Fiber-optic internet, or simply just fiber, has been available for decades, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that prices were lowered to be accessible to businesses and even residential customers. The concept for fiber-optic cables being used for communication started in 1950 but the first large-scale use was in 1975 when the U.S. government used fiber-optic cables to link a network of computers together in the NORAD headquarters in Colorado. So what exactly is fiber and how did we get to the point that the majority of businesses and about half the residents of the U.S. have relatively inexpensive access to it?
One of the most common types of internet is cable internet, with over 90% coverage nationwide it has much more availability than fiber. When it comes to reliability, fiber takes the edge due to cable’s instability of service and fiber’s resistance to weather elements such as extreme heat, cold, and moisture. Fiber is also faster compared to cable internet. When it comes to cost they can be rather comparable, but that depends on what area of the United States you’re looking at. Fiber has become more widespread due to the increased demand for faster and more reliable internet, along with most carriers making strides to move away from copper wires.
Fiber-optic cables use very small glass filaments to transmit data using bursts of light, compared to copper wire which is impacted by electricity and other interferences. Fiber cables are run underground in large bundles referred to as fiber-optic trunk cables each containing multiple fiber lines. These cables are able to carry the light signal over long distances without losing strength. These trunks are the base of today’s internet, meaning you might not have fiber at your house but the city where you live likely uses them for IXPs, Internet Exchange Points. IXPs are physical locations through which ISPs, internet service providers, and content delivery networks connect to exchange internet traffic between their networks. So business and residential customers may find that the last mile between their local IXP isn’t running fiber. Fiber providers might cover the cost of running fiber the last distance from the IXP to the business if demand is high enough or they can cover the cost from a longer-term contract.
We’ve definitely come a long way from fiber costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to install, but that doesn’t mean it is a simple task when it comes to picking the best internet option for your business and getting that service installed and optimized. Companies may still come back with tens of thousands of dollars in build costs or the inability to build at all. Let Verify! use our extensive resources and network of fully vetted carriers to find you the service you need and at the right price. We have the necessary tools and experience to determine providers, consider contractual obligations, get the service installed, and make sure it is working and billing correctly. Although the last mile may not sound like a lot of work, it certainly can be a challenge if you don’t know what you’re doing. Verify! delivers on the complexities of telecom so you can deliver on your expertise. Give us a call today to get started.