Did your organization sign up with the first internet provider that approached? Despite experiencing poor service, did you stay with that provider for years because you assumed the problems were related to your own internal network? You are not alone.
Cable Internet (also known as a COAX network) is one of the most common ways businesses connect to the internet. COAX networks use existing copper infrastructure to provide data services. Customers share a common infrastructure (with up to 100 customers on a single cable). This method of delivery, while cost effective for the carrier, is insufficient for customers’ modern bandwidth-hungry applications and can be rife with problems.
Fiber optic internet is now being utilized by a growing number of organizations. Since data is sent as beams of light through optical fibers instead of as electricity in copper wires, fiber optic internet is amazingly fast and reliable. The many issues inherent in copper infrastructure (i.e., EMF interference) is eliminated, thereby providing stable and robust service.
A fiber optic network can save your organization money in the long run, as it can reduce the time your employees spend struggling with internet problems. It can even increase your organization’s capabilities by unlocking new uses for the internet.
Here are 10 advantages of fiber internet (including direct fiber vs. cable comparisons):
- Higher Speed
Fiber Optic Networks provide superior data services and higher average speeds in comparison to cable networks. This is because optical networks scale better with DWDM and allow symmetrical connections (equal upload and download speeds). Cable networks rely heavily on a shared-resource design, and though they provide average download speeds, they are severely limited in upload speeds.
Approximate cable internet speeds:
- Download Speed: 20–300 Mbps (megabits per second)
- Upload Speed:7–20 Mbps
Average speeds offered by a fiber optic internet provider:
- Download Speed:150–500 Mbps
- Upload Speed: 65–100 Mbps
The lower end of the fiber optic speed range is more than 7 times faster than the lower end of cable internet! And the top speed of fiber optic internet is almost double that of cable.
During times of peak internet use in a cable network area, performance can slow. But fiber optic internet generally won’t slow down. Lost hours (and possibly days and weeks) of productivity caused by slow internet can now be a thing of the past.
- Reliable Services
If the delivery of products, services, or customer support depends on your internet connection, you absolutely cannot afford an unreliable internet service provider. Maintaining your internet connection is a must. Otherwise, you are risking major employee downtime and dissatisfied or lost customers.
Cable internet is somewhat reliable, but its service can be interrupted in several ways, including:
- Electromagnetic interference (because cable uses an electrical signal passing through a copper wire)
- Inclement weather
- Loss of power
In contrast, fiber optic networks usually stay active, even during electrical interference (including thunderstorms) since they transmit light, not electricity. In addition, the network will remain strong during peak usage times.
- Connection to Cloud Storage
Many small and medium-sized organizations don’t have massive data centers. Despite having important data to store, there is only so many hard drives one office can keep on hand.
Alternatively, by storing information in the cloud, you can back up seemingly endless amounts of data. But there is a limiting factor: your internet connection. If there’s a good chance your connection could fail at any moment, your data may not always be available.
One of the major advantages of fiber internet is that its higher reliability keeps you connected to the cloud. Your vital business records, spreadsheets, inventory lists, customer data, etc. will nearly always be available.
Plus, instead of purchasing additional storage devices to keep in your office, you can spend relatively low, regular fees for cloud storage services. This will not only save you money, but will also increase your peace of mind.
Finally, when your staff members are working with customers, a fast fiber optic connection to the cloud will help them reduce delays. They will be able to access data faster and use cloud-based applications more quickly and easily.
- Higher Bandwidth
Bandwidth is another vital concept in the comparison of fiber vs. cable internet. It refers to the amount of data that can be transferred through a data cable all at once.
Imagine several different streams of water, all being shot through a single pipe simultaneously. Each of those streams is a different internet connection from a different employee at the same organization, all of their uploads and downloads traveling through a single cable at the same time,
Compared to a copper cable, which is physically limited to the number of electrical signals that can go through the cable at once, fiber optic network lines are able to carry many more streams of light (data) simultaneously. This can help your employees support activities with high data demands, such as:
- Video conferencing
- High-definition video streaming
- Telecommunications through voice, video and messaging
- Cloud-based application usage
- Sharing large files
Your employees can continuously increase the demands on your fiber optic network without slowing it down. If you’re currently experiencing internet slowdowns and online application performance problems, fiber optic internet could help solve them.
- Data Security
Think you can afford a data security breach? Many small and medium-sized organizations certainly cannot. Alarmingly, cable internet is fairly easy to tap into, because hackers are skilled at listening in to the electronic signal. Your data can be stolen, and you might face fines and losses of customers as a result.
A fiber optic network alone won’t guarantee perfect data security, but its hardware provides an important step toward improved protection.
A fiber network is advantageous in that it is not possible to hack into a fiber optic cable. The light beams inside the fiber optic line don’t emit any electrical or magnetic signals that can be hacked. If a thief cuts into the fiber, it stops the signal completely, leaving nothing to steal.
- High-Definition Video Options
The cost of travel may increase in the future, making remote, online attendance of meetings, trainings, and sales calls that much more important. Training and transportation expenses could significantly be reduced.
Some companies have looked at these options in the past and given up on them because they didn’t want to increase their data bandwidth as much as high-definition video would require over cable.
But fiber optic networks can carry bandwidths many times larger than cable internet can, making high-definition video much more feasible.
- Lower Latency
Latency is an important issue for many web-based applications. It refers to the tiny delays that occur as computers on each end of a connection talk to each other. As latency increases, users will notice a decline in the performance of:
- Telecommunications applications
- Web-based applications
- Download and upload speeds of large files
- Collaboration software
Fiber optic networks have lower latency than cable networks. Your employees will be able to better rely on their web-based applications, communications and file transfers.
- Stronger Signal Strength
Signal strength refers to the quality of an internet signal. Your connection to the internet probably enters your building at just a single location. As the signal travels along wires throughout your building, the signal quality can degrade if it travels a certain distance from the network box. If you have a sprawling campus, warehouse, or other large work areas, some corners may experience slower internet speeds. A fiber optic network suffers far less signal strength loss than a cable network does.
- Symmetrical Internet Connections are Possible
Asymmetrical internet connection provides equal upload and download speeds. This can be vital to certain organizations. Is yours one of them?
With today’s collaboration software and other business applications, your employees may be required to:
- Send large files to cloud storage or to collaboration platforms
- Upload high-definition videos to video sharing platforms
- Send data to cloud-based applications for processing
- Talk to customers over the internet
- Download and upload large amounts of data simultaneously
Your organization now has the option to purchase asymmetrical fiber optic internet connection or an asymmetrical connection (with unequal download and upload speeds). The symmetrical connection, made possible by fiber optics, could greatly enhance your employees’ productivity.
- Lower Costs
How much does an internet outage or major slowdown cost your business? Do you rely on the internet for at least part of your revenue?
Some organizations only consider the price of internet access fees when they decide what type of service to use. But going with a lower-cost cable internet provider could actually be costing you during outages and slowdowns.
Plus, the inherent limits of cable internet may be putting an unnecessary cap on your operations. The advantages of fiber internet (faster download speeds, lower latency and higher bandwidth) can give your organization access to greater future capabilities. For example, you can gain more scalable access to:
- Increased cloud data storage
- VoIP communications
- Cloud-based applications
- High-definition teleconferencing
- And much more!
If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of fiber optic internet for your organization, contact Veracity Networks for a free quote.
Tapping our partnerships with industry leaders, we will evaluate your firm for a fiber optic internet connection. We assess your existing network architecture, which will allow us to create and install a custom fiber optic network solution for you. And be sure to ask us about our other business communication solutions. Let Veracity Networks take care of the whole process for you!