Just as dial-up connections were replaced by faster ADSL, fibre optic networks have arrived making their broadband ancestors look sluggish and slow. Top speeds are getting faster and faster, as our internet appetite increases. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, video conferencing and many more applications are now more in use than ever before and increasing.
Fibre To The Home (FTTH) brings speed, and lots of it. It’s becoming one of the most important considerations when looking for the perfect broadband deal. With online activities getting more data-intensive – whether streaming HD movies, uploading on social networks, playing online games, video conferencing at work or increasing your business productivity – broadband speed is more important than ever.
Fibre Optic Broadband:
Bigger, Better, Faster - in both directions
Online content is a very different thing from just ten years ago. Downloads can be much larger due to the increase in speed, images and videos can be of much higher quality and a whole range of activities and applications have evolved in this digital age we live in.
Faster downloads also mean, less time waiting for files to transfer, no more frustrating buffering when streaming videos and near instant page loading while simply web browsing or using your favourite social network. Gamers should experience less ‘lagging’ (where the game stutters or becomes temporarily out of sync with other players’ screens) so they’re not likely to miss game-changing moments and, importantly, these benefits can be experienced by several users in the same household connected at the same time.
But it’s not just faster downloads you get with FTTH – your upload speeds will be quicker too. This is particularly important if you’re doing anything that requires you to send, not just receive data. If you’re frequently uploading videos or pictures to sites like Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. Similarly, peer-to-peer file sharing is much quicker when you’ve got a strong upload rate to compliment your downloads. Upload speed also matters if you make video calls as this allows for a smooth picture throughout your conversation with your friends or loved ones.
Great Video Calls
If you’ve been a long-term user of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype to video-call friends and family, you’ll know how the experience can often be interrupted by jumpy and pixelated connection, especially on slower ADSL/VDSL broadband connections.
This can be very frustrating, however, with the increased speed of fibre optic technology video data is sent and received more quickly to create a closer to real-time experience. If one user has a particularly slow broadband connection, the other will only see the best frame rate that can be sent to them. Therefore, both internet connections will need to be fast and reliable (both speedy download and upload speeds).
The spinning circle on the computer screen has become synonymous with a slow or broken internet connection with ADSL users. Everyone is aware that broadband over telephone lines can be unreliable. And everyone knows that once a fault is experienced, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find the source of the problem.
Fibre is different. The rare problems in an all-fibre network are easily detected with equipment that can pinpoint the cause and even the location of the fault remotely, sometimes even before the customer knows there was a problem and usually without the need to send out a technician. There’s less to go wrong with the network in the first place – most fibre access networks require no or only few electrical components between the central communications office and the end user.
Increase Business Productivity
Businesses nowadays are increasingly turning online to operate, therefore, slow speeds means it takes longer to get tasks done, and time is money.
Many businesses in Gibraltar operate internationally with clients all round the world, video conferencing or online web meetings are becoming far more common. Interruptions, poor quality and buffering all slow down our ability to do business with international clients or even locally.
Having a superfast fibre optic broadband connection will allow your business to complete tasks at high speeds with no hindrance or nuisance of having to wait for the internet to buffer or the un-reliability of a poor connection.
For online game users a consistent smooth, reliable and fast connection is vitally important to keep in the action and never miss a second. If a connection drops or ‘breaks’ and the game begins to buffer, gamers can miss out on that all important moment and even be cut off from the action. Having an FTTH broadband connection allows for online gamers to participate as much as they like for as long as they want no matter the intensity of their games involvement. There’s more to online gaming than just speed, however.
Online gamers also need to consider ‘ping’ and ‘latency’, which measures how quickly a host IP address can be reached and how fast data is returned, is important. Then there’s ‘jitter’, which tracks the difference between ping tests (consistency is good). Finally there’s 'packet loss', which, as the name suggests, is a measure of information lost during transfer. With fibre optic technology gamers have the pleasure of experiencing a smooth, fast and reliable connection when gaming.
Fibre optic broadband speeds can be increased almost without limit. This is down to its structural make-up, made from thin strands of glass (as thin as human hair), light beams are pulsed down each strand of glass sending ‘information’ (bandwidth). Using lasers these beams of light can simply be changed at an operators central office to accommodate any increase in demand of bandwidth. The future is near, and soon 1Gbps download speeds will be common place! This will all be enabled through FTTH, there is no other broadband technology which can handle these speeds, and it is the only future proof broadband technology.
FTTH is already having an impact on how people live, work and play. How will it change your life?
* All facts and figures are based on information gathered from: FTTH in your Community/FTTH Business Guide
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