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Fiber 101: What is Fiber Internet?

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Fiber 101: What is Fiber Internet? 1460

Fiber internet is a technology that uses light signals to deliver fast and stable internet connections across short and long distances. If you've ever had a stream or video stop loading halfway through, it's most likely a bad connection caused by old cables and slow speeds.

Compared to other internet connection types like DSL, cable, or satellite internet, fiber optic internet from Fidium Fiber offers incredibly fast plans up to 2 Gigs.

Our fiber optic internet availability is continually growing and expanding, connecting people everywhere across the US. Let's take a moment to understand what fiber internet is and how it works.

How is fiber optic internet installed?

Installing fiber optic internet at your home is as easy as signing up for a plan and scheduling a date for a technician for installation.

First, fiber needs to be available in your city and neighborhood

To get fiber optic internet in your home or business, it needs to be available locally. This is a long and complex process, which involves laying new fiber optic cable infrastructure. To do this, fiber internet providers partner with communities and local authorities.

The process involves accounting for existing underground utilities and getting permits and private property access rights. These construction processes can take some time before the infrastructure is ready for residents to get fiber internet access.

Getting fiber installed in your home

When a technician arrives, they will bring and install the optical network terminal (ONT) used to deliver ultrafast internet. The ONT is a small box that converts fiber-optic light signals into electrical signals that other devices can use to connect to the internet.

After the ONT is installed, all you need to do is connect a standard Ethernet cable from the ONT to the router to enjoy lightning-fast and stable internet across your entire home or workplace.

Is fiber internet better than traditional cable internet?

Fiber internet is better, faster, and more stable when compared to cable Internet. It uses internet fiber-optic cables to transmit data using light signals, which travel faster than RF signals. The smooth data transmission from light signals allows for faster and more reliable internet speeds.

Cable internet uses coaxial cables that communicate via RF (Radio Frequency) signals, which are slower than light signals. Coaxial cables also share the internet connection with TV transmissions, limiting both services. Because both services are transmitted through the same cable, companies often bundle TV plans with internet plans for convenience.

Cable and fiber internet pricing are generally similar, but fiber internet plans offer faster speeds of up to 6 Gigs. Meanwhile, cable internet only reaches up to 3 Gigs (half fiber optic speed) and is unstable during peak usage times. Cable also offers slower upload speeds than the advertised download speeds.


Fiber internet basic plans are slightly more expensive than cable plans but offer:

  • Faster internet speed
  • Identical internet speed for both uploads and downloads.
  • Stable connection
  • Availability during peak hours

Despite offering higher speeds, fiber outperforms cable even in pricing. Plus, you can get the best price for fiber without any need to bundle it with other services you might not want.

Internet speeds

Internet speed greatly varies from plan to plan, regardless of fiber or cable. 

Fiber not only has a faster upload speed than cable, but it also doesn’t come with a data cap.

Fiber internet and cable can both work well for simple browsing, like:

  • Social media
  • Search engines
  • Browsing through websites
  • Checking news

However, fiber is considerably superior when you want to:

  • Play online games
  • Stream HD or 4K videos
  • Move large files around

Fiber offers faster speeds, a stable connection, and the same download and upload speeds, unlike cable. Fiber internet makes jobs like YouTube content creators easier due to the faster upload speeds needed to move large video files.


When you need a stable connection, fiber is the most reliable option. Cable plan subscribers face daily issues, like:

  • Video stream buffering
  • Video game network lag
  • Interruption of download or upload
  • Pixelated video calls
  • Audio stuttering in VoIP calls

Fiber optic cables support a considerably larger number of connections before experiencing any slowdown, so they rarely face any of these issues. Fiber is also more resilient to power outages since it doesn't need to be powered to work, unlike coaxial cables.

Higher-quality media streaming and gameplay

Even the fastest cable plans can have trouble streaming in HD or 4K, which can cause audio stutters, pixelated videos, and stream buffering. These issues happen due to overloaded nodes, limited cable structure, signal interference, or network congestion. On the other hand, fiber lets you stream in 4K HD without buffering while having virtually no problems during peak usage hours.

When playing online games, fiber is a must to ensure a stable connection to prevent lag spikes and disconnects during gameplay. It’s by far the best internet for online gaming.

Unlike with cable, you’ll never have to worry about latency or lag if you have a fiber connection.

Fiber Internet FAQs

Is fiber internet better than WiFi?

WiFi is simply a way to connect devices to your router or modem wirelessly. It isn’t a mode of delivering internet access, the way cable or fiber are.

To have WiFi in the first place, you need a home internet connection – whether it’s cable or fiber optic.

That said, fiber optic internet works very well with WiFi. A fiber internet connection to a router will make your WiFi faster and more reliable.

Fidium Fiber offers WiFi 6, the latest standard for fast, reliable WiFi

Fidium offers next-gen WiFi 6. This cutting-edge WiFi standard provides more than just faster speeds. It also optimizes your network when you have more than one device connected – which you probably do, especially if you live with housemates or have a family. 

WiFi 6 does a better job than previous standards of keeping multiple devices reliably connected, while still ensuring fast speeds for all of them. It handles large amounts of network traffic efficiently, meaning you can keep all of your devices connected – even if they’re all being used for things like online gaming and video streaming that involve large amounts of data.

Overall, WiFi 6 does a great job of handling very large uploads and downloads without losing speed. It also offers better security than WiFi 5 and prior.

Do I need a modem if I have fiber?

No, you don't need a modem to use fiber-optic internet. Fiber optic internet uses a small box called an optical network terminal (ONT) to convert the fiber optic signal into an Ethernet signal understood by your devices.

Fidium’s gateway device combines the functionality of a modem, with that of a WiFi router. This means that you won’t necessarily need a separate router – although there are some great options out there if you want to further boost your WiFi functionality.

After the ONT is installed and ready, you can connect it to a router using an Ethernet cable to deliver high-speed internet to your devices. You can also connect the ONT to a wireless router to make a fast WiFi network in your home or office.

When it comes to fast, reliable internet, fiber is the best option out there. 

Overall, fiber is superior to cable in every way. It's faster, more reliable, and offers great speed even over long distances. Fiber is the gold standard when it comes to internet connections.

So no matter what you want to do online, whether it's gaming, working, or creating content, fiber internet provides speed and reliability at any time of the day.

At Fidium Fiber, we serve cities in eight different states with some of the fastest internet you can find on the market today. We’re continuing to grow and expand throughout California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont.

Whether you’re looking for lightning-fast internet speeds at home or a connection you can rely on at work, contact us anytime to find out more about how you can get great speeds at great prices!