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Fiber vs. Cable Internet: 6 Reasons Fiber May Be the Best for Your Business

Fiber vs. Cable Internet: 6 Reasons Fiber May Be the Best for Your Business

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

Widely available

Widely available through Atlantech’s fiber-lit locations

Max speeds

Around 1,200 Mbps

400 Gbps


Less reliable

Better reliability

Symmetrical upload/download speeds?

No, cable tends to have lower upload speeds

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.

It's also easy to quickly identify compromised cables, which visibly emit light from transmissions. With distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the rise, it's more important than ever to have added security for your network.

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.

The advantages of fiber optic Internet make it a more cost-effective investment for organizations of all sizes.

Reason #6 Why Fiber is Better than Cable: It Helps You Future-Proof Your Business

Not only does fiber help your business take advantage of the most modern cloud-based business tools of today. But it will ensure your company can more easily scale up bandwidth and performance 

Answering the Question of Availability: How easy is it to access a business fiber connection?

The short answer: it's easier now than it was even just two to three years ago.

Cable internet access has been and is more widely available than fiber. To get a fiber connection, you need to have what we call a "lit building." But as fiber has gained more popularity as the go-to internet connection for businesses, it's becoming easier and easier to get connected.

Atlantech Online alone has over 230 lit buildings in 19 different cities in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Business Fiber is a Catalyst for Innovation and Long-Term Strategic Success

Two advantages of fiber vs cable internet stand out for the impact they can have on the future of your business:

  • Bandwidth potential: today's business fiber connectivity serves as a suitable foundation for more data-intensive technologies. Bandwidth-hungry applications and business tools will continue to proliferate, meaning scalability for bandwidth will be at a premium.
  • Symmetrical speeds: the collaborative tools of tomorrow demand symmetrical upload and download speeds. Video conferencing, real-time collaboration, and cloud-based applications flourish when supported by fiber's symmetrical speeds. Atlantech's commitment to delivering such speeds positions businesses not just for today but for the collaborative work environments of the future.

Fiber vs Cable Internet: You’ve Seen Why Fiber Internet is Better than Cable. Now What?

While organizational information technology needs can vary drastically, the advantages of fiber optic Internet are making it an increasingly common choice for business data transmission. 

Companies who choose to invest in fiber typically find that the total cost of ownership, bandwidth potential, and speed gains are noticeable.

After selecting fiber over cable, the next decision is WHO to choose as your business fiber Internet connectivity provider. To get this right, you need to ensure you're asking the right questions. 

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 Collins
Post by Tom Collins
March 28, 2024
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.