Learn About Fiber Internet

Fiber internet is widely considered to be the pinnacle of internet technology. It is fast, allows for symmetrical upload and download speeds and uses refracted light signals to transmit data faster than cable, DSL or satellite connections.

Nationwide Fiber Internet Providers

Where available, fiber internet is undoubtedly your best bet for quick connections and also the most reliable internet service type. And with fiber prices consistently decreasing as fiber-optic infrastructure expands, expect fiber’s availability and popularity to increase through 2022 and beyond.

*Note that fiber internet availability is limited. Find a Provider Near You

Excited for Nationwide Fiber Internet Providers
Fiber Internet Providers Available in Different Areas of America*
Provider Speed RangeStarting Price Range
Frontier9 - 2000 Mbps$32.99 - $149.99/mo.
AT&T300 - 5000 Mbps$55.00 - $180.00/mo.
Cox25 - 940 Mbps$29.99 - $99.99/mo.
Optimum300 - 5000 Mbps$40.00 - $180.00/mo.
CenturyLink100 - 940 Mbps$50.00 - $70.00/mo.
Windstream50 - 2000 Mbps$29.99 - $59.99/mo.

Pros and Cons of Fiber Internet

Fiber internet has its pros and cons. For its many advantages over its other internet type competitors, there are a couple glaring issues with fiber that may drive potential customers (and municipalities) away.

Fiber Internet Pros

Fiber internet consistently advertises the fastest speeds in the internet industry, with the slowest fiber speeds around 300 Mbps and the fastest being a whopping 5,000 Mbps (5 Gbps) in very limited areas. On average, fiber customers can see speeds ranging from 300 - 5000 which is many times faster than Americans’ current average internet speeds. Fiber-optic cables are also incredibly durable as they are made of a glass-and-plastic technology that allows for the transmission of light signals that stores data. This light signal data transfer allows for symmetrical upload and download speeds, meaning fiber customers experience the same download speed, around 500 Mbps, for example, as they do upload speed, about 500 Mbps for this example. Fiber internet is also very similarly priced to other internet types, meaning the only thing really holding a customer back from getting fiber internet is availability.

Fiber Internet Cons

Availability and installation costs are the two main issues with fiber internet. Fiber-optic cables are not cheap. If no fiber infrastructure is currently available in an area, it costs a community a lot of money for installation. Then, the actual cost to install the fiber connection to your home is also costly. Different types of fiber internet may be available in your community, so before you sign up it may be helpful to ask your service provider what exact type you would be receiving.

If fiber internet is available near you and your household would benefit greatly from a fiber-fast connection, it is definitely the best internet option.

Pros
  • Fastest speeds on the market
  • Most reliable internet technology
  • Symmetrical upload and download speeds
  • Relatively equally-priced to other internet types
Cons
  • Expensive to install in an area
  • Limited availability, though it is expanding constantly

Fiber Internet Compared to Other Internet Connection Types

All internet, no matter what kind of technology it is, does essentially the same thing – it sends signals through cables or lines over a long distance. Fiber is just better at doing this than cable, DSL or satellite. It can maintain its strength over long distances (up to 25 miles) compared to copper cables that are limited to only 328 feet or less using electrical signals.

Distance is important when it comes to internet because the farther the signal can reach, the more likely it is your signal will lag (other terms for this include buffer, delay, and more). Since fiber can reach for miles, the reliability of your signal is almost at 100%.

Fiber threads can fit into a single cable which makes the bandwidth wider and network congestion less likely to happen. This is good for (almost literally lightning fast) speed and overall signal.

Cable internet advertises speeds like 940 Mbps, which is the about the same as 1 Gig, but because fiber handles this speed a lot better, the true speeds you will be getting with cable would be less than fiber even though the advertised speeds are equal.

Households benefit greatly from a fiber connection

Do You Need Fiber Internet?

Households that depend on and love the internet would benefit greatly from a fiber connection. This means streaming, gaming, video conferencing, working and learning from home and more.

Consider getting fiber internet if any of the following points apply to your household:

  • Households with over five people that use the internet regularly
  • Streaming service lovers who love to binge watch hours of content every week
  • Students who learn from home
  • Home office workers who participate in video conferencing, online meetings and more
  • Hardcore gamers who need the best connections possible
  • Photographers who need the upload and download speeds in an efficient amount of time and resolution
  • YouTube or Facebook vloggers who need the upload speed for long videos and quick editing speeds

How much internet speed do you really need?

Use our risk-free internet speed recommendation form to get a personalized estimate—without supplying any personal information.

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How many devices are typically connected to the internet in your household at the same time?

Hint: Consider your usage of the following devices: Computers, phones, tablets, smart watches, smart home technology, and anything else that requires an internet connection.

How many members of your household might use the internet simultaneously?

Hint: Consider how many users will be trying to access the internet at the same time within your home. 

On average, how often do you or your family members use video calls?

Hint: Consider the many ways you might use video chats to communicate for things like school, work, meetings, sharing moments with long-distance friends or family, and more. Videoconferences can be held on Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or any number of other platforms.

How often do you typically stream music?

Hint: Consider the many platforms for listening to music online, such as Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music, etc.

How often do internet users in your home stream videos in high definition?

Hint: Consider the types of streaming usually enjoyed in your home. You might be able to tell if you’re viewing something in high definition by looking for any of the following terms: HD, UHD, 4K, 1080p, 2K, or high resolution.

How often do members of your household generally play online games?

Hint: Consider how people in your home like to game. Although some games played on a phone use internet, this question is really geared towards users who like to game through computers or gaming consoles.

See if You Qualify for a Discount With the Affordable Connectivity Program

If you want to save $360 per year on internet, then looking into the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) might be worth your time. Nobody should go without internet simply because they cannot afford it which is exactly why this program was created. Now, more than ever, companies everywhere are attempting to assist families and households in need in whatever way possible, ACP being one. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and this program provides citizens with a monthly stipend for internet services. Broadband customers on tribal lands could get up to $75 per month while those in other locations can save up to $30 per month on their internet. There is a strong chance you and your household could be eligible for this discount if you are enrolled in at least one of the following:

  • SNAP/Food Stamps
  • WIC
  • Lifeline
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Federal Pell Grant (during current award year)
  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch/Breakfast Program
  • Veteran’s Pension
  • Survivor’s Benefit
  • Other Federal Assistance Programs

You may also qualify for ACP stipends if your household’s total income is at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines. The ACP program will only be available for a limited time. You can also visit our informational page about the ACP guidelines to learn more about how you and your household can enjoy affordable internet access when you need it the most.

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Frequently asked questions

Is fiber internet better?

Out of all the internet technologies, fiber is the best in quality, speed and reliability.

Is fiber internet good for gaming?

It’s great for gaming – the latency is almost non-existent even while a bunch of people are using the internet.

Is 5G faster than fiber?

5G refers to wireless internet connectivity while fiber utilizes fiber-optic cables. They are both fast and the latest technologies in their respective internet connectivity fields. However, wired connections are usually more reliable than wireless connections.

What equipment is needed for fiber-optic internet?

A fiber internet connection uses essentially the same equipment as any other connection type. A fiber-optic cable is run from the nearest grid to your home via a true fiber connection or a cable connection. Within your home, you need a modem and a router for wireless connectivity for mobile devices.

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