What is Fiber Fast?
What makes a fiber network the fastest? It seems like it's been years since we started hearing about "fiber" internet connections. Why is "Fiber Fast" still the gold standard for internet connectivity? Won't a new technology come along in a couple of years and supersede everything before it? Shouldn't we be on to the next fad by now?
If fiber was a fad, we would have already moved on. But it's not -- it's not only present now, but it's also the future of the internet. Most providers don't offer full fiber setups, but it's here. Let's talk about why you shouldn't settle for anything less than the real thing from your service provider.
How does fiber work? Why is it the fastest?
When we say that something is faster than anything else out there, what’s the phrase we go to? The “speed of light.” Light travels faster than anything else we know of—at a speed of 186,282 miles per second, which is so mind-bogglingly fast it’s hard to comprehend. The earth is just under 25,000 miles in circumference, which means light could loop around our planet seven times in a single second. Why all this talk about the speed of light? Because that’s the speed of fiber. Fiber optic networks use light signals to transmit data through connections, so fiber works at the literal speed of light. That also means it’s future-proof infrastructure: until we find a force in the universe faster than light, it’ll be the quickest way to transmit data.
What does today's fiber landscape look like?
Thanks for asking! This is an important question that often goes overlooked because many providers nationwide tout their fiber offerings, but an important aspect of the way fiber works is often left out of that conversation. Sure, many providers you can choose from love to talk about their fiber-optic network. But be sure to ask them: is their whole network fiber? 100%? Because if not, you won’t be getting the full benefits of fiber optics. An internet connection is only as fast as its slowest section. It doesn’t matter if you have fiber-connected directly to your neighborhood if the connections you rely on farther out are slower. If the provider can only transmit data to the beginning of the fiber connection at a slow, non-fiber rate, that rate is going to be the ceiling for your connection. A 99% fiber connection is not full fiber and doesn’t come close in terms of performance. Providers like LUS Fiber that offer a 100% fiber network are the only ones you’ll get the real benefits and speed of fiber optics from. Imagine a five-lane highway that narrows to a single lane. Traffic will flow smoothly for a while, but once you hit the single-lane section it doesn’t matter if there were a hundred lanes before it. You'll be moving slowly from there on out.
Who needs fiber speeds?
We are long past the time when we questioned that fast, reliable, and affordable internet is a must for just about everyone. But now it’s more obviously essential than ever, with the number of remote workers and people working from home increasing. With conference video calls, constant connectivity, and bandwidth-intensive work becoming the norm, non-fiber speeds aren’t cutting it. And outside of work, many don’t realize how much bandwidth they need to keep the quality of experience high when it comes to leisure activities. Streaming shows, movies, and live sports are things we do every day, and picture quality has never been better. That means more people are streaming, and the amount of data that needs to make it to our homes for that high-quality picture is higher than ever. Without fiber, you see more and more buffering, grainy pictures, and delays. And if you’re a gamer, it’s hard to argue for anything but 100% fiber. Latency is a killer in online gaming, where a fraction of a second can be the difference between victory and defeat. Fiber is as low latency as you can get.
So... Where can I get those fiber speeds?
Be sure to shop around when you’re looking for an internet provider. Ask if the networks are 100% fiber—many telecom companies love to skirt around that question. They'll suggest that you’ll be all set since there’s fiber right outside your door, but don’t take anything short of an unequivocal, enthusiastic “yes” for an answer. Want to get on the superhighway to blazing fiber speeds? Talk to us today!