What Are Fiber Optics?
Fiber optics are long, thin strands of glass roughly the diameter of a human hair. They are arranged in bundles that create a fiber optic “cable” and use light instead of electricity to carry a signal. These light signals represent data, which is capable of traveling at the speed of light. Fast Fact: One bundle of fiber optic cable, not much thicker than a pencil, can carry ALL of the world’s current communications traffic. (Source: FTTH Council)
How Do Fiber Optics Work?
To understand how fiber optics work, imagine yourself looking through a flexible plastic pipe several miles long, with the inside surface of the pipe coated with a perfect mirror. At the other end, a friend turns on a flashlight and shines it into the pipe. Because the interior of the pipe is a perfect mirror, the flashlight’s beam will reflect off the sides of the pipe (even though the pipe may curve and twist), and you will see it at the other end. If your friend were to turn the flashlight on and off, your friend could communicate with you through the pipe. This is the essence of how a fiber optic cable works.
What is Fiber-to-the-Home?
Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) is the installation and use of fiber optical cable directly to your home. Fast Fact: Vermont was ranked as having the fastest in Internet connection speeds in the nation according to the Akamai 4Q 2012 State of Industry Report; Vermont was rated second in the world in connection speeds only behind South Korea. That’s good for Vermont commerce, education, healthcare, and your home.
Why is FTTH important to me?
Fiber technology is unique because it can carry massive amounts of information over long distances without signal degradation. This is sometimes called “high bandwidth” communications. Copper can also carry high bandwidth, but only for a few hundred yards, after which the signal begins to degrade. Connecting homes directly to fiber optic cables instead of copper enables homes to receive greater amounts of bandwidth, and in turn, enhanced products and services. You can be sure these leaps into next-generation Internet services will inspire further innovations that we haven’t yet imagined.
What is a Gigabit connection?
One gigabit-per-second (Gbps) is a 1,000 megabitper-second (Mbps) connection. A gigabit is 100 times faster than the average Internet connection that most Americans have today, enabling you to get what you want instantaneously. You no longer have to wait for pages to load, or for buffering; it will be all ready to go when you are. So whether you are video chatting, uploading family videos, or playing your favorite games online, all you need to do is click and you’re there.
Why do I need a Gigabit and how will I notice the difference?
VTel GigE Gigabit Internet service makes everything you already do online up to 100x faster. No more waiting. But Gigabit Internet will also revolutionize the web in ways we haven’t imagined yet. Imagine chatting with your doctors or teachers via HD videoconference, or collaborating on a work or school project with contributors across the globe in real time, without delays. Imagine new online applications that don’t freeze. Imagine automatically saving all of your work, photos, and music in the VTel Data Barn, in a blink of an eye—and never having to worry about losing files to a computer crash again. A VTel GigE Internet connection is the online experience of the future. And in Vermont, it’s happening today.
Advantages of Fiber-to-the-Home
Greater Capacity and Reliability. Today’s homeowners are using technologies that require more and more bandwidth, like VTelevision, content streaming to multiple devices, file sharing, gaming, and home monitoring systems. Fiber optics is the only technology that can keep up with these bandwidth demands.
Cost-Effective. Data on a fiber optic cable can travel many miles in a split-second—at the speed of light, in fact. This speed allows a more cost-effective method to transmit large amounts of data to everyone’s homes, between homes, and around the world.
Secure. Voice and data transmissions via fiber are more secure than when they are sent over conventional copper cable connections. The use of fiber eliminates the ability to tap, or eavesdrop, through contact with the delivery system.
Future-Proof. Once installed, fiber is easily upgraded by changing the electronics that create the light pulses, and not replacing the cable itself. That’s why fiber networks are said to be “future-proof”.
Adds Value to Your Home. A recent report showed that having a GigE fiber optic connection can add as much as $5,000 to your home’s value.*
*RVA, LLC Homeowner and Developer Survey and Research commissioned by the FTTH Council, 2009.