What is a fiber provider?

Fiber-optic Internet is a broadband connection that works with light signals from integrated fiber-optic cabling, providing gigabit upload and download speeds. Most providers offer plans that exceed 1,000 Mbps, but some fiber plans are even faster. Fiber has low latency, so it's also great for gaming and video conferencing. Most fiber connections are faster than faster cable connections due to their similar upload and download speeds.

Fiber-optic Internet is an excellent choice for high-bandwidth homes where multiple users want to stream video, play online games, back up data, or send and receive large files at the same time, especially over long distances. California, Texas and New York are the big three they serve, offering fiber-optic Internet service to major cities such as San Francisco, San Antonio and Brooklyn. This is the fastest and most expensive “last mile” option, offering maximum fiber speed and reliability directly to the consumer. Fiber-optic Internet requires special equipment because if the lines are bent too much, the glass strands could break and the line would be useless.

There are many pieces that make up this advanced technology, but two key components are optical fibers and the so-called “last mile” of the fiber optic network. Fixed wireless technology can compete with optical fiber in terms of speed at times, however, it suffers due to its dependence on line of sight, weather conditions and distance to the station. Fiber-optic Internet is a complex technology that allows the transmission of information in the form of light instead of electricity. With speed and ease comes the price, fiber is usually more expensive to install than other Internet options.

CenturyLink fiber-optic internet, for example, lets you download a full-length 4K or HD movie in a matter of seconds. Growing fiber networks, with their high-speed capabilities and reliable data transmission, have enabled dramatic progress in the telecommunications field; in fact, some say that fiber-optic technology is what made the information age possible. Many of these fibers are grouped together to form cables (not to be confused with coaxial cables, which are made of copper). In addition to being faster, fiber is considered to be more reliable and is an excellent choice for teleworkers, gamers, multi-user homes, and businesses.

While the cable can achieve download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps, it cannot match the fiber upload speeds that can reach gigabit speeds.

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