December 14, 2021
8 Benefits of Fiber in Your Small Business
Fiber optic internet isn’t just about gaming, video conferences, and streaming at home (although those are great reasons to get it). The benefits of fiber extend to your small business, too. Here are 8 reasons your business is better with fiber.
One of the biggest benefits of fiber over the internet media, such as copper cable and DSL, is its unmatched reliability. Unlike other connections, fiber optics are not susceptible to many weather-related outages such as lightning and extreme temperatures. It is also less likely to be adversely affected by electronic interference or static that can cause hiccups in copper service because fiber is non-metallic and sends its signal via light pulses, not electricity.
While internet speeds have certainly increased dramatically from the old days of dial-up and 56.6 baud modems, if you’re still using a copper connection, your bandwidth will be severely limited. With fiber optics, however, your bandwidth is practically endless. In addition, thanks to the nature of sending light via glass versus electricity via copper, fiber offers more bandwidth. This means that you can send and receive more data at once, speeding up your connectivity and improving efficiency.
Along with higher bandwidth comes higher speed. Copper internet can’t keep up with the amazing speed fiber optics offers, especially when uploading. Typically, upload and download speeds are different, with more resources dedicated to download because that’s what you need the most. Often download speeds are 10x higher than upload speeds. However, fiber optics can supply symmetrical speeds, so upload and download are identical. Higher speeds mean you won’t have to wait for important data to reach you. This is especially important with the increase in video conferencing, where you won’t miss important information because the video paused at the worst time because of low upload speeds.
Stronger Signal Strength
One negative term often associated with the internet is signal loss, especially over great distances. Officially called “attenuation,” this weakening of the signal means the data you receive may be corrupted or incomplete by the time it reaches you, caused by the signal slowing down on its way to your computer, a common problem with copper internet connections. As data travels down copper, it weakens to the point where it needs periodic boosting to go even a few miles. Fiber optic has no such difficulties. Signal sent via fiber maintains a full-strength signal for over 100 miles without assistance, resulting in better data integrity.
Higher speeds, higher bandwidth, and stronger signal strength are all helped by reduced latency, an intrinsic characteristic of fiber optics, which experiences more consistent signal transmission than copper. See here for a more detailed explanation, but the summary version is that latency is the amount of time it takes for a signal from your computer to reach the server and return to your computer. The faster the speed, the less latency, and the cleaner the data is both coming and going.
Faster Cloud Access
Do you store your company data on a cloud server? You should, so you won’t lose everything if your computer or internal server crashes. However, accessing data from the cloud needs to be as fast as pulling it from your hard drive. One big complaint about legacy copper internet is the slow download and upload when saving and downloading files from a cloud server. Higher speed fiber optics eliminate much of the lag, letting you access files faster.
Contrary to popular belief and folklore, fiber optic internet service actually costs less per megabit than conventional copper cable and DSL service. That wasn’t always the case, especially back when fiber was brand new and therefore expensive, but today fiber has become so popular that costs are going down. Also, because fiber carries so much more data than copper at a time, the megabits per second cost can be over 10x more for copper than fiber. The other cost-saving is increased productivity and reduced wait time thanks to faster connectivity for both upload and download.
Thanks to fiber’s incredible bandwidth and capacity, as your business grows, so can your online access without changing a thing. As your needs increase, fiber keeps up and lets you expand with new employees and servers without changing the internet connection. This can save your business big bucks in the long run as you scale up now for long-term growth later simply by switching to a fiber connection that is already equipped to handle the future.
Even if you don’t run an IT business, you can still benefit in many ways from switching to a 100% fiber optic internet service provider. Whether you run a one-person operation or have many employees, fiber is the way to keep up with everyone and everything faster.