Your internet speed depends on how much data the infrastructure can handle.
Fiber-optic internet lines transfer data using modulated light instead of electricity, which gives them much higher bandwidth capacity, since they’re not bound by the physical limitations of electricity conducting through metal.
Fiber internet connections work at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second—literally 100 times faster than those old copper wire connections.
Traditional copper wires used by DSL and cable internet were originally intended to transmit voice only, though, so they’re limited in the amount of data they can handle.
As of December 2017, the federal government’s National Broadband comparison tool showed that fiber-optic lines are available to just over 30% of the population.2 This is much less than the 90% availability of both DSL and cable internet (though some speeds are not available in all areas).
One of the reasons that DSL and cable internet options are both so widely available is that they’re able to use the existing copper wire infrastructure installed for phones and cable television. This way, customers don’t have to wait for new network build-outs.
Fiber-optic lines are much newer technology and so they require all-new infrastructure construction. Fiber internet companies will need to absorb the initial cost for fiber internet installation, which is a financial risk, so that explains fiber’s limited availability.
Select Communications Advisors can find the best suited Internet option, no matter your location!