FAQs: Fiber-Optic Internet

What is the difference between DSL and fiber? 

Fiber-optic internet is an internet connection that transfers data via fiber-optic cables. “Fiber” refers to the thin glass wires inside the larger protective cable. “Optic” refers to the way the type of data is transferred; in this case, light signals. So a fiber-optic network is an internet network in which data is delivered in light signals via small, flexible glass wires.

DSL is an internet connection delivered via the type of lines used for landline telephones. The abbreviation stands for “Direct Subscriber Line.” Telephone lines are made mostly of copper. While copper is an ideal conductor, data cannot travel as quickly via telephone lines as it can with fiber-optic systems.

What is the difference in speed?

Fiber-optic networks can deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second that is the same as 1,000 megabits per second. The fastest DSL speed Whidbey Telecom offers is 50 Mbps.

Does download and upload speed matter?

Upload speeds represent the amount of data sent from your device to the internet in a given second. This impacts simple tasks such as sending emails and accessing cloud-based applications. Upload bandwidth is also consumed with each item seen on a web page.

Modern applications have placed a greater demand on upload bandwidth than ever before. Video conferencing, interactive learning, online gaming, high-definition live streaming, and voice over IP (VoIP) calls require a constant two-way communication. Even simple tasks like email or word processing programs are becoming more reliant on the cloud. Cloud-based storage for photographs and videos can max out a slow upload.

Most users tend to be more interested in how quickly they can receive data, as opposed to how long it takes to send data from their computer. However, it’s worth considering that a slow upload speed can delay the average browsing experience. Having to accommodate simultaneous uploads should be considered when deciding which internet service plan to go with.

Is there any added benefit to the value of my home if I have fiber?

Yes, actually, there is! The Fiber Broadband Association found that access to fiber increases a home’s value by 3.1%. The boost is roughly equivalent to that added by a fireplace, half a bathroom, or a quarter of a swimming pool. Fiber-equipped homes also sell and rent faster than average, according to surveys.