult choice.
This is often a choice that’s frequently between fiber optic internet providers and broadband connectivity options. That decision often comes down to one simple question: which one is better for my business? The answer to the question of broadband vs fiber relies on looking at multiple factors.
Top 5 Factors: Fiber Optic Internet Providers vs. Broadband Services
1. Improved Internet Service Reliability
For most, reliability is a leading factor when deciding what type of internet service to choose. Broadband and fiber optic both represent two of the most reliable connection types available to consumers and businesses today. However, although broadband is often reliable, when compared to alternative options such as fiber, it’s also the service most likely to face interruptions from a host of environmental and location factors.
By design, fiber optic Internet is a dedicated, passive system, meaning it is far less likely to be the effected by service interruptions. The dependable nature of our fiber optic internet solution, metricFIBER, carries a 99.99% service up time Service Level Agreement. This consistently makes fiber optic ISPs an attractive choice for businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.
2. Bandwidth Considerations
Bandwidth, or the lack thereof, can have a huge impact on business operations at crucial times. Web conferences, video streaming, online presentations, supporting an IP based phone system or hosted IP PBX, file sharing, and cloud applications, can be challenging when upload and download speeds are stunted due to high demands on bandwidth. Broadband, such as DSL or cable internet connections are typically shared across different customers. Because of this, bandwidth, though sufficient at certain times, can be compromised during peak time or during heavy usage.
Even for businesses with minimal broadband neighbors, periods of high data transmission internally can have the same effect. Fiber internet providers, on the other hand, operate as a dedicated service being used only by the business for which it’s established, negating much of that concern. Further, limits or data caps, though they do exist with some providers, are typically much higher (high enough to be considered “unlimited bandwidth” by many). Fiber certainly is designed to deliver an internet service with upload and download speeds that are as quick as they are reliable.
3. Cloud Access Requirements
Today, cloud computing services and platforms such as cloud storage have become a major tool for businesses across the globe. Delays when accessing or uploading information to ‘the cloud’ can be problematic. Especially for businesses that work with clients or potential customers in real time (i.e., customer service, call centers, etc.) or those that rely on a global workforce.
Because of the two aforementioned benefits of fiber optics, cloud access and data storage, becomes another factor in the decision between broadband and fiber optics. Similarly, broadband, specifically its proclivity for delays and service interruptions, can make it a poor choose for significant cloud reliance. As such, for customers in the Bay Area who rely heavily on cloud storage would benefit from fiber internet.
4. Security Factors
Another concern that is increasingly important in our progressing cyber age – is security. Breaches happen so frequently we sometimes mistake it for normalcy. To combat that, many companies are searching for the best way to fortify their networks and data, from client records to valuable intellectual property. Of the two internet services discussed, a network using broadband is more vulnerable to malicious attacks. Infiltrating a network using broadband services can be easier than gaining access to a network employing a faster fiber optic internet service. For that reason, businesses or enterprises that are looking to increase the speed and reliability of their internet service, as well as fortify data stored online, may find a welcome solution in fiber optic providers.
5. Fiber Internet vs Broadband Pricing
Price and availability are often the two governing factors in any decision between choosing fiber network providers versus broadband. If your company is located in the Bay Area, we’ve got you covered either way. Though most information points to fiber optic internet providers as the clear winner in a battle of internet services, broadband is often the more affordable option. Your business budget for services must come into consideration, first and foremost.
Broadband vs Fiber Verdict: Choose a Fiber Optic ISP
Fiber optic connections are typically more expensive, for various reasons. However, we’ve been working in the Bay Area to make fiber optic more accessible and affordable. Today, as part of our fiberIVY network, we have more than 70 commercial buildings across the Bay Area ready with existing fiber optic infrastructure, for business use. For businesses in or thinking about moving to one of those buildings, fiber optic internet may be more affordable than you think – plans start as low as $350 a month.
Additionally, price is dynamic depending on speed requirements. With business productivity, customer satisfaction, and data security all factoring into the true price of internet service – a more reliable, quicker, and secure service, will lead to a stronger bottom line. In those terms, we truly think fiber optics can be a cost saving service for companies that need it.
There you have it. Broadband and fiber optic internet providers can both supply users access to the internet. While broadband may be a more affordable and feasible option that gets the job done in the short term, for lower bandwidth demands, fiber optics can take things to the next level. If your business needs secure and reliable access to the internet with unparalleled upload and download speeds, regular access to the cloud, contact us about metricFIBER or our dedicated Ethernet service to 10 Gbps symmetric. It just may be the right choice for your business.
What Is The Best Internet Service Technology?
The below video explains the workings of fiber (spelt fibre in the U.K) versus cable, in a battle of the ‘best internet service’ connection technology. Fiber vs copper video provided by Techquickie. Check out more of their videos which explain how tech works.
Video: Fiber Internet vs Copper Based Internet Services Explained
Video transcript: It’s the ultimate battle of the networking communications cables; copper versus fiber! Which will win the ultimate bandwidth challenge and send its opponents ping, crying home to mama? Let’s begin with the key characteristics of those good old, reliable copper phone lines. That’s right, the same basic infrastructure that we’ve been using since the beginning of the 20th century. Copper is highly conductive. This is what makes it so great for carrying the power to your home that you need to do all the things that are important that you need to do there.
Copper wires use the movement of electrons to carry signals by modulating a wave format one end, the demodulating it at the other end, to convert the patterns and the waveform into an analog or a digital signal. A device that modules and demodulates is called a modem. The problem is that copper, even higher bandwidth coaxial cables, can carry only a small number of wave forms, limiting its maximum data capacity and these wave forms degrade very quickly as the distance between the communications devices increases.
In fact, copper only has two main advantages today. One, it’s much less expensive per unit distance than fiber and two, it’s already deployed basically everywhere. Thanks telephone and television. Modern fiber optic cable invented by Corning Inc. in the ‘70s changed the game completely, by allowing the use of light bursts to carry a signal instead of waves traveling through metal.
Today, these cables are made up of a highly transparent, flexible glass core wrapped in a series of layers that protect both the integrity of the signal in the glass and the structure of the glass inside from the elements. Because this is light traveling through a nearly transparent medium, it moves at approximately 200,000 kilometers per second, actually not that different from an electrical signal through copper.
But much more importantly, the integrity of the signal, the ease with which we can interpret the light on versus light off at either end is much easier to maintain at higher switching speeds and over longer distances. I mean we’re talking thousands of kilometers like across oceans, giving fiber optic cables an enormous advantage in speed and well, distance.
There are lots of other cool stuff too. Optical signals are immune to electromagnetic interference. Individual fibers can be bundled together during installation. Some for use now, others dark for expand-ability in the future. Depending on the requirements, fiber can be used with LEDs or lasers and an individual fiber might transmit multiple wavelengths or colors of light at the same time to be a split-out at the end other end to further increase capacity.
Sounds great! Let’s use it for everything, Linus. Well, life is rarely that simple, isn’t it? We’re heading in that direction. But currently fiber is so much more expensive per length than copper that it’s taking a little while to get there. The good news is that copper carries some additional hidden costs that increase fiber’s appeal even further. Thicker, heavier cables are more difficult to install and may require more clearance than is even available in existing underground pathways.
In cases where multiple connections can leverage a single fiber backbone, the cost per capacity argument comes into play where even if two fibers cost 1000 times what copper would. If it can carry over 1000 times the data, the cost per customer and ISP conserved goes down and of course the distance thing comes into play again.
The ISP will save again on repeaters, that you will need all over the neighborhood to maintain the integrity of a signal that’s running on copper lines, so Mrs. Rochester’s connection doesn’t drop out in the middle of her Netflix marathon. But that doesn’t mean that every house will be getting a direct fiber connection anytime soon. It would certainly be nice. (As fiber clearly provides the best internet service). But hybrid deployments with a fiber backbone that serves many customers and copper runs to individuals for the last mile are most common today, because they deliver solid speeds and reliability, while saving a lot of money for the notoriously tightfisted ISPs that are managing the infrastructure.
Speaking of whatever it is I was just talking about, our sponsor today is Fractal Design and instead of me telling you guys about their simple Scandinavian design and great power supplies, cases and cooling products, we actually weren’t sure what to do this time. So I was like spit balling ideas. It was like, “What can we get at a dollar store?” Like glitter and Nick is like, “Yeah, sure.”
So he goes to a dollar store and comes back with a tube of glitter glue. Not only that. A tube of glitter glue, that’s actually completely hardened and dried out. So the only thing we ended up being able to do with it at all was make me pretty for you guys. So I hope you enjoyed it, all you viewers and you, Josh. Do you find me pretty and sparkly? Am I sparkling? Excellent. I’m sparkling. All right! So thanks again to Fractal Design for sponsoring today’s episode of Fast as Possible. Thanks to you guys for watching. Like this video if you liked it. Dislike it if you thought it sucked. Leave a comment if you have suggestions for future Fast as Possible episodes just like this one and Nick, that’s for you buddy. Don’t forget to subscribe.
Need More Help Deciding What Is The Best Internet Service?
Below are links to some additional guides and resources. Check download speed comparison tables, benefits graphics, answers to frequently asked questions and maps. Find what countries have the world’s fastest internet speeds and what technology they are using. Useful info to help you decide the best internet service for your needs;
- Fiber Optic Internet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How Fast Is Fiber Optic Internet vs Broadband Download Speeds
- 10 Benefits Of Fiber Optic Internet Service (Infographic)
- Google Fiber Guide & Information Resource
- Compare Internet Services & Speeds
- Internet Speeds by Country – Fastest Internet In The World Map