One of the most common questions we get asked is whether or not you need fiber internet service as compared to conventional cable internet. Perhaps the top three reasons you’d want fiber is the incredible speed increase, the high reliability, and the future proofing element fiber gives. We want to help you understand the key benefits that come from being connected to fiber, both short term and long term. In this post, we’ll be focusing primarily on properties like condos, apartments, business and commercial spaces, and other higher density locations.
When you’re shopping for internet, you’ve probably seen where conventional Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will advertise their services as “up to” a certain speed. In addition, they usually only show you the download speed of your service until you start digging to find the upload speed. Download speeds are easy to understand as that’s how fast a web page loads or whether you can stream Netflix or not, but upload speeds are equally important as that dictates the performance of things like video conferencing, file sharing and uploads, online gaming, and much more.
Having a download of 100Mbp/s (Megabits per second) often only gets you a maximum upload speed of around 30Mbp/s. Another caveat to this is that download and upload speeds on cable internet are generally not guaranteed or sustained for more than a few seconds at a time. That’s where the “up to” phrase we mentioned earlier starts to show itself.
Here at Vista Fiber, we’re able to offer dedicated internet speeds that come as close as possible to what you're pay for. Pay for 100, get 100. It’s really as simple as that. Not only that, but our fiber internet service is synchronous, meaning that if you pay for 100Mbp/s download, you also get 100Mbp/s upload.
Where the speed increase again starts to show itself is that most conventional cable ISPs offer a maximum speed off about 300Mbp/s, where as fiber is capable of 1,000Mbp/s and beyond. You might think “Oh I definitely don’t need anything close to that" which might be true in certain cases, but there are many instances where having this extra capacity is not only needed, but is also expected by your tenants and guests.
As online streaming and online applications for business have become more ubiquitous, average internet usage has increased dramatically. Each of us have numerous “smart” devices like phones, tablets, and computers so numerous simultaneous connections are not uncommon. Having the extra speed that fiber can offer helps guarantee you have happy guests as a property manager, your business is never wasting time dealing with slow connections, and even during the heaviest times of demand, there is still more speed to spare.
The reliability of fiber internet is something that often becomes apparent when cable service is disrupted. When there is an outage with a conventional ISP, it often affects a huge portion of the customer base in that geographic area, sometimes spreading over a radius of 25+ miles. Outages can occur from natural phenomenon like lightning strikes, construction mishaps like someone physically severing a cable, or utility poles being knocked down along the side of the road. There are a number of ways that fiber internet solves these reliability woes.
From the standpoint of physical setup, fiber internet is designed to be reliable in that it’s configured in what are known as “rings.” These rings are effectively massive loops of fiber that surround a central fiber line the ground. Think of drawing overlapping circles with a line directly through the center with branches off that center line. You could travel on multiple paths to get to your destination. In this way, the fiber connection ensures every customer’s signal on it has multiple paths to get to or from it’s intended location, regardless of network conditions.
If a line on one of those rings is served, the fiber signal is able to re-route itself automatically and with no apparent degradation in service. Cable is simply not able to do this, which is why outages are much more pronounced and tend to affect more customers at once.
From an individual reliability perspective, fiber is much more resilient to natural phenomenon like lightning strikes or interference from other electrical sources. Fiber internet is actually pulses of light travelling inside the cable, where as cable internet is actually copper inside the cable carrying an electrical pulse. This means fiber internet doesn’t suffer from the same risk of a lightning strike zapping the line and killing devices, as compared to cable. If you’re a property manager, imagine how many upset calls you’d receive if on a rainy day in the middle of the season the internet went down for any length of time.
Some of our business customers also switch to fiber internet as their primary day to day internet service and keep their cable internet as backup when downtime is simply not an option. This helps ensure up-time in the incredibly unlikely event that their fiber service goes down.
Investment & Future Proofing
While getting your organization connected to fiber internet can sometimes be more costly than starting service with a conventional ISP, fiber once again shines through as the clear winner. Fiber internet is commonplace enough that most people understand it’s “better” than cable and is a new and emerging technology. To your own benefit, this helps become a selling point for you as a property manager to your potential tenants and guests.
Many of our clients are property managers, HOAs, or CAMs that bundle our services into their dues and resell it to their owners. We consistently see this as a way for you to continue optimizing your offerings and stay competitive in the market for both owners and guests.
From the perspective of a business owner, it’s easy to see how the continued evolution of many common software products to internet based platforms requires more and more internet capacity and fiber is here for the long haul. As the needs of your organization grows, so does the capacity of your internet service.
Cable has been commonplace for over 25 years now and fiber is really only starting to breakthrough as a major player. In this way, you are effectively future proofing your organization and positioning yourself ahead of the curve.
We hope this information helps you understand why fiber internet is a great alternative to conventional internet service. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to schedule a sit down meeting and we look forward to working with you!