In the world we live in today, having reliable internet access is an absolute necessity. With more employers embracing remote work, working from home is the new normal.
Though it is relatively new, fiber has taken over the internet-providing business by storm.
How Do I Know If My Home is Fiber Ready?
Here are the steps you can take to find out if your home has fiber:
a) Check online if your area is fiber lit
Major fiber carrier providers offer online maps. You can look up online to see whether your area has a fiber network or not.
The fiber coverage map on the Afrihost Fiber Microsite serves this purpose.
Otherwise, you may conveniently just ask the landlord about fiber presence in the building.
b) Inquire if you have an Optical Network Terminal
All fiber networks need an optical network terminal (ONT). It is a box whereby the fiber connection will enter your house to power the Wi-Fi network.
The terminal is usually mounted outside walls or inside the garage, closets, and basements.
If you do find the ONT and it is antiquated, you will have to call a technician to update the setup.
c) In case you don’t find the ONT and still think you may still have fiber
It is advisable to call your current internet service provider (ISP) and have them come check.
Thereupon confirming no fiber, the ISP technician will inform you if they plan to build fiber soon.
Fiber Optic Network: Definition
Fiber optic network is a high-speed communication link made up of cables filled with thin strands of glass or plastic that transmit information.
Data containing television, telephone, and internet signals are transmitted as infrared light pulses.
Due to their swift data transfer capacity, fiber networks can be used in Artificial Intelligence systems (AI).
Why Fiber Optic Networks?
Cable internet is the predecessor of fiber optic. It uses copper wires to transmit signals via electricity.
The primary hangup of cable internet is the slow internet speed during peak traffic hours. Copper wires are liable to corrosion over time and are susceptible to temperature changes.
Since they use electricity for transmission, copper cables are a shock and fire hazard. Cable internet is expensive in the long run to maintain.
How Does a Fiber Optic Network Work?
A fiber optic network comprises bundles of plastic or glass strands called optic fibers. The thickness of these optical fibers is less than that of human hair.
A computer transforms data into light as discrete signals (ones and zeros). These signals are transmitted across the optic fibers by a laser.
Light travels through by bouncing off the mirror surface of the glass or plastic optic fibers.
The cable structure prevents light dispersion through the use of a core wrapped in a cladding layer.
Types of Fiber Optics Network
Fiber To The Home (FTTH)
The fiber connection goes directly to your home from the ISP. It is the most reliable and fastest connection.
Fiber To The Cabinet/Curb (FTTC)
This gets the fiber network to the street utility pole outside your house. A coaxial cable completes the connection from the cabinet to your home.
It is the most affordable fiber connection for ISPs. This is because they don’t have to invest in expensive infrastructure, and FTTCs are easy to expand.
Fiber To The Building (FTTB)
The fiber network is distributed in the building by copper lines. Used in large hotels, apartment buildings, schools, and business malls.
Advantages of Fiber Optic Internet
Fiber internet travels as light signals in specialized fiber optic cables compared to copper cables that use electricity.
Light signals in fiber optic cables are more efficient in transmitting signals faster and further than copper.
The speed is up to 1 gigabyte/second, way higher than the 10 Mbps we are used to in cable.
Fiber optic cable manufacturers designed it to withstand severe weather conditions and are resistant to temperature shifts.
They are thinner, light, and studier, which makes them less prone to breakage and cannot get easily damaged.
The fiber cable insulation from outside interference makes it a reliable network provider.
Since fiber optic cable transmits data as light signals, more bandwidth is delivered. Fiber can hence handle more data at high speed and less distortion.
Matching Upload and Download Speeds
Cable internet has no consistent upload and download speed. Downloads have a bandwidth priority, so uploads are a bit slower.
Fiber internet is the only one that offers matching fast upload and download speeds.
It is difficult to intercept fiber optic transmissions. They are not susceptible to electromagnetic interference that causes signal disturbance.
Though the initial installation cost of fiber is high, the total cost of ownership over the years is lower. Fiber requires less hardware, is cheaper to maintain, and is more durable.
In comparison to coaxial cables, fiber is the better option.
Fiber optic cables can carry signals as far as 50 kilometers without signal degradation. Copper cables, on the other hand, transmit just under one kilometer.
Better Gaming and Streaming
Fiber optic cables are not easily overloaded because they have a higher data capacity, unlike copper cables. It is therefore faster to stream and download your movies.
Fiber stability ensures no unnecessary interruptions when you are gaming.
What are Fiber Optic Cables Used For Apart From Information Transmission?
- Medicine: In diagnostics, fiber optic cables are used as endoscopes to look inside the target organ and provide a picture. Dentists use them for illumination inside the mouth.
- Automotive Industry: To illuminate the interior of cars and hard-to-reach places.
- Military: The military uses high-speed fiber in data communication, flight planning, and mission control.
Can I Install Fiber Cables Myself?
Installing fiber will require laying new cables and setting up specific equipment. This kind of work needs a specialized technician.
So no, you cannot install fiber optic cables yourself.
Is Fiber Internet Power Efficient?
Fiber networks use less energy to transmit the signal. Low amounts of heat generated translate to no cooling systems needed.
In addition to energy saving, there is no need for ventilation and air-conditioning equipment.
There are many benefits to having fiber internet installed in your home. Its only drawback of is the initial cost of installation.
Not everybody can afford it.
To sum up, the fiber optic network is the backbone of the internet. If you can meet the price, definitely choose fiber.