There’s a reason why fiber optic internet is making waves in the business world. In a market where connectivity and technological solutions are constantly evolving, many businesses are looking for network solutions that are extremely fast, reliable, and secure.
This is where fiber optic internet for businesses comes in. A fiber optic internet connection can offer a massive amount of benefits to companies, consumers, and landlords alike. In the context of business, however, fiber optic internet has significantly more benefits than downsides. This type of technology is quite new, especially when compared to broadband internet. Many companies have found much greater returns on their initial investment with fiber internet.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about fiber optic internet so you can make a more informed decision on how well it will mesh with your business.
Everything You Need to Know About Fiber Optic Internet for Business
To start, let’s break down exactly what fiber optic internet actually is.
What is Fiber Optic Internet?
Fiber optic internet is a type of internet connection that utilizes unique cables to provide internet service from one’s chosen internet provider. This type of internet is considered by many in the tech world to be the fastest internet option around today, as it provides incredible speed that is significantly faster than what other types of networks can endure.
How Does Fiber Optic Internet Work?
The cables used for fiber optic internet are designed to convert signals that carry data into light. This light transfers data much more effectively and with little in the way of interference when compared to signals that are sent via copper lines and cables. This light also is transferred through a glass core inside of each cable, thus transmitting data with much more speed than cable wires and other such methods of data transfer via a network.
Fiber optic internet uses special cables made from two different materials called Lit fiber and dark fiber. Liter fiber optic cables must be paid for to access since they would already be considered live and are able to provide internet to customers. Dark fiber cables, on the other hand, would involve the infrastructure that exists but is not yet being used. Ultimately, you can work with your internet provider to discover which option is better for your business, but dark fiber is usually a bit more expensive when it comes to installation, equipment, and activation.
Cables used in fiber optic internet are ultrathin, meaning they are smaller in width than the hair on your head. Outside of the glass core that serves as the main light “freeway” the exterior of the cable is covered in a secure layer of plastic through a process known as cladding. This makes it possible for the signals to get to their destination without getting lost.
How Does One Install Fiber Internet for Businesses?
Fiber optic internet is offered by fiber optic internet companies and vendors, as well as one’s internet provider. Most internet providers have a business-specific fiber optic internet option.
There are two main components to fiber optic internet installation. The construction elements inside your company and the construction elements outside your company are the main components. Because fiber optic cables are buried underneath the ground (though some can be hung), the overall infrastructure must be perfected before your company can connect to the network.
Before installation begins, it is your responsibility to find whether or not your geographic location is even serviced by fiber optic internet providers. A quick Google search will show any fiber optic internet providers that are present in your area. Typically, an ISP will determine whether or not your business location is eligible for fiber optic internet by taking your ZIP code, surrounding neighborhood, and address into consideration.
If your business is eligible, you can simply schedule an installation. Businesses can choose between dedicated or shared fiber internet. Dedicated fiber optic connections are specialized and only used by your company. A shared fiber optic connection, which is usually cheaper, splits internet service between your business and nearby businesses in your area.
Is Fiber Internet Fast?
To put it simply: Yes! Fiber optic internet is extremely fast. This type of connection can easily reach speeds up to 940 megabits per second with almost no lag time. Light is literally used to transfer data, which results in data being sent at a rate of about 70% the speed of light. Traditional broadband connections simply can’t cut it when compared to fiber optic internet networks.
Is Fiber Optic Internet for Business Expensive?
Your final cost for fiber internet will vary quite a bit. Your ISP, your minimum overall guaranteed speed, and your geographic location are all potential factors. Prices also vary quite a bit. Choosing a shared network could result in prices as low as $25 per month. Those who run larger businesses that require heftier networks can pay upwards of $170 per month. There are also a number of additional costs to consider, including the potential installation fees, cost of equipment, or rental equipment. While this does get a bit pricey, the benefits greatly outweigh the downsides when you compare fiber optic internet to other broadband options.
Fiber Optic Internet vs. Cable, Dial-Up, and DSL
There are many differences between fiber optic internet and other forms of internet.
To start, cable internet uses coaxial cables that are usually used to send television signals. These cables use copper to send electrical currents that transmit information from your ISP to your company. This is probably the most widespread form of internet connection out there for both businesses and homeowners. Because most places already have cable hookups, installation is incredibly simple. Unfortunately, despite being fairly fast, cable internet simply does not match fiber optic internet. Just as well, download and upload speeds are rarely equal with cable internet. Fiber optic internet is well-known for having identical download and upload speeds.
Fiber optic internet also knocks dial-up out of the water. Dial-up internet will use phone cables, while fiber optic internet will use unique dedicated cables to transfer data. Dial-up is very obsolete at this point, as it is one of the very first technologies out there that made it possible to connect to the internet and is, thus, the slowest option. Dial-up modems rarely support speeds over 50 kilobytes per second.
Fiber optic internet is also a superior choice to DSL. This type of internet was quite popular upon its introduction. DSL made it possible to use a landline phone and the internet at once, which wasn’t done before. As a result, businesses that relied on the internet were able to really thrive. Fiber optic internet, though, offers this and speeds much faster than DSL’s maximum 6 megabytes per second.
The Top Benefits of Fiber Optic Internet for Business
There are so many fantastic benefits to using fiber optic internet for business. A few pros include the following:
Speed. Fiber optic internet is simply the fastest out there. It’s several times faster than the best of the best in copper connections. Even during periods of high traffic or demand, it’s unlikely anyone at your company will notice slow speeds. With an internet connection that can topple 100 gigabytes per second.
- Security. Fiber optic cables are extremely secure and almost impossible to hack. Copper and coax lines can be hacked. A fiber optic network, though, can’t be “tapped” or hacked in this way, because the fiber optic cable would have to be cut-- if a fiber optic cable is cut, the entire system crashes. Just as well, even though DOCSIS cable modems and Passive Optical Networks are shared among other businesses, dedicated fiber optic connections are business-specific and are not shared with other provider customers, which adds an even more secure element to fiber optics.
- Scalability. Fiber optic internet is super easy to scale when compared to other forms of internet connections. In general, internet service providers can easily upgrade the data transfer speed of a fiber network with just one chat with a customer. This makes it easy to meet your business’s needs as it scales. Having additional bandwidth at your disposal and fiber optic internet speed can also benefit your secondary devices within your business that will improve your business as it grows, such as printers, POS machines, fax machines, kiosks and terminals, and much more. With a fiber optic connection, there’s plenty of bandwidth and superior speed available to support every device that a company has today, while also being ideal for your future devices.
- Cloud. Cloud access is one of the best things about fiber optic internet. When you need a place to store your CRM or whole swaths of customer data, using cloud computing is an excellent and secure way to do so. Cloud computing is far from new, either. Over 95% of businesses and organizations use cloud computing in some way. Fiber optic internet can make it speedier and easier to access data that is stored on the cloud. Just as well, your company will experience notably fewer delays in accessing data hosted on the cloud, which means that your sales team won’t have to face as many delays when it comes to communication with customers.
- Reliability. Fiber optic internet is stronger than the typical copper or coaxial cables that are usually used to support DSL or cable-based internet. As a result, fiber optic cables are much less likely to be damaged unless the cable is explicitly cut. Fiber optic internet connections were designed to be futureproof. In fact, some prototypes have been in use for over three decades.
- Costs and fees. Fiber optic networks have a much more complex and sophisticated installation process when compared to copper or coax networks. Because of this, these networks will, unfortunately, come with initial installation costs, especially if there is no existing line available already. Luckily, like with any other revolutionary technology, the typical cost of fiber optic internet installation will reduce over time as it matures and evolves. Fiber optic internet is much more reliable than other types of internet, and fiber has significantly fewer maintenance costs to consider. Network hardware is also notably few and far between when compared to the complex hardware needs of DSL and broadband internet. The long-term savings are very attractive for small businesses and startups.
- Latency. In the context of fiber optic internet, latency refers to the often frustrating delay in data transmission time between two endpoints. Latency is a common problem with many types of internet networks. When it comes to a fiber optic network, the network signal is transmitted via light and glass, so signals will travel faster-- approximately at 70% at the speed of light. This results in significantly fewer issues with latency, and some fiber optic network users have reported a complete lack of latency.
- Intercession. A fiber optic network is clearly the best choice for companies that are close to, or create themselves, high-frequency sounds. It is also a great choice for those with heavy electrical machinery on their premises. Such companies often have to deal with constant electromagnetic interference and intercession in such locations, and these interruptions can significantly degrade copper or coax signals. Fiber optic networks, on the other hand, are completely unaffected by electromagnetic interference.
Clearly, fiber optic internet is going to change the way businesses connect with each other and consumers in the near future! Companies must be able to keep up with new technology as it comes and goes, but it looks like fiber optic internet is here to stay for quite a while.