Officially cut your cable cord? Welcome to the world of streaming. You might think your biggest challenge is figuring out which show to binge next. But even more important: Can your internet service handle the bandwidth increase streaming demands, all at the speeds you need?
Streaming a show on, say, Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ requires a reliable internet connection. Your current network may not be able to deliver speedy streaming service on top of all the other jobs it has to do. This could be what propels you to switch your internet service to fiber. Simply put, if it’s available where you live, fiber can make all the difference.
Fiber is a different way to send signals
Cable and satellite services make their way to you via coaxial cables or communications satellites. Today you might have just enough speed and bandwidth to do tasks like check emails, watch occasional short YouTube videos and scroll through Facebook.
Downloading and watching constant streams of videos, especially in high definition, or watching live streams of action-packed sports is an entirely different game. And once you and members of your household start streaming regularly, you’re going to need a connection that can handle the increased use.
What makes fiber work?
Data is transferred at the speed of light along fiber-optic lines made of tiny pieces of fiberglass. Data moves almost at the speed of light along those cables (as opposed to the slower speed of electricity along cable and copper phone lines). If it sounds futuristic, it’s because it kind of is. And fiber is simply the fastest option out there.
Downloads are transformed After your fiber installation, downloads will come to your home practically at the speed of light. Got a 2-hour movie to download? Depending on your location, it can be ready to go in about 85 seconds or under.
Uploads match downloads Where fiber really shines, though, is its high speed for upload times. Streamers and multi-player gamers rely on bandwidth and upload speed to avoid buffering, since they’re not necessarily downloading entire files. Rather, they’re watching those files in real time as they get uploaded to their screens. Fiber can upload content as fast as 1000 Megabits per second (Mbps).
What about homes full of active streamers?
We’re willing to bet that your network is feeling the heat a lot more these days. You might be relying on your home internet connection to stay strong during long Zoom chats, download huge files that you would normally do on your office’s network, stream virtual classrooms, or blast Spotify for your at-home soundtrack. Maybe you and your roommates used to have different schedules but are suddenly all trying to watch Hulu on your own devices at the same time, or perhaps your teenagers have to stay home and eat up your wi-fi rather than maxing out their data plans.
Fiber can keep up. Thanks to its infrastructure, making its wires resilient and able to handle vast amounts of data transfer smoothly, your bandwidth gets a giant bump, and you don’t have to assign dedicated streaming time to every member of your family.
Waiting for the catch?
Fiber only has one: it’s not available everywhere throughout the U.S. Check with your local internet provider to find out if fiber is already at your doorstep or coming soon.