Many people are happy about the fiber-optics Gigabit Internet options reaching the Los Angeles area, and rightly so. Fiber lines are an important upgrade above the current methods used for forwarding Internet data but fiber is not the only way to make 1Gbps speed. In fact it is not even the best way …
What is Fiber?
The optical fiber line is a thin wire, flexible glass or plastic, which can be used to send light from one end to the other. This light has information and provides the basis for fiber optic communications. Fiber optic cables are an effective medium for transmitting information. They allow data transmission over longer distances than the metal cables and are immune to electromagnetic interference; they also work with higher bandwidths.
However, there are some drawbacks of fiber optics too.
The cons of fiber
- Installing fiber optic lines can be expensive and frustrating most times, especially when the fiber optic cables are installed in a congested city.
- Fiber lines are also at the mercy of deterioration, so they degrade and need maintenance. When that occurs, identifying and replacement of these cables can take a tremendous amount of work.
- While the “fiber” has become a trend regarding the potential of the fastest Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps, this isn’t the only way to send data at that speed.
Microwave Gigabit Internet
Microwave communication often called fixed wireless, sends the signals through the air – not through a cable
The Pros of fixed wireless
This is the process of sending information from one place to another through a microwave radio spectrum. Data are beamed from one central location to a receiving dish. This process requires a visual connection line which can potentially be a problem, but the dish is relatively small and easy to set up. It is also up to 50 percent faster than fiber.
Talking about fiber, the light transmitted is not sending the data at the speed of light. Light moves much more rapidly than information transmitted over metal cables but is limited by the material are sent through and the path it takes.
One reason for the difference in speed is the distance information travels. In the case of microwave communication, data only need to move along points in a straight line. This can cause problems when something similar, such as, a building gets in the way but placed correctly signals can transmit data over long distances. With fiber optic lines installed in a city, the cables are forced to wind their way around and through buildings, and each turn slows down the speed of the light signal a bit.
In an outdoor area, microwave signals can go over things like rivers and mountains, and fiber optic lines will follow existing roads, bridges and roads already installed lines.
Therefore, microwave communication will always be potentially faster.
Installing fiber optic line can be challenging and expensive. The best case is when the fiber lines are installed in the building during the construction phase, which avoids the potentially massive renovation. In the house, the installation is a bit easier; assuming the house in question is in an area with fiber lines already installed.
Los Angeles Gigabit Internet
Except you live in a few specific cities in the US where the service of cable gigabit is not yet possible. It requires fiber optic cables, something that many cities in the United States do not yet have. Blame your local city council, blame it on the costs, but the reality is that the US lags behind many other developed countries in terms of speed of our Internet.
As fiber optic, microwave and fixed wireless communications need enhanced gigabit hardware to send signals. Unlike fiber, however, it usually requires relatively small like a new transmitter and a dish. It does not require new infrastructure before it is activated nor requires a massive effort by the city to install. Therefore, gigabit Internet service is already here for Los Angeles and most of southern California via wireless microwave communication.
The price is about the same as well and cheaper in some cases.
Microwave services are not available everywhere, and fixed wireless communication speed also depends on the location. If you are in the service area, however, there are many reasons to dump the cable and blaze the wireless.