Once upon a time, when you wanted to use the internet, you’d need to have a modem connected to your telephone line and you’d hear all the buzzes, whirrs, and pongs, as it dialed your carrier’s number and connected you to their server, where you’d be able to download data at 56kbps.
Today, we have multiple ways to connect to the internet, all of them a whole lot faster than previous options, but fiber takes the cake on speed and reliability.
Fiber optic broadband
Fiber internet consists of fiber optic lines that are made up of small strands of glass or plastic cables, each about 1/10th the size of a single human hair. Bloomer Telephone Company is proud to be the only company offering exclusively fiber in our service areas.
Pros of fiber broadband: Fiber offers speeds of more than 1 Gigabit per second. The internet signal doesn’t degrade over distance. And fiber doesn’t rely on electricity, so power outages and proximity to powerful electric equipment won’t jeopardize your connection.
Cons of fiber broadband: Fiber can be a more expensive option than some other types of internet service. However, many consider the cost to provide fiber is worth the expense.
Fixed wireless internet relies on radio waves transmitted by a cell tower to deliver internet signals to an exterior antenna on your home.
Pros of fixed wireless: Fixed wireless internet is sent through airwaves and doesn’t require phone or cable lines, which can degrade. Speeds are typically comparable to cable.
Cons of fixed wireless: You must have line of sight connection with (and usually need to be within 10 miles of) the access point. Because internet is sent through airwaves, the signal be affected by weather and other environmental factors.
Cable internet is transmitted to your home by a local cable service provider via copper coaxial cable using the same infrastructure as cable TV.
Pros of cable internet: Cable internet is widely available, and is also generally reliable and fast—although not as fast as fiber internet.
Cons of cable internet: Cable internet can be limited by surrounding usage—during peak times, your ability to use your internet can be affected by your neighbor’s usage. Many large cable providers have been known to throttle service if you exceed certain bandwidth guidelines.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) internet delivers a high-speed connection to your home through a wired phone wall jack on an existing telephone network.
Pros of DSL: The cost of DSL is often less expensive than other internet services. Newer versions of DSL are getting faster. Dedicated line and bandwidth mean your neighbors’ use won’t affect you.
Cons of DSL: DSL is still much slower than man other internet options, and speeds can be dependent on your proximity to the main DSL hub.
Internet signal is transmitted from a provider’s hub to a space satellite and then to your home—and every request you make for a new web page or to send an email reverses that route.
Pros of satellite internet: The primary advantage of satellite internet is that it may be available in hard-to-reach rural areas. Also, recent innovations mean that speed and service are gradually improving.
Cons of satellite internet: Cost tends to be higher for satellite than comparable conventional broadband services. It can’t reach some areas, and it generally has very long lag time. It can also be affected by heavy weather.
As you can see, there a lot of choices you can make when it comes to connecting to the internet today. Bloomer is working hard to provide fiber to our surrounding areas, an option that hasn’t been available in the past.
Have a question about how fiber might be better than your other options? Call our local customer service reps at 715-568-4830. We’d love to hear from you.