Fiber vs. cable internet. What’s best for your network?

Understand the difference between fiber and cable to keep your business moving

by AT&T Business Editorial Team

Have you considered switching to fiber internet for your business? It’s an excellent choice for small or growing businesses, and we will explain why. For starters, as your business grows, you need strong connectivity and speed that can scale to support growing amounts of data traffic. Business fiber internet can accommodate heavy data traffic without requiring costly maintenance or upgrades, which is extremely helpful when you’re watching costs.

With the vast array of internet technologies, businesses have more options than ever when it comes to business internet connectivity. It can get confusing trying to match the right solution to your particular business needs. Connectivity solutions are not one-size-fits-all – but we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at the differences between three popular connectivity options: DSL, cable, and fiber optic internet, and you’ll see why fiber internet is most likely the best choice for your business.

What’s the difference between fiber, cable, and DSL?

The internet can travel by phone lines, coaxial cable, radio waves, and even by electrical wiring found in homes and other buildings. Most data travels between computers using physical wires: coaxial cable lines, digital subscriber lines (DSL), and fiber optic lines.

The many types of broadband internet – which include DSL, cable modem, and fiber optic internet – each have their own strengths. Let’s take a quick look at the differences:

  • Fiber-optic: Fiber optic cables are made of many small fibers of glass that can send data at high speeds. Unlike DSL or cable internet, fiber optic internet can deliver the fastest speeds available, surpassing both cable and DSL. While it is not yet available everywhere, the AT&T Business Fiber footprint continues to expand and is likely to be at or near your business location already.
  • More than 625,000 U.S. business buildings are fiber lit from AT&T, enabling high-speed fiber connections to more than 2.5 million U.S. business customer locations.
  • Nationwide, more than 8.5 million business customer locations are on or within 1,000 feet of AT&T Business Fiber. (The more than 2.5 million U.S. business customer locations are included within the 8.5+ million U.S. business customer locations on or within 1,000 feet of our fiber.)
  • Cable: Cable lines reach your business through the same coaxial cable that delivers TV services. It’s typically faster than DSL and is widely available, but it’s not as fast as fiber.
  • DSL: DSL uses telephone landlines without interrupting your phone use.

How do you know if you’re pushing the limitations of your existing connectivity?

You may want to consider business fiber versus other kinds of internet if you’ve experienced slow-loading websites or video activity, or have difficulty uploading large files. This can be caused when you’ve exceeded your connectivity limits.

Because fiber internet has fast download speeds and fast upload speeds, choosing fiber internet can make a world of difference in your business operations by solving these and other issues. We all know that when it comes to serving your customers and keeping your business operations going, speed and reliability definitely matter.

Fiber internet: Is it possible to harness the speed of light? Yes!

Fiber internet offers many advantages, the first being lightning speed. A key difference between fiber and cable is the material it runs over. Fiber internet passes light through fiber optic cables that are made of glass or plastic strands that transmit light.

This allows data and voice signals to travel over the cables as optical beams (rather than electrical signals) at faster, more efficient speeds when compared to traditional internet delivered over copper. More information can be transmitted over greater distances. Fiber optic cables are also immune to electrical interference, making them highly reliable and secure.

While cable and DSL can be fast, they don’t provide high speed synchronous connections, meaning uploading and downloading, in the way fiber can.

When it comes to business, speed keeps things moving. The speed of fiber allows for a broad range of online business activities necessary for growing your business.

Fiber can help you:

  • Connect with customers, business partners, suppliers, and employees without interruptions
  • Communicate high volumes of information quickly
  • Provide onsite Wi-Fi networks for employees and customers
  • Enjoy the best speeds, reliability, scalability, and value

Why AT&T Business Fiber?

If speed and reliability are priorities for your growing business, then business fiber internet should be at the top of your list. Not only is AT&T Business Fiber a great option for businesses, it’s also an excellent choice for customers who are working from home.

Need help choosing fiber internet, or any other service for your business? We're here for you.

Are you a small-to-medium business  wanting to better support your workforce, customers, and locations? Contact us today. We have professionals who can demystify the technology for you and get you up and running with emerging technology and other solutions for your business.

AT&T Business is here to help businesses of any size in a big way. To learn more, visit AT&T Business Fiber or contact your local sales representative.

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