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Looking for high-speed internet service that does not disconnect or sputter out when you need it the most? Are not we all! Luckily, fiber-optic internet brings you both exceptional reliability and blazing fast speeds.

Most of you may still think fiber internet in your area is a dream. But that is not really as things are. In recent years, several internet service providers (ISPs) have stretched their fiber footprint to offer expeditious internet to masses in the US–and at pretty affordable rates.

Fiber Optic Internet: A Quick Overview

Fiber optic internet is the latest revolution in the world of broadband. With the advent of optical-fiber cables, data transmission rate has been accelerated to an extent that extraordinarily high speeds—as high as 1,000 Mbps—can now be supplied for residential consumption at economical rates.

The ability of a fiber optic network to transfer huge amounts of data at great speed gives it a competitive edge over all other connection types. In fact, there is such a wide gap between the performance of a fiber optic broadband connection, and DSL, cable, or satellite internet, that it would be pretty difficult to do a fair comparison. 

A Few Words about the History of Fiber Optic Internet

You are mistaken if you think fiber optic technology is a thing of the 21st century. It was a long time ago, back in the summer of 1970, that a team of scientists working with fused silica, invented the fiber optic wire. Silica is capable of sustaining its material purity, has a high melting point, and a low refractive index. And, the scientists discovered the fiber optic wire they had invented was actually able to carry 65,000 times more information than copper. Information would be carried by a pattern of light waves, which could be decoded at the destination point—even thousands of miles away.

In 1977 the first test run was carried out by General Telephone and Electronics, and the same year Bell followed suit. Both deployed small scale networks to run optical telephone systems. And, progressively, due to the advantage of fiber optic over electrical transmission, fiber started to replace copper wire communications.

Fiber optic cables have been since used for communication over thousands of miles. But, it was always the network backbone that comprised of fiber optic cable lines. In recent times, however this cutting-edge technology has been rolled out to benefit residential consumers too.  

A Little about How Fiber Optic Internet Works

Fiber optic cables are created using glass, plastic, or flexible fibers, depending on whether data transfer has to take place over a short or long distance. Data is transmitted using light pulses at speeds comparable to that of light, which is not just exceptionally quick, but these fibers can carry multiple signals simultaneously by using multiple lasers of different colors. That is why a massive amount of data can travel through fiber optic cables.

The newest fiber optic cables can carry the signal without deterioration for up to 60 miles. Over longer distances there is a hub placed at every 40-60 miles—with equipment that is able to receive and rebroadcast the signal at full strength. The result is that data continues to travel at ultra-fast speeds without degradation before it reaches the subscriber end.

Comparison between Fiber Optic & Other Internet Types

Currently, fiber optic internet is the best in speed and reliability among all internet types available to consumers. But, given the cost of extending fiber optic lines beyond the network backbone is a rather costly process, the reach of fiber optic connections is not as widespread as that of pre-existing coaxial cable or copper networks. Let’s take a quick look at fiber optic internet versus other types of internet in common use these days.

Fiber Vs DSL

DSL internet has been in use for a good number of years now. And, has sustained its popularity in rural America even after the introduction of faster coaxial cable broadband. This type of internet uses copper phone lines to transmit data. Since copper lines are able to furnish more bandwidth than required for the voice signal alone, a higher frequency can be used to transfer other types of data as well. This is why your phone and internet connection can work together perfectly over the same copper lines.

Typically, DSL internet speeds range from 0.5-75 Mbps. But in recent years most ISPs in the U.S. have strengthened their DSL network by extending the reach of fiber optic backbone in the network. And, use a mix of fiber and copper lines to deliver their internet service. The result is what is termed as high-speed DSL, as fast as 100 Mbps. But, DSL internet speeds are largely dependent on your distance from the provider’s hub—the farther you are, the lower the speed you would get. Which is quite unlike fiber optic internet delivered over fiber optic cables straight to your premises. Because, when data transfer switches over to copper in the “last mile”, it suffers from degradation due to the lacking ability of copper to transfer data as quickly as the optical fibers.

Fiber Vs Cable

Cable broadband is delivered via the coaxial cable lines which were once used to transmit TV signals alone. Since coaxial cables provide greater bandwidth than copper, the output is better than DSL internet. You get higher download speeds—anywhere between 50-500 Mbps—and upload speeds are significantly better too—usually in the range of 5-50 Mbps.

Since the introduction of DOCSIS 3.0 & 3.1 networking protocols, most cable service providers in the U.S. have upgraded their coaxial network. They now have extended fiber optic lines running into close proximity of neighborhoods—before data transfer switches over to coaxial cable lines. So, the highest cable broadband speeds now available for consumers are as fast as 1 Gbps—pretty comparable to what fiber optic internet gets you.

But, coaxial cables are likely to be affected by outside factors, and this interference causes degradation in the signal strength. Plus they are by default unable to transfer data as fast as the optical fibers. That is why when the “last mile” covered by coaxial cable lines is stretched out, before it reaches the subscriber end, the performance of the internet connection tends to drop. Which does not happen when fiber optic lines carry data all the way to your doorstep.  

Fiber Vs Satellite

Satellite internet gets delivered wirelessly between the provider and subscriber. Meaning, from the satellite dish installed at the subscriber end, data would first travel to the satellite in the space. Then to the provider’s operation center on earth where a connection with the internet is established through a wired network. And after that, it is sent back wirelessly to the satellite which rebroadcasts it to the subscriber. That sounds like a long loop. And, it does contribute to high latency—for which satellite internet has been pretty notorious. Albeit, in recent times newer tech has enabled service providers like HughesNet to improve on the latency factor.

Satellite internet connections can get you speeds between 5 and 25 Mbps. Viasat has managed to push the limit to 100 Mbps, but overall satellite broadband still cannot match up to Fiber—in terms of speed reliability, or overall performance.

The Best Fiber Internet Providers & Packages 2021

At this time, there are around 1400 fiber internet providers operating across the U.S., but a huge number is more localized, while only some are state-wide or nationwide. Let’s now take a look at Fiber offerings from the most reliable names in the U.S. ISP industry. 

AT&T

AT&T Fiber network spreads across its 21-state service territory. And, currently AT&T provides pure fiber optic internet in about 30% of its different service locations. Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin—these are the states where AT&T Fiber is available to consumers in multiple cities.

AT&T Fiber packages offer 3 speed tiers—100 Mbps, 300 Mbps and 1 Gig. AT&T Fiber comes without a contract, and gets you a promo price for the first 12 months meaning you get to save on the regular rate for one full year. Plus, AT&T pledges 99% reliability even at peak times, and comes top rated in customer satisfaction. You also get perks like the FREE internet security suite and FREE HBO Max™ trial for one month.

The AT&T Fiber connection brings you symmetrical speeds—the same download and upload power—and unlimited data too. So, no matter what you do on your AT&T Fiber internet—connect your smart devices, stream 4K UHD, play competitive online games, conduct business meetings etc.—you will never fall short of bandwidth, speed or data. And, you’ll never have to fret about data overage charge either.

Internet Plans

Max Download/Upload Speeds

Promo Price
(for 12 months)

Regular Price
(after 12 months)

AT&T Fiber 100

100/100 Mbps

$35 per month

$55 per month

AT&T Fiber 300

300/300 Mbps

$45 per month

$65 per month

AT&T Fiber 1000

1 Gbps/1 Gbps

$60 per month

$80 per month

 

Frontier FiberOptic

Frontier Communications has a robust fiber optic network that delivers gigabyte speeds. Currently, the service is available in select areas of about 11 states— Indiana, California, Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, North & South Carolina, Ohio, New York. Initially Frontier acquired the Verizon FiOS® network in some states, and branded its fiber optic service as FiOS® from Frontier. But more recently, Frontier has consolidated its fiber optic services under one brand name i.e. FiberOptic.

Frontier Fiber internet reaches you over a pure fiber optic connection, gets you unlimited data, 3 speed options, and plenty of bandwidth. You get a wireless router included in the price so you can set up your in-home Frontier Wi-Fi with ease. Frontier asks for no contractual obligations, and keeps the promo price locked in for one full year. Plus, you won’t find any hidden fees when you subscribe to Frontier FiberOptic.

You can match your household needs and internet consumption patterns with available speeds, and take your pick—rest assured Frontier FiberOptic has the potential to keep everyone in the family happy. From streaming videos, sharing large files, and gaming to running a home-based business, working from home, and attending school online—there is no online activity the Frontier FiberOptic connection cannot handle.

Internet Plans

Max Download/Upload Speeds

Promo Price
(for 12 months)

Fiber Optic 50 Mbps

50/50 Mbps

 $49.99 per month

Fiber Optic 500 Mbps

500/500 Mbps

 $59.99 per month

Fiber Optic Gig Service

940/880 Mbps

 $79.99 per month

 

CenturyLink

CenturyLink has been connecting America for decades now—via DSL internet. But with the introduction of fiber optic internet in the mainstream, CenturyLink upped its ante—and is now ranked as the 4th largest in provision of fiber internet. On one hand, the provider has strengthened its copper network by extending the fiber optic backbone into close proximity of residential and business neighborhoods in its service states. While on the other, it is also providing 100% fiber connections in select areas. So both high-speed DSL and Fiber are on the CenturyLink menu. Albeit availability of either may vary with region.

CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit plan is a pure delight for all speed lovers out there. You can play games in real-time with multiple players, stream video content in HD and 4K quality on multiple devices, while you are connected to your CenturyLink in-home Wi-Fi. When you order online, the Gigabit standalone offer comes with a free modem and installation—so you don’t have to worry about added upfront costs. The best part is CenturyLink does not make you sign a contract—you pay on a month-to-month basis.

Internet Plan

 

Max Download/Upload Speeds

Online Price Offer

Data Cap

CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit

 

940/940 Mbps

$65 per month

None

 

Optimum by Altice

Optimum delivers two types of internet service—speeds up to 400 Mbps are delivered through a strong hybrid fiber-coaxial network, while the Gigabit service comes via a pure fiber optic connection. The Optimum network covers New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut—however availability of the Optimum Fiber Gig service is limited to select areas.

With fiber broadband from Optimum, you can connect several devices without a care—play online games without ping spikes, download heavy files rapidly, and stream Live video in HD or 4K UHD. One of the best things about Optimum Gig service is that you are not restricted by a data cap, so you can squeeze the maximum benefit from blazing fast symmetrical speeds. Access to Wi-Fi hotspots on the go and a strong in-home Wi-Fi network are other perks you get to enjoy.

The cherry on top is that the Optimum Gig service comes with a Price for Life guarantee—meaning you get to pay the same price for as long as you stay subscribed to the plan.  

Internet Plan

 

Max Download/Upload Speeds

Price for Life

Data Cap

Optimum Internet Gig

 

940/940 Mbps

$69.99 per month

None

 

Windstream Kinetic

Windstream has been long known for its DSL internet service, particularly in rural America. But more recently Windstream has upgraded its network capabilities so that it now delivers high-speed DSL internet over its hybrid Fiber-Copper network in most service locations. Gig service from Windstream Kinetic is however a pure fiber optic connection which brings the advantage of fiber straight to your doorstep. And this allows you to power up multiple devices including your Smart Home gadgets. Use innovative tech like VR or work with artistic & technical development tools, run an in-home theatre or climb the Gaming Leaderboards—all of that is now possible with Windstream Kinetic Gig service.

The best part is Windstream Kinetic does not limit you in any way—there is no data cap and you are not asked to sign a contract.

Internet Plans

Max Download/Upload Speeds

Promo Price
(for 12 months)

Regular Price
(after 12 months)

Windstream Kinetic Gig

 

1 Gbps/1 Gbps

$67 per month

$75 per month

 

Fiber Optic Internet: The Pros & Cons

 

Pros

Cons

·        Fastest Speeds:
Fiber optic internet plans not only come with super fast speeds compared to other broadband types but provide sufficient bandwidth to accommodate diverse online activities on multiple devices. Moreover, fiber optic internet is known to deliver consistent performance even at peak traffic times.

·        Environmental friendly:
Fiber optic cables have the potential to save energy as opposed to coaxial and copper lines. Lower power utilization results in reduced CO2 emissions. Also, fiber optic networking technology can support sustainable architectures. Best of all, it consumes a lesser amount of heavy metals and needs up to 50% fewer repairs.

·        Low Latency:
Latency is the total time it takes to fetch information over the internet after a request is sent out. Unlike other broadband types, the latency rate of a fiber optic internet connection is minimal, making it an ideal choice for online gamers and video streamers.

·        Limited Availability:
Unlike Cable broadband or DSL, Fiber internet is still available in select regions. It may take a couple more years until fiber internet providers extend their network coverage for residential consumers. The sluggish growth rates are directly related to the hefty cost of expanding the existing fiber optic backbone in the network.

·        Higher Prices:
Fiber optic internet plans are usually priced on the higher side as compared to DSL or cable broadband. Although the overall worth of your monetary investment in this connection takes care of this aspect, it is still a downside for those who do not prefer a large amount of bandwidth or super-fast speeds in their internet plans.

 

 

Bottom Line

To sum up, fiber internet has a long catalog of pluses. But, in the end, what matters the most is the satisfaction you gain, and the efficacy of your investment. What may be perfect for a small household with light internet usage or a solitary individual may not be a suitable option for a big family with high- level internet consumption or a home-based start up.  We would recommend you take your time to think things through. And, judge all available fiber internet options in view of your budget and requirements before making a final decision.

If you have any further questions, dial 1-855-349-9328 to get pro support. Our representatives can help you explore which fiber optic providers and packages are available in your area. And, also guide you to the one option that is the best match for your connectivity needs.