Fiber Optics; The Future of Telecom Services


In early 2011, Google rocked the telecom world with the announcement of their new fiber optic network for cable and broadband internet. Kansas City, Missouri was chosen as the first lucky recipient of the new network. The most impressive aspect of the announcement was the speed at which Google could now provide the internet. They boasted that 1 gigabit per second speeds would make loading times and waiting for downloads a thing of the past.

This sparked an obvious outcry among the general public because not many people understood what a fiber optic network actually was. The first thing to know when it comes to fiber optics is that it is the future of telecom services. Traditionally, telecom services were provided by carriers via copper wire. It proved effective, but the rising cost of copper meant that services such as internet, cable, and phone became more expensive. Fiber optics does away with copper wire and instead utilize something far cheaper and efficient; glass.

Fiber optic cable is essentially bunches of tiny strands of glass, no thicker than human hair, that are used to send information. The strands are far more flexible than copper and they are much thinner as well. Fiber optic cables send information at a much faster rate, thus quality is vastly improved over traditional copper wire. A standard internet connection in someone’s home generally receives information between 512KB/s to 1 MB/s. This is much faster than the dial-up of the past, but you still spend a good amount of time waiting for videos to buffer and things like that. Google’s announcement that their fiber optic network would transmit information at 1 gigabit per second came as a shock to most people because that’s nearly 100 times faster than what we currently have. Movies, music, games, and apps would all download instantly with absolutely no waiting time. Imagine never having to wait for a YouTube video to buffer…you can count me in on that!

Obviously this technology will have a huge impact on telecom services in the future. Speed and quality will both be vastly improved and in theory it should bring down rates in the future. Don’t expect this technology to reach your doorstep any time soon however. It will take some time before companies truly commit to doing away with all the copper wiring they’ve invested so much in to make the switch to fiber optics. The initial cost of laying down all that new line will make the service expansive initially, but costs will eventually drop. Google claims that their new service will cost around $120 per month for super-fast internet, cable with improved HD and other services such as DVR and integration with Google powered devices.

If want more information about the shift to fiber optics, please contact the representatives at Joey Bell Telecom to see if fiber optic services are available in your area.

Joey Bell