The Ins and Outs of Cable and Fiber Internet

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As of August 2014, cable Internet had more subscribers than did cable TV. Research from the Leichtman Research Group revealed this crossroad. It’s, born as much of the proliferation of Internet as the downfall of cable TV. With cable Internet costs on the rise, is it the best choice for service?

Cable Internet Speed

Cable Internet providers use coaxial lines they built for television services. The distance between your home and provider won’t affect your Internet speed. Subscribers connect via modem, and it’s faster than dial-up and many DSL services.

Cable Internet subscribers share a connection with potentially hundreds of neighbors, though. Especially during peak usage times, cable Internet speeds can slow to a crawl. Cable Internet tends to cost more than DSL service. It’s not always available in rural areas.

Venture Beat reports new specifications to allow for faster cable Internet speeds than ever. Speeds have measured “15.9 Mbps download and 1.1 Mbps upload,” based on one speed test.

Cable Internet bundling

Cable Internet providers offer ways for customers to bundle Internet, television and even home phone service for one monthly bill. But streaming TV services such as Netflix and Roku often deliver reliability cable TV struggles with. A PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report/survey revealed a 71% drop in cable subscriptions for customers age 18-24. That’s down 6 points from the year before.

How is fiber-optic Internet different?

Fiber-optic Internet forgoes the copper wires that bog down cable service. It delivers high-speed Internet via flexible strands of glass, delivered by pulses of light. Fiber Internet providers connect to your home on a line you share with no one. At top speeds, downloads and navigation are instant.

Fiber-optic Internet speed

Light pulses carry data to and from web-enabled devices. Fiber-optic Internet speed surpasses most other high-speed providers, including cable. Signals on a fiber optic network travel faster and farther without quality degradation.

Because fiber-optic Internet doesn’t rely on copper, it’s immune to interference. It can come in contact with high-voltage electricity, power lines and even lightning. None of that will affect its performance.

Fiber Internet bundling

Fiber-optic providers allow customers to bundle fiber-optic Internet service with TV and home phone. Fiber optic lines are less prone to interference than copper wires. They’ll provide better broadband heft. That translates to more streaming, downloads and uploads than cable networks can offer.


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This post was written by the Beacon team.

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