Compare Fiber Internet vs. Broadband Speeds
Like any Internet service, fiber optic Internet download speeds depend on your connection. Not all fiber services are created equal, much like broadband. Fiber is not distance sensitive like copper based services, but speeds can vary. However, there's no doubt that;
- Fiber is faster than average broadband speeds in the USA.
- You can download more, faster, with fiber.
- Fiber Internet is more reliable than copper and less 'patchy' than Wifi.
In the United States, fiber internet service is available to businesses just about everywhere. Fiber internet for home users is limited to specific locations, but is growing. New fiber providers such as Google Fiber have entered the market and have ambitious expansion plans.
At speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second, fiber internet delivers much faster downloads than broadband.
As an example, if your broadband download speed is 50Mbps, (extremely generous - average U.S internet speed in Q3 of 2016 was 16.2Mbps), downloading a game, 100 songs, a full HD quality movie or 100 photos is up to 20 times faster with a Gigabit fiber connection.
Download Speed Comparison Table
Using common file types and sizes from the Apple.com site, the below table gives an indication on how fast fast fiber optic Internet service is. See approximate times for how long it takes to download movies, songs, videos, TV shows and audio books, compared to common broadband speeds.
All download speeds are estimates. Speeds vary depending on your Internet connection. This is due to a few factors including line quality and modem / ISP bandwidth used to keep your Internet line open.
|Length and type of media||Approximate size||Download speed|
|4-minute song||4 MB||30s||5s||3s||1.5s||0.3s||0.03s|
|5-minute video||30 MB||3m||40s||26s||13s||2.5s||0.2s|
|9-hour audiobook||110 MB||10m||2m||1.5m||46s||9.2s||0.9s|
|45-minute TV show||200 MB||20m||5m||3m||1.5m||16s||1.7s|
|45-minute HDTV show||600 MB||1h||15m||8.5m||4m||50s||5s|
|2-hour movie||1.0-1.5 GB||2h||24m||21.5m||10.5m||1.5m||8s|
|2-hour HD movie||3.0-4.5 GB||6h||72m||60m||32m||4.5m||25s|
|Misc. Archive||10 GB||Forget it||Nope||Too long||Slow||Better||1m 20s|
Where can I get Fiber Optic Internet?
Unfortunately, fiber internet service is not available to home users in all residential areas. Select larger carriers have scaled out nationwide deployments, mainly Verizon and AT&T.
Google Fiber is the new player in the fiber game. Google currently offers fiber and TV service plans to certain areas of Austin, Orange County, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, The Triangle and Provo. Google Fiber plans to expand to various other cities in the future.
There are other options worth checking out in your local area; SureWest, iProvo, UTOPIA, Veracity Networks, CenturyLink, Peak and cSpire. These fiber ISPs specialize in fiber delivery to home users.
For dedicated business fiber, our service covers the San Francisco Bay Area. You can see our coverage in this fiber Internet map.
Prefer visuals? Check out our infographic on 10 benefits of fiber optic cable for internet service at your business.