Fiber-Optic Internet – The Basics

The introduction of fiber-optic internet connection completely changed the game for the quality of broadband internet connection being provided all over the world. The wider availability of fiber-optic internet connection has made it much easier for internet users to stream HD movies, play online games, upload heavy files to the cloud, etc. Moreover, fiber internet is getting cheaper by the day. You can easily witness that by looking at the prices of Xfinity internet plans online. This ever-changing technology will open doors for a number of online activities that can be performed on the so-called Internet of Things.

Comparison with Other Internet Connections

The reason why fiber-optic internet is so far ahead of its competitors is that it beats them in all aspects like speed, durability, reliability, etc. A DSL internet connection provides a maximum download speed of up to 50 Mbps in comparison to 100 Mbps over copper cable wires distinguished as telephone lines. Compared with the average download speeds of fiber-optic internet connection of 1000 Mbps or more, DSL internet connection seems completely obsolete. 

Cable internet, on the other hand, has download speeds starting from 100 Mbps, going as high as 1000 Mbps transmitted over cable TV wires. The downside, though, is that cable TV is shared with other users in the area, which can interfere with the internet connection during peak hours. Cable internet might prove to be a challenge for fiber-optic internet connection, but not for long, since its corroded copper wires and lesser bandwidth might impact the internet connection for a single household. 

How Do Fiber-Optic Cables Work?

In fiber optical cables, data is transmitted in the form of light and it works like a binary coding, with ‘0’ being off and ‘1’ being the on signal. Data is transmitted at the speed of light, so a large amount of data can be carried over long distances. Moreover, fiber optic cables also use less electricity, which makes them the best economical option and environment friendly as well. Fiber optic cables are durable in quality and are not prone to constant degradation. 

There are two types of fiber-optic cables: single-mode and multi-mode. In single-mode fiber, a single strand is used for data transmission, and it is used for longer distances and high-speed connectivity. Multi-mode fiber is used for multiple strands or paths for light to travel through for data transmission and it is used for shorter distances.

Different Types of Fiber-Optic Internet Connections

There are three types of fiber optic internet connections going toward the customers’ end.

  • Fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the premises (FTTP). It refers to a fiber connection that goes into homes. If there are no fiber cables around, ISP will drill holes or dig nearby to install fiber cables. 
  • Fiber to the curb (FTTC). This type of connection reaches a point like a telephone pole, where it is linked to a standard phone line with coaxial cabling. 
  • Fiber to the node (FTTN). FTTN connection goes from the node to the existing phone or cable lines. This type of connection is shared with many other users in the local area, so there is a possibility of interference in the internet connection during peak hours.

FTTH is the fastest and most reliable fiber-optic internet connection and it can save ISPs a lot of money because then there would be less maintenance and fewer customer complaints. 

Advantages of Fiber-Optic Internet 

Fiber optic internet connection has completely changed the game for other broadband network connections all over the world. 

  • Bandwidth. A fiber internet connection has a high bandwidth, which means that the volume of data it can transmit per unit as compared to the other internet connection is higher. 
  • Distance. This type of internet connection is ideal for longer. Fiber optic cables are superior to copper cables because, unlike copper cables, the speeds are not reduced over long distances. Fiber optic cables are capable of transferring 10 Gbps over 40 km in length.
  • Fiber optic cables are capable of resisting any sources of interference like power substations, heating, ventilation, etc., unlike copper cables.
  • Security. Data is transmitted via light in a fiber-optic connection which means that it is not easy to detect the data being transferred through the cable. Fiber-optic internet connection ensures complete security of information.
  • Weight. Fiber-optic cables are thinner than copper cables and made of glass or plastic, which makes them easier to install.


Fiber-optic internet connection is not widely available yet, due to its expensive infrastructure but some ISPs have started rolling out fiber-optic internet connectivity in some cities around the US. Having a faster and more reliable internet connection has become essential in every aspect of daily life since businesses, military, and academic institutions are all planning to switch to a fiber-optic internet connection.