Fiber: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Add Fiber to Your Technology Diet
What is all this talk about fiber and why is it better than the DSL, T1, or cable that you have at the office right now? Fiber internet is the fastest technology on the market and is becoming more and more available and affordable for businesses. Some even say it’s the final frontier for data and that we’ll spend centuries just trying to utilize all its capabilities.
Fiber is short for fiber-optic. It’s a technology that allows data to travel at the speed of light through the circuit. In theory, you can’t get any faster than that, but there are speed limitations due to the inability of the technology on either end of the circuit to utilize the speed such as the modem, router, or computer you are using to process data. Fiber comes in many different speeds, but starts at 10 megabytes per second. Speeds continue at 20, 50, 75, 100, and 200+ all the way up to several gigabits per second.
The best part about fiber is, unlike its predecessors, its top-notch service level agreements, also known as SLAs. These SLAs promise high reliability- they assure you’ll be up 99.999% of the time. However, if you do have downtime for more than 15 minutes over the course of a 3-year contract (that’s what the 99.999% SLA translates into), you can be owed a credit on your account (as long as you notify them of the outage immediately). These SLAs are great because they hold the carrier accountable and require very quick repair time in the event of an outage.
Another great thing about fiber is that both the upload and download speeds are the same. When you have cable (starter speed), you have 16mb download speed, but only 3mb upload speed. When you want to upload a document from your computer to your CRM or onto a website, it takes much longer than it would to download a document from the web to your computer. With fiber, you don’t have to worry about that- you get dedicated symmetrical bandwidth- it is just as quick downloading documents as it is uploading them, plus there’s no fluctuation in bandwidth. Problem solved.