We’ve all heard of this new(ish) technology; superfast broadband using fiber optic cables. However, many of us aren’t aware of the benefits it offers over current broadband packages, or how much hassle it is to upgrade. Is it really that much better? If you think your connection could do with an upgrade, read on to find out how much better fiber optic broadband is:
What Exactly Is Fiber Optics?
Since the 1840’s, fiber optic technology has been used – although only recently it has been used to give a much faster broadband connection. To get an idea of how fast, think of it like this; with a 100Mb connection you could download a whole film (about 1.5GB) in two minutes. For standard customers of ADSL broadband, their speeds don’t come anywhere close. The average download speed in the UK is actually 9Mb, which means it would take 25 minutes to download a whole film instead of just 2 minutes. A 3Mb connection would leave you waiting over an hour for your much anticipated film!
Standard ADSL broadband sends it’s connection using copper telephone lines, but it can be really slow because of electrical resistance. The further away you are from a telephone exchange, the slower your connection gets. Youtube videos won’t play (they’ll just buffer, and buffer, and buffer…), downloads will take what seems like a lifetime, and you can forget about watching any of your favourite TV programs on BBC iPlayer. If this sounds a bit like your connection, it might be time to switch to a faster broadband package and choose a fiber optic solution.
Fiber optic broadband is only available in “cabled” areas at the minute, but by 2015 almost everyone is expected to be able to have it. You can check on ISP’s websites to see if you are eligible to get fiber optic broadband or not; just take a look on Sky, BT, Virgin, or Plusnet, and type in your landline number and postcode. If you are in an area that can receive fiber optic broadband, you could soon find yourself enjoying speeds of up to 74Mb for downloads and 20Mb for uploads. A gigantic difference!
Is It Worth The Switch?
You need to beware that you won’t always get the top speeds advertised, however; they will most definitely be much higher than your current ADSL connection. You can do a broadband speed test online to see how fast your connection is now, and then do the same when you’ve had your fiber optic broadband installed, and you’ll be amazed by the difference. Many people are pleased when their connection reaches 30Mb; although this isn’t anywhere near 74Mb, it’s still extremely fast and in most cases 20 times faster than an ADSL connection!
With fiber optic broadband, you can watch Youtube videos with ease, download in seconds, and enjoy catching up on all of your favourite programs on BBC iPlayer. In short; fiber optic broadband is a lot better than ADSL broadband. So worth the switch, and if you’re clever you can still get great value for money!