Fiber Optic Internet vs. Cable Internet

Fiber Optic vs. Cable Internet

Which type of service should you select: Fiber optic or cable Internet?

What’s the difference?

Fiber optic Internet uses cutting edge technology. Information is sent via small, flexible strands of glass that transmit light. This allows data to be sent faster over greater distances.

Traditional cable Internet uses cable TV infrastructure to transmit data. Although cable Internet does not interfere with your television, you may have to share the connection with your neighbors.

Most phone service companies also offer cable Internet. It’s accessible by almost anyone in any area. There are fewer fiber optic-based Internet service providers on the market. Not all fiber optic networks reach all cities and neighborhoods, although that footprint is expanding. Learn more about where AT&T plans to bring its fastest fiber optic network next.

Which is faster and more reliable?

Fiber optic Internet sends data faster than basic cable. It’s delivered on a dedicated line, which facilitates more consistent speed than cable. This is true even during peak usage times.

Often, fiber optic Internet is considered more reliable. It is immune to many of the conditions that cable Internet is susceptible to.

  • Fiber optic Internet is less likely to go down during a power outage.
  • Because fiber optic Internet is made of glass, there is no electricity involved. This protects it against interference from nearby power lines or high voltage electrical equipment. This also helps reduce the risk of fire.
  • The private network installed to your home makes fiber optic Internet harder to hack.
  • Fiber can withstand more temperature fluctuations than cable. It can also be submerged in water.

What’s the cost?

Fiber optic Internet service can be more expensive than basic cable Internet. The price gap has shrunk, though. More providers now offer a fiber optic option. It’s becoming more cost-efficient to install fiber optic networks than to maintain antiquated copper systems.


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