Last updated by Isabel M
1. Fiber Optic vs Copper
In order to consistently bring you super fast Internet, we use fiber optic cable. On the most basic level, fiber optic cable costs more than the copper wires that DSL and coaxial (cable) connections use.
2. No U-Turns...or Any Turns
Laying fiber optic cable presents some unique challenges and most of the cost of a fiber connection is associated with laying and installing it.
One of these is that the light beam traveling on a fiber optic cable needs to travel in a relatively straight line. While you can coil copper into spirals, squares or any shape or direction that you want to, it's best to avoid doing anything besides going straight when laying fiber optic cable. This means it takes significantly more cable to get around a corner to avoid making a sharp turn.
This "straight line" requirement also makes it more time consuming to lay fiber optic internet to bring it to your home or business.
3. Better Over Distance
While installation and the cost of fiber optic cable are challenges that contribute to the higher cost of fiber, one of the advantages of fiber is that it does really well over long distances in a way that copper does not. Signal that travels over a DSL or cable connection gets weaker over distance, so the speed of your Internet is dependent on how close you are to the place it's coming from. Seeing as it takes under a second for light to travel around the world, your distance from the origin point of a fiber Internet signal won't affect your speed in anywhere close to the same way that it does with a copper connection.
4. Better Over the Long Term
Currently fiber optic cable is more expensive than copper wire, but it tends suffer less downtime since it's not affected by a lot of the environmental factors that can make copper less reliable. These environmental factors include fire hazard, temperature fluctuations or electromagnetic interference. This decreased requirement for maintenance makes it less costly over time.