Internet is a service that is all around us because it is a technology that is highly adaptable. Due to this exact reason, it has seamlessly integrated with all walks of life. Today all our day-to-day proceedings have some inclusion of the internet in them.
The modern trends of work from home and remote education have only been possible because of the internet. Not only for work, but the internet has also opened countless new avenues in the entertainment industry by the likes of streaming services, online multiplayer gaming, music streaming platforms to name a few. All these things have the internet as their core functionality and without it, none of these things would have been possible.
This goes to show that not only internet is a diverse tool in itself but it has also acted as a catalyst behind many of the new technologies. Now that the internet has reached a majority of households in the country, has anyone realized how it is delivered to our houses? Well, yeah many would say through cables because that’s the only thing they see. Cables going in certain machines or computers and supplying us with the internet, but it is much more complicated than that, and today we are going to explain and compare the two most modern internet transmission mediums, fiber optic, and cable internet.
In layman’s terms, both of these are cables but the actual difference is the technology used inside, or to put it simply, the speed. It’s not like the cable is slow as many providers like Cox communications uses cable internet and these Cox internet plans go as high as 940Mbps all through cable. But fiber is super-fast, and we will go into further details of both these mediums below.
Key Differences between Fiber and Cable
Fundamentally these are two completely different technologies. The fiber optic has shards of glass in it through which light passes. Data is carried in the form of light signals from source to end receiver that is why it is comparatively and at the moment the fastest transmission medium.
On the other hand, in cable technology, the data travels in electrical signals through a mesh of copper or silver wire. It is still faster, but not as fast as light itself. This is why fiber optic is faster than cable internet. Apart from speed, there are other differences which we will explain below.
We have already emphasized from the start of the article that the biggest difference between fiber optics and cable internet is the speed. This difference comes from the choice of the carrier, wherein fiber optics simply called fiber internet, the data is passed in the form of light by a process called refraction that happens through small shards of glace which makes up the interior of these cables. While on the other hand, cable internet uses electrical signals through copper or silver wires.
Where the maximum bandwidth (data measure) of a fiber optic cable is 10Gbps. In contrast, the bandwidth of standard cable internet is 1Gbps. While fiber optic also has the ability to provide symmetrical upload and download speeds at a stable rate since it is less prone to outside interference, something which cable internet lacks.
This is the department where cable internet takes the lead. Making a fiber optic cable is a complicated process in itself and is made up of glass mesh. So due to the complicated niche of this technology fiber optic is quite expensive. On the contrary, cables are cheap and easy to repair as this technology has transferred to us through years of evolution. Yes, cables internet is the modern form of DSL technology in which telephone lines were used to transmit internet data. Thus the cost of cable is comparatively low and the infrastructure is widely set up. That is why cable internet is the most used transmission medium.
Scalability and Infrastructure
This correlates to our previous point of cost. Since fiber optic cables are quite complicated in terms of setup, repair, and manufacturing. The fiber infrastructure is very limited today, although it is expanding at a rapid pace, still, fiber connectivity is limited to metropolitans, and even that is present in very limited areas. In comparison, the widespread underground cabling is already available in various parts of the country with a few exceptions of the countryside and mountainous regions.
This widespread infrastructure has been developed over the years to supply both internet and TV services over coaxial cable medium. Thus the scalability and infrastructure of cable are quite huge as compared to the modern fiber-optic setup which is still in the development process. So another major benefit of cable is that it is widespread and available to most people in many areas.
While this is certain that fiber internet is the future of connectivity due to it being a modern technology with high data transmission capabilities in accordance with modern usage. On the other hand, this is also a fact that it is still a new infrastructure on which there is not enough development at the moment regarding its scale and infrastructure. And then there are issues of complexity, high repair time, and cost which are proving to be a hurdle in their widespread usage.
In comparison, cable internet is a much more convenient option that has widespread availability and an already in place infrastructure to its credit. However, just like cable, it’s going to take some time and in the future, there will be a time when fiber will replace all of our connectivity needs but till that time comes cable internet is our best bet. Or if you live in an area where you can get fiber, don’t miss that opportunity.