It's a question we get a lot: Fiber vs Cable Internet–which is better?
Fiber internet connectivity has become the gold standard for fast, high-quality data transmission for businesses. Though still relatively new compared to other connectivity options, there are distinct advantages of fiber optic Internet.
Fiber relies on light instead of electricity to transmit data, which facilitates much faster Internet connections that are capable of handling higher bandwidth.
According to the FCC, fiber providers consistently offer 117 percent of advertised speeds, even during times of peak demand. So how does business fiber internet stack up against the traditional copper or cable coax circuits that are still available in the market?
Fiber vs. Cable Internet Comparison
Availability in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia
Yes, fiber offers symmetrical upload and download speeds
Business Advantages of Fiber vs. Cable Internet
Why fiber internet is better than cable for businesses can be boiled down fairly simply.
While most business decision-makers are aware of the speed benefits of fiber vs. cable, other advantages are less commonly understood. Spending on a newer technology can feel risky, especially for organizations that rely heavily on their Internet connectivity for customer communications, productivity, and collaboration.
In this article, we’ll answer the question, “Why is fiber internet better than cable?”
You'll learn a bit more about how fiber optic Internet compares to coax cable, including bandwidth potential, speed, and reliability, among other factors.
Reason #1 Why Fiber is Better than Cable: Bandwidth
Investing in fiber optic Internet can significantly increase your bandwidth potential. Coax cable infrastructure is limited in nature. Because it was originally designed for transmitting data at higher speeds on downloads only.
The slower upload speeds don't work for business today. For organizations considering shifting their voice communications to Voice-over-IP (VoIP), and using video, having your bandwidth delivered over fiber can be an indispensable asset.
Reason #2 Why Fiber is Better than Cable: Upload/Download Speed
Is the speed increase of fiber optic Internet noticeable compared to cable? Absolutely.
Many Atlantech Online customers using fiber to connect to our network can transmit data at 1 gigabit per second. That's many times faster than the federal government's definition of broadband service, which is 100 Mbps uploads and 20 Mbps for downloads as of January 2022.
Tech blog NorthWest writes that uploads that take 22 minutes over most coax cable Internet connections can take as little as 8 seconds over fiber.
With this technological advancement, the concept of "waiting for things to load" is about to be a thing of the past.
Reason #3 Why Fiber is Better than Cable: Security
In an era of increased attention towards cybersecurity, fiber optic is touted as a cost-effective way of instantly increasing your Internet security.
Reason #4 Why Fiber is Better than Cable: Reliability
There are many factors that can cause outages when an organization is reliant on coax cable-based Internet. Temperature fluctuations, severe weather conditions, and moisture can all cause a loss of connectivity.
Additional reliability concerns associated with cable include risks of interference from electronic or radio signals. Additionally, coax wires are accessed in the building by cable company personnel and sometimes they can make mistakes and fiddle with the wrong wires.
Also, coax wires all go back to the cable company's head end where disconnections can happen. Fiber is typically independent of the cable company, its equipment, and its termination points.
Reason #5 Why Fiber is Better than Cable: Cost
Investing in fiber Internet is more expensive than coax in the short term, though costs are drastically decreasing as this option becomes more commonplace. Ultimately, the total cost of ownership (TCO) over the lifetime of fiber is lower. It's more durable, cheaper to maintain, and requires less hardware.
That's why we've created a guide to share what you should ask and why it's important. Be sure you're making the best choice for your business by downloading your free copy of The Insider's Guide to Fiber Connectivity now.
Tom is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.
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