For as much as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the American economy and general way of life for the past year, it is hard to fathom how our response to the coronavirus crisis would have been with advances across the country in high-speed fiber optic network Internet.
In 2010 when a National Broadband Plan was formulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the average download speed in the United States was a pedestrian 4.1 Mbps.
“Even without foreseeing the impact of the pandemic, we envisioned a future that would require a broadband sufficient enough to handle the demands of mass telework, remote learning, and streaming entertainment,” wrote Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Blair Levin. “A decade ago, we knew that the lack of abundant and affordable bandwidth would constrain economic growth and social progress, putting American leadership in the global information economy at risk.”
Fortunately, work-from-home and online education was possible in 2020 as businesses and consumers were able to take advantage of high-speed fiber optic network Internet after 2018 and 2019 were “record years for fiber deployment in the United States” according to the FCC.
Productivity was surprisingly high in the new work-from-home environment with Zoom meetings and cloud-based applications able to take advantage of average download speeds in the U.S. that were 182.69 last month, according to speedtest.net.
A big reason for that jump of 4,454 percent in download speed is the increasing reach of high-speed fiber optic network Internet.
High-Speed Fiber Optic Network Internet: Moving Data at the Speed of Light
High-speed fiber optic network Internet can move data at the speed of light, literally, as the cables are made of strands of glass.
“Each glass strand acts as a conduit for light signals that relay digital code from one end to the other,” says high speedinternet.com in their guide to fiber. “This technology allows for Internet speeds far beyond what you get from DSL or cable because each fiber optic line can carry multiple signals at top speeds simultaneously.”
High-speed fiber optic network Internet is the basis for an ongoing digital transformation that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic with businesses able to take advantage of bandwidth of 40G and 100G.
A Pew Research Center study found that 86 percent of expert respondents believe that bandwidth increases will be utilized in the next five years for major new applications, with health care and education sectors benefiting the most.
How Fiber Differs From DSL and Cable
While fiber transmits Internet signals via light pulses, DSL and cable use copper wires to transmit Internet signals via electrical signals. The fiber optic light signals are faster and more efficient than the older copper technology with less signal interference and degradation over long distances.
High-speed fiber optic cables also have the advantage of being thinner than copper wires with more strands able to fit into a single cable, allowing for greater network bandwidth and less traffic congestion.
Benefits of High-Speed Fiber Optic Network Internet
High-speed fiber optic network Internet has many advantages over DLS and cable with the main fiber benefits being:
- Faster Speeds: Fiber offers faster download speeds and extremely faster upload speeds.
- Lower Latency: Fiber networks have less latency which translates into less lag on Zoom calls and other applications.
- Better Reliability: Fiber signals do not degrade over distance or time and offer enough bandwidth to prevent network congestion.
PS Lightwave’s Senior Director of Network Engineering, Swen Wulf, also says, “As fiber optic technology is more durable, it's also expected to last longer than cable or DSL infrastructure. Cable or DSL service infrastructure will degrade over time, eventually being replaced with advanced, cutting-edge technologies such as fiber optics.”
Business customers can especially benefit from high-speed fiber optic network Internet.
“For businesses, fiber optic services provide superior levels of scalability, especially as more businesses start to rely upon cloud-based and web-based services,” said Wulf.
How Fast is High-Speed Fiber Optic Network Internet?
High-speed fiber optic network Internet speed plans routinely offer 1GB (1,000 Mbps) bandwidth which is plenty fast for work-from-home conference calls, remote learning, movie streaming and game playing.
Businesses can take advantage of even faster speeds with PS Lightwave offering customers speeds up to 40G and 100G.
“With increase in data center and cloud computing technologies, the demand for bandwidth speeds of 40G to 100G Ethernet is growing steadily for carriers and other data consumers,” writes Angelina Twain.
The scalability of high-speed fiber optic Internet allows for users to expand their bandwidth as their needs grow and that is occurring quite quickly with digital tools from IoT to VR.
“Right now, tens of millions of Americans are engaging in a massive experiment in broadband usage. We will need even more bandwidth to handle future applications,” says Levin.
Houston Area Has High-Speed Fiber Optic Internet Options
One of the biggest drawbacks of high-speed fiber optic network Internet is that it is not available everywhere, especially in rural America.
Availability, however, is not a problem in the Houston area which has high-speed fiber optic Internet options including PS Lightwave’s 5,500 fiber route miles in the greater Houston area.
Contact PS Lightwave today to find out how the largest privately-owned fiber optic Internet network in the country can help your greater Houston business or organization.