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Fiber optic vs. cable internet

Last response: in Networking
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June 25, 2011 1:22:37 AM

Hello,
I have been told that fiber optic would be faster than cable internet because it would come through on a specified single user into our home and not a busy neighborhood wide cable. Is this true and could you expound on this a little. Thanks...py
June 25, 2011 2:23:09 PM

While it is true that Fiber Optic cable is capable of carrying a signal faster than normal cable (Light signals travel faster than metal cable signals) - you are never going to be receiving the maximum speed on either in your home (Unless you are paying a lot of $$) since the speed of the connection you receive is metered by the company you purchase internet access from so your maximum speed is going to depend on which package you purchase from them and will be limited to what they offer. (ie. a 20Mbps fiber optic connection will be the same as a 20Mbps cable connection since the speed is controlled by the internet provider and is no where near the maximum speed that either can provide !!)
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July 2, 2011 1:43:57 AM

PattsyYancy said:
Hello,
I have been told that fiber optic would be faster than cable internet because it would come through on a specified single user into our home and not a busy neighborhood wide cable. Is this true and could you expound on this a little. Thanks...py



Thank you, I was not surprised at your answer because they would never promise me that the speed would actually be faster and that would have been a great selling point. :pt1cable: 
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July 4, 2011 3:14:22 PM

1) Actually light travels about .55c in fiber and electricity travels about .6c in copper.

2) Unless you have a dedicated fiber to your house from your ISP, you're still sharing at the node. Residential fiber fiber uses "passive" fiber. This means you receive all the same data that your neighbors receive. So when your neighbor is watching Netflix, your fiber modem will also be receiving their packets, but filters them out.

The upload on passive fiber is also shared via TDMA. While one person on the local node is uploading data, no one else may upload. This is broken into small time slices so you still get reliable pings. But it's like a bunch of people who want to talk and only one microphone, you just keep passing it around the circle and let each person talk a little at a time.

So really, that 1gb of bandwidth is shared at the node.

3) DOCSIS3.0 for cable, supports sCDMA, which allows multiple people to talk at the same time. This means you don't get time slices and also increases bandwidth to the node. A single 6mhz physical channel supports 127 virtual CDMA channels for an aggregate of ~5gb/s of bandwidth. There can be multiple channels, so, 8 physical channels will supports about 40gb/sec of bandwidth. From the node to the ISP is all fiber.


In theory, DOCSIS is actually quite nice and in practice it is only "decent" and some times a "nightmare". What it all comes down to is how your ISP setup the network. It is possible to have a really crappy all fiber network, and it's possible to have a really good DOCSIS network.

Most companies that are willing to install fiber to the home are also willing to go the extra mile and make sure the network is properly balanced.

In practice, cable networks suck because they're ran by really greedy corps that are use to having a monopoly and refuse to upgrade their networks unless they absolutely have to. You also run into the "phantom" connection problem with cable as electrical signal problems can be very hard to track down.

Also, you don't have to worry about signal strength for the most part with fiber.

In practice, go with fiber.
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July 8, 2011 7:48:25 PM

Kewlx25,

If what you say is true (and I don’t doubt you) about connection sharing and packet filtering and untapped potential speed that ISP providers make you pay for; what is the advantage of paying for faster internet speeds, either FO or CAB?

Wouldn’t faster speeds still encounter the same issues and lag?

Why is it also that most (all I've seen) ISP's rate their service from an "up to" a certain speed standpoint and not an "at least" a certain speed basis?

I have cable internet now through Comcast (20mb down-5up) and am considering Fios (Verizon) FO. I am an avid gamer and am getting mixed answers about the advantages of either. I have asked before what the optimum up/download speed is for console gaming (PS3) and can’t get consistent answer.

So I pose these questions to you:

What is the best interface for internet connection;
a) speed
b) reliability
c) quality


What is the best speed for gaming online through a console?
Will faster connection speeds improve gaming experience?

Thanks in advance!
BIGHUNGRY618
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November 28, 2013 7:37:45 PM

So what do you think is better:

At&t Fiber connection at 3down & .5 up or bright house cable at 10down 1up?

Bakersfield, CA 93301


Kewlx25 said:
1) Actually light travels about .55c in fiber and electricity travels about .6c in copper.

2) Unless you have a dedicated fiber to your house from your ISP, you're still sharing at the node. Residential fiber fiber uses "passive" fiber. This means you receive all the same data that your neighbors receive. So when your neighbor is watching Netflix, your fiber modem will also be receiving their packets, but filters them out.

The upload on passive fiber is also shared via TDMA. While one person on the local node is uploading data, no one else may upload. This is broken into small time slices so you still get reliable pings. But it's like a bunch of people who want to talk and only one microphone, you just keep passing it around the circle and let each person talk a little at a time.

So really, that 1gb of bandwidth is shared at the node.

3) DOCSIS3.0 for cable, supports sCDMA, which allows multiple people to talk at the same time. This means you don't get time slices and also increases bandwidth to the node. A single 6mhz physical channel supports 127 virtual CDMA channels for an aggregate of ~5gb/s of bandwidth. There can be multiple channels, so, 8 physical channels will supports about 40gb/sec of bandwidth. From the node to the ISP is all fiber.


In theory, DOCSIS is actually quite nice and in practice it is only "decent" and some times a "nightmare". What it all comes down to is how your ISP setup the network. It is possible to have a really crappy all fiber network, and it's possible to have a really good DOCSIS network.

Most companies that are willing to install fiber to the home are also willing to go the extra mile and make sure the network is properly balanced.

In practice, cable networks suck because they're ran by really greedy corps that are use to having a monopoly and refuse to upgrade their networks unless they absolutely have to. You also run into the "phantom" connection problem with cable as electrical signal problems can be very hard to track down.

Also, you don't have to worry about signal strength for the most part with fiber.

In practice, go with fiber.


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