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    Fiber Internet 101 and Its Growth In The US

    Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, high-speed internet connections have already become a necessity for everyone. But when almost every sector shifted to digital due to the COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing protocols, it emphasized the need for a faster internet connection for education, career, medicine, entertainment, and more. You may have heard of it and even used it, but what really makes fiber internet better than other options?

    In this article, we will discuss all essential information about fiber internet and its growth in the United States.

    What Is Fiber Internet?

    Fiber-optic internet, or fiber internet, or simply fiber, is the latest technology used to transmit information through strands of plastic fibers or thin glass. This broadband connection is considered superior due to its speed of up to 940 Megabits per second (Mbps), sending data as quickly as around 70% of the speed of light. Additionally, fiber optic cable is not as easily affected by severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain or storm, as other traditional cables, providing the users with reliable and consistent high-speed internet connection.

    Fiber Internet vs Other Internet Connections

    With many internet options available, it can be confusing to tell which connection is better for you. Of course, there are various factors to consider before choosing one, such as your location, budget, and needs. Here, you will understand the differences between fiber internet and other internet connections.

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    Dial-up
    Dial-up internet uses an existing telephone line and analog modem to access the internet and transfer data. The average speed of this internet connection is around 56Kbps or 0.05Mbps for uploading and downloading. Unfortunately, you can’t use the internet and the phone simultaneously because they use the same line.

    DSL
    Digital subscriber line or commonly called DSL internet also involves the use of telephone lines to transfer data from one point to another. However, it utilizes inaudible frequency, unlike dial-up, so it doesn’t clash with your phone service. The average speed you can get from DSL is around 1-100Mbps and up to 20Mbps for uploading.

    Cable
    Cable internet is a broadband connection that uses the same line as your cable TV service, known as the coaxial cable. The speed cable internet offers ranges from an average of 940Mbps for downloading and 50Mbps for uploading. It is a decent internet service with fast and reliable speeds, but some cable companies require long years of contract for you to be qualified to avail.

    Satellite
    Besides dial-up, satellite internet is usually the only option for people living in rural areas. It uses a satellite dish instead of phone lines or cable lines. However, this type of internet connection is generally not as fast as DSL or cable and is usually easily obstructed by trees and buildings. So even though it’s not the best choice, it is still better than having no internet connection.

    Benefits of Fiber Internet

    It’s understandable that we’ve had a fair share of stress and disappointment with our internet service providers. But, having a fiber optic internet connection entails numerous benefits, especially if you seek convenience and reliability. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from fiber internet.

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    High speed – Fiber internet is considered the gold standard of high-speed internet connection due to its exceptional speed compared to its competition. So, for instance, if you were to download a 2-hour 1080p movie, it will only take around 40 seconds to a minute with fiber internet. But with a DSL, you’ll have to wait 30 minutes. If you have 4G LTE, you’ll need around 25 minutes, and with cable internet, you’ll wait about 7 minutes.

    Similar download and upload speed – Compared to cable internet, fiber internet offers the same upload and download speeds. Therefore, it makes everything a lot easier, from transferring files to your workmates or classmates without waiting for hours.

    Low latency – Latency, lag, or ping can dictate how your gameplay will turn out, like in League of Legends or DOTA 2. With fiber internet, you’ll have lower latency than other internet connections, allowing you to have better gameplays with your family and friends.

    Better streaming – No one likes to watch their favorite series and movies on Netflix or other streaming platforms with the lowest video quality and countless buffering throughout the show. Having fiber internet gives you the HD entertainment you deserve at home.

    Reliable connection – A high-speed internet is reliable in all ways possible, whether there is an emergency at home or you need to consult with your physician via telemedicine. The convenience, reliability, and security fiber internet provides can help you get rid of unnecessary worries you’re carrying on a daily basis.

    Fiber Internet Growth in the US

    The demand for fiber internet is continuously growing in the United States. According to the study performed by RVA Market Research & Consulting on behalf of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), over 60 million residential properties in the USA are connected to fiber internet. In 2021, 6.9 million homes were connected to fiber optic internet for the first time, representing the 2nd biggest growth year for Fiber to the Home (FTTH,) just a little behind 2020, with 7.2 million newly connected houses.

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    As stated by the FBA in their press release, if all federal infrastructure funding is allocated to fiber deployment, it is possible that in the next five years, there will be more fiber deployed compared to the fiber deployed to date. Therefore, if the projection were to happen, the initial US FTTH build would be nearly completed by the end of the decade.

    Conclusion

    Fiber internet is a reliable internet connection that offers incredible upload and download speeds for home or business use. With the growing demand for this internet connection, it’s only essential to allocate a significant amount for fiber deployment in the US for the years to come. The digital divide in the United States is affecting many people, and it must be addressed immediately to give the underserved areas more opportunities for growth and development.

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