Contributed by Shannon McSwiney, Ting Internet – NC Markets
Photos Courtesy of Ting Internet
What is fiber?
Fiber is the first infrastructure created specifically for the Internet. It leaves old copper networks in the dust. Fiber is fast, really reliable and has huge capacity for future growth. Fiber changes everything. It doesn’t change the way you, the user, accesses the Internet though. All your connected devices work the same as they ever did, just faster and with way more bandwidth available to everyone in your home or business. As technology evolves, we’ll need a stronger and better Internet. Fiber factors this growth in from the start. In the US, Internet infrastructure lags far behind other parts of the world. Fiber is the great equalizer. The benefits it brings can be transformative for a community.
Old, unreliable copper
Historically, copper was used to wire homes to telecommunications networks, mostly for the use of telephones and then cable TV. However, with the advent of the Internet, copper’s time had come. Most Internet today runs off of copper. Why? Well, because it’s there. But just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s the right infrastructure for the job.
How fiber optics work
With fiber, communications are delivered along optical glass strands in light pulses. These fiber strands are almost perfectly transparent and each one is only about the width of a human hair. A coating on each strand ensures “total internal reflection” so the light has nowhere to escape. Light is an extremely efficient method of sending data from point A to point B. Compared to copper, where electrical signals are carried on bulky copper wiring, fiber makes for faster, clearer transmission. On a fiber connection, video chats are crystal clear, uploading files to the cloud is a breeze and there’s no risk of anyone hogging the bandwidth. It’s a system made for the Internet.
Not all fiber is created equal
With fiber to the home (FTTH) you can get upload and download speeds up to 1000 Mbps. And with Ting fiber, you can upload as fast as you download. With other providers, you might get a decent download speed, but often upload speeds are subpar at best. Why is upload important? It lets you push to the Internet as much as you pull from it. That means contributors and innovators can add files to the cloud and work more efficiently than ever before.
Not to freak you out or anything but a wireless router, even when it’s wired to a fiber connection, is limited by its own, well, limitations. You’re going to get lower Internet speeds on Wi-Fi depending on what your device is capable of. From physical barriers to signal degradation,
Wi-Fi is an improving, albeit imperfect tech. Wireless is great and the trade-offs can be worth it.
However, for the fastest connection (and especially if you want to do a speed test), a direct, wired connection is where it’s at.
Why is fiber to the home (FTTH) the best kind of fiber? It gets you a direct connection to the actual Internet. Fiber is brand new tech for most neighborhoods and requires brand new infrastructure. It might interest you to know that the main backbone of America’s Internet infrastructure is fiber. From the larger Internet, most towns, cities and metropolises get connected with old copper wiring, limiting our ability to use the Internet to its full potential. FTTH brings the Internet of the future right to your door and into your home or business. It enables faster communication for a digital age.
Really reliable internet
Imagine what it would be like if the Internet ceased to be. Well, consider the inverse. Imagine what it would be like if the Internet was pervasive and so reliable you didn’t even have to think about it anymore. That’s what fiber does. We rely on the Internet to do all the average stuff of life. We use the Internet to connect home security systems, work from home, order groceries, research school projects, video chat with grandma and more. Gigabit infrastructure is important to America. The Internet has rapidly become a backbone of society.
Education, business and healthcare increasingly rely on the Internet for more than just communication. In the future, we’ll use the Internet in new ways. That’s why Ting builds in huge capacity right from the start, so you’ll never get throttled or have to fight for bandwidth on the network when everyone’s home at night.
Fiber is future proof
True gigabit Internet, of the sort offered by Ting, gives you up to 1000 Mbps upload and download speeds. By any account, that’s an insane level of speed. So, why would the average home or business want fiber? For the future of course. Fiber is purpose-built infrastructure for the Internet. It recognizes our evolving use of the Internet and gives us the freedom, flexibility and choice to continue to grow. Fiber helps us keep up on a global scale. It helps small businesses stay competitive and innovate for tomorrow. More Americans are telecommuting and working from home and in need of better Internet. Better Internet isn’t a luxury for home-buyers, it’s a must. More and more, the appliances and services in our homes rely on the Internet. Better Internet makes smart homes run more smoothly.
Better for businesses
The way businesses use the Internet has changed rapidly in the last 20, 10 and even five years.
Today, startups and tech incubators are doing more with the Internet than ever before. Fiber makes the Internet more useful. Video calls are seamless. Designers can share large files to the cloud in seconds. Teams can contribute to the Internet and create game changing products and experiences for customers. The availability of fiber draws new businesses to towns and creates jobs. Entrepreneurs don’t want an Internet connection to slow down their vision.
No matter what type of Internet user you are, you can learn more about fiber and get ready for the future at ting.com/internet.
*content adapted from “Ting What is Fiber?” eBook: https://ting.com/wp-content/uploads/Ting-What-is-Fiber-Ebook_Digital.pdf