You Can Find Out if Your Home Is Fiber-Ready (We’ll Show You How)
Are you one of the lucky ones? If your home is ready for fiber, you sure are.
While fiber internet availability is increasing every day, many people don’t realize their home or neighborhood has actually been outfitted with fiber optic cable either from a previous or current provider. Not sure if that’s you—or what fiber internet will do for you? Here’s a breakdown of why the future is fiber, and how to find out if you’re closer to that future than you ever realized.
How to know if your home has fiber internet
Take these steps to find out if you’re already wired for fiber:
1. See if you have an Optical Network Terminal. Fiber networks require an optical network terminal, or ONT. It’s a box where the fiber connection enters your home, powering your Wi-Fi network. It’s installed either inside or outside your home. Check outside walls, garage, basement and closets. If you locate an ONT, it may be outdated, and you’ll still need a technician to install and bring the Ethernet cable and proper router to your home.
2. If you don’t see an ONT, and believe you may have fiber, check with your current provider. A technician from your internet service provider (ISP) can come to your home to help. If you don’t have fiber service, the ISP may be able to give you more information about why not or tell you about their plans to build out fiber.
3. Find the provider with a fiber plan. If your current ISP isn’t offering fiber right now, it’s possible that another provider in your area is. You can find all the providers available in your area by entering your address in a service like WhistleOut. On ISP websites, you can check to see if it’s available near you.
The fiber benefits you’re waiting for
Why is fiber internet so much better than cable? In short, it’s faster, more reliable, more supportive for multiple users at once and the best option for streaming entertainment.
- Faster – Fiber internet travels on dedicated fiber optic cables via light, rather than on copper cables via electricity. The combination of light and fiber optic cables is better equipped to carry signals significantly farther and faster than copper.
- More bandwidth – Along with fast speed, fiber gives you greater capacity, so your connection can handle more data.
- Matching upload and download speeds – Working from home requires top upload speeds for video conference calls, backing up files to the cloud, sending emails with attachments and using applications like Google Docs. Only fiber offers equally fast download and upload speeds.
- More reliable – Unlike copper, fiber optic cables are resistant to weather changes. Its insulation against outside interference helps make it the most reliable network available.
This all adds up! Think about how much connection you’re using right now—maybe you’re reading this on your phone, while streaming music via your Alexa speaker in the background and enjoying a home temperature controlled by your smart thermostat.
And that’s just you! Maybe other people in your household are simultaneously streaming a movie, hopping on a Zoom call, using an app to get in a quick workout or playing a game on their Nintendo Switch.
What if you don’t have fiber?
If it’s not in your neighborhood yet, you can reach out to providers near you and let them know you would switch to fiber if it were available. Because the network is so expensive and labor intensive to install, providers have to make decisions about where the investment would be most worth their while.
The more requests they have for fiber, the more likely they’ll be to come to your neighborhood soon. In fact, if you join forces with your neighbors, landlords or a community board and contact a provider together, you may be able to show them they’ve got a new set of potential customers ready for fiber. You can all get wired for speed and bring a connected future into the here and now.
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