Is Fiber Internet Available in My Area?

James Murray /
Internet,Cable,,Rj-45,Plug,On,Laptop,Keyboard.,High,Speed,Fiber

Fiber Internet service is on the rise. A fiber Internet service surpasses DSL speeds with unmatchable velocity. And there are many Internet services available for you to choose from.

Today, Internet providers hope to make fiber optic connections available to all households. Fiber Internet is increasing in popularity and availability. But, there’s still a long way to go before fiber technology reaches all corners of the country.

This is why it’s important to contact providers in your area and see what their fiber availability is. There is no shortage of Internet options available. And most Internet providers can deliver a reliable connection. What sets fiber Internet apart is not its practicality. Fiber optic services give you high speeds with low latency.

If you’re shopping for a new Internet service provider, why not look for one that can give you a fiber optic service?

How Does a Fiber Internet Service Work?

Fiber optic connections rely on fiber optic cables. These are thin cables made of glass whose job is to transfer data as light signals. Fiber technologies transcend DSL Internet options because of the speed of the service.

The material of the fiber optic cables allows data to travel at the speed of light. When available, fiber coverage is reliable and not susceptible to severe weather conditions.

How Fast Is Fiber Internet?

A fiber connection can support much faster download and upload speeds than even the best Internet providers. Typical speeds reach up to 940 Mbps, compared to a DSL service which reaches maximum speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

Pros of Fiber Internet

  • Reliability: a fiber optic service will prevent congested networks and outages. This is one of the main reasons this technology is popular. It’s reliable and resistant to severe weather conditions. These are some of the main qualities that make fiber Internet popular with customers.
  • Fastest Internet Service: a fiber connection can reach speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. This type of Internet connection will give you the fastest broadband speed available. This type of connection is particularly good if you like to play online games.
  • Symmetrical Speeds: Fiber Internet providers can guarantee the same download and upload speeds. Whereas DSL customers have to settle for much slower upload speeds. Cable providers also have much slower upload speeds than fiber Internet connections.

Cons of Fiber Internet

  • Cost: Fiber Internet technology relies on light signals instead of copper phone lines. Because of this, the price is much higher than with other Internet service providers. This is especially true for residential customers.
  • Higher Start-Up Costs: Fiber connections are expensive for more than the technology itself. They’re also expensive to construct and make available to everyone. If you’re looking to add fiber Internet to your home, expect high installation costs.
  • Availability: Fiber Internet is still a new technology. Only 9.4 percent of the United States population has a fiber connection. Cable and DSL connections are more popular. Because of this, they are more available than fiber networks.

Selective focus at router. Internet router on working table with blurred man connect the cable at the background. Fast and high speed internet connection from fiber line with LAN cable connection.

How Do I Find Out if Fiber Optic Internet Is Available in My Area?

Fiber Internet is still a new technology that’s yet to become available everywhere. Though there is a lack of fiber service in many states, most fiber Internet providers aim to expand. There are currently a handful of fiber Internet providers on the market. These include AT&T, Century Link, and Frontier.

Fiber Internet providers tend to conglomerate their services in select cities before expansion. Here are some areas of the country that have fiber availability.

Fiber Availability by Provider

AT&T Fiber

  • AT&T focuses its fiber coverage across most states in the southeast of the United States. It also services a few select cities on the west along California and Texas.
  • AT&T is one of the few Internet providers that provide gigabit speeds of 1000 Mbps. These types of speeds allow data to travel much faster over fiber-optic lines. This is why fiber services can guarantee fast upload speeds.
  • Gigabit Internet, or 1000 Mbps, helps you get symmetrical download speeds and upload speeds. This allows you to engage in multiple online activities on multiple devices without hiccups.
  • The best way to figure out if there is fiber coverage where you live is by entering your 5-digit zip code on the AT&T Fiber website. Within seconds, you’ll know if fiber-optic Internet is an option for you.

Century Link

  • Century Link offers customers gigabit Internet with speeds that can reach up to 940 Mbps. These types of gigabit speeds are ideal for households with multiple devices. Plus, there are no data limits.
  • They are available in states like Missouri and Wisconsin. And also offer some coverage along the southeast of the United States.
  • Much like the AT&T fiber service, Century Link also provides a symmetrical download speed and upload speed that’s able to accomplish more at once.

Frontier

  • Frontier offers a 100 percent fiber-optic network to select states in the United States.
  • Frontier limits its fiber services to a few states. These states include California, Texas, and Florida.
  • Along with providing you with a fiber connection, Frontier also helps you connect multi-device security that works well with your fiber network.

Rear view of technician on wooden ladder checking fiber optic cables in internet splitter box on electric pole against blue sky background

How Do I Know if My Home is Fiber Ready?

There’s a good chance one of the providers listed above is available in your area. Now it’s time to check if your home is ready for the technology. By following a few easy steps, you can find out if your home is already wired for fiber.

Check for an Optical Network Terminal

For a fiber provider to install Internet access in your home, it requires an optical network terminal or ONT. The ONT is a box through which your fiber connection will go through to power your Wi-Fi network. Internet providers normally install the ONT inside or outside your home. Common areas of installation include your garage, basement, or closets.

If You Don’t See an ONT, Check with your Internet Provider

When in doubt, never hesitate to call your Internet provider and request a technician. They can check your home and determine if your neighborhood is ready for the technology. Even if a fiber service is not available, the technician will provide you with information on when to expect expansion through the ISP.

Look for Fiber Providers in Your Area

If your current ISP doesn’t offer fiber, then try to find fiber providers that offer the technology where you live. Check with major providers that offer services in your area. This will help you find Internet providers that have a larger fiber network.

Abstract digital background. Optical fiber of digital communication. Vector illustration on a dark background is an optical fiber with a stream of information. Text displays pros and cons of fiber internet.

How Does Fiber Compare to Other Types of Internet?

Fiber technology is the only Internet connection able to provide speeds unmatchable to cable Internet, satellite Internet, or other cable connections. The key characteristic that sets fiber apart from other Internet types is its ability to provide higher bandwidth. This is essential for fast data transmission and a symmetrical download speed.

Most Internet types available can only reach max speeds of 100 Mbps. Fiber is a service that can truly provide high-speed Internet ranging between 940 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps. These types of Internet speeds are possible because of fiber cables. They allow data to transmit as light over bundle strands of glass.

Unlike fiber, DSL service uses radio frequencies that travel through copper cables. This. makes the process slower and unable to reach the same Internet speeds as fiber. It’s the same for cable Internet and fixed wireless.
Couple using fast home internet with laptop and digital tablet. Woman and man on sofa in living room

What Do Internet Users Think of Fiber Internet?

Users in all parts of the country, from Salt Lake City to Miami, have a strong preference for fiber Internet over fixed wireless. Although DSL providers try hard to compete for the popular vote, customers still prefer a fiber service when available.

AT&T fiber is one of the top providers of the technology. Customers continuously rate the service with 4.1 out of 5 stars, even though it’s not available in every zip code. The biggest selling point for fiber continues to be its Internet speed. Because download speeds are in the 1,000 Mbps range, customers prefer a fiber Internet connection over cable and DSL.

Fiber Internet Statistics

  • In the United States, 18.6 million households have a fiber broadband subscription.
  • In 2018, the optical fiber industry grew to $4 billion in revenues.
  • The highest broadband utilization of optical fiber networks goes to Japan. Japan researchers pushed the limits of broadband speeds. They beat the former world record of 178 terabits per second.
  • Before temporarily stopping expansion, the greatest serviceability of Google Fiber is in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo.
  • The fiber optic cable industry is expected to be valued at $20.8 billion by 2026.

Fiber Internet FAQs

Does fiber Internet require a special modem?

Cable and DSL modems and routers are not compatible with fiber Internet. It’s not that fiber requires a special modem per se.

Traditional routers that customers use for cable Internet are not able to transmit the light signals that fiber uses to keep you connected. Traditional routers work best with analog signals.

Fortunately for you, fiber providers include a new modem and router before installation. You will have the option to purchase or rent the equipment as part of your wired connection plan.

Does Fiber Internet Require a Phone Line?

No. And that’s one of the things that make this type of technology so practical. There’s one exception to this rule and that is if a fiber to the node (FTTN) connection. These types of connections use a DSL connection from the node and into your home. Your Internet provider will provide you with everything necessary to install the service correctly.

What Is the Difference Between Fiber, DSL, and Cable?

If you live in an area where there is fiber Internet available, chances are there is a wide range of broadband availability. The differences between the three types of Internet are mainly in the way they deliver data. They also differ in their download speeds.

A DSL connection depends on a phone line to be able to establish a connection to the Internet. It’s also the slowest type of connection out of all three.

Cable Internet is the midpoint of the three. It’s similar to fiber in that it uses cables to transmit data. But, instead of using fiberglass, it uses coaxial cables. Here are some additional facts about each type of Internet.

DSL

  • It provides you with consistent speeds.
  • Cheapest type of Internet out of three options.
  • It doesn’t offer as many bundling options as cable Internet.
  • Because of its dependence on a phone line, it’s the slowest type of Internet connection.

Cable

  • This is the most common type of Internet worldwide.
  • Speed for cable connections ranges from 25 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps.
  • Depending on the plan or bundle, cable Internet plans can be expensive.

Fiber

  • Out of all types of Internet available, fiber is the only one that offers the fastest connection. Speeds range between 940 Mbps and 1000 Mbps.
  • Upload and download speeds are the same.
  • It’s the most reliable connection available.
  • It’s the most expensive out of the three.

vector background abstract technology communication data Science

Does Fiber Optic Have a Data Cap?

No, not typically. Most fiber providers give you unlimited data. Fiber Internet is famous for its speeds. This is why providers try to prevent setting limits on data caps so that it doesn’t affect service. Fiber Internet providers offer customers the option for gigabit Internet plans. These allow you to experience speeds of 1000 Mbps.

What Is Google Fiber?

Google fiber is yet another way of obtaining access to fiber technologies. Although it’s less popular than other Internet service providers, it operates in 18 cities across the United States.

It’s popular with customers because they don’t charge for installation and have unlimited data caps. They also offer fiber TV and home phone services.

A Final Word of Advice

Remember that fiber is an emerging technology still making its way through the United States. Although fiber is more popular and technologically advanced in other countries, it doesn’t mean that it’s not progressing in the United States. In the next few years, experts expect a broader expansion of the service and faster Internet speeds for everyone.