How Fast is Fiber?



Short answer? Really, really fast.

Slightly longer answer: Faster than any other type of Internet out there.

The word Fiber refers to the type of cable that is carrying the data to and from your home. Fiber-optic cable transmits data with light and at speeds far faster than DSL or coaxial cable. “A fiber-optic cable is made up of 100 or more incredibly thin strands of glass or plastic known as optical fibers. Each one is less than a tenth as thick as a human hair and can carry 10 million telephone calls.” [source: How Stuff Works.]

Currently, Broadband Internet is defined by the FCC as any Internet service with a download speed of 25Mbps or more. Mbps is a measurement of how man megabits of data can be transferred per second. Data can be uploaded or downloaded, and the FCC’s measurement refers only to the download speed. Traditional carriers with 25Mbps download speeds may only have 1-2 Mbps upload speeds.

Most fiber services, including Google Fiber, have download speeds up to 1000 Mbps. To compare, the fastest Cable Internet available comes in right around 150 Mbps. But even with those numbers it is a bit difficult to comprehend how fast fiber is. So let’s look at some ways you currently use the Internet, like downloading.


    15Mbps 40Mbps 150Mbps 1000Mbps
Stairway to Heaven MP3 5 MB 3s 1s .3s .04s
TV Episode of The Big Bang Theory (SD) 259 MB 2.3m 52s 14s 2s
TV Episode of The Big Bang Theory (HD) 724 MB 6m 2.4m 37s 6s
Jurassic Park Movie (SD) 2 Gig 18m 7m 106s 16s
Jurassic Park Movie (HD) 4.4 Gig 39m 14.6m 4m 35s
World of Warcraft 20 Gig 3h 1h 18m 2.7m


As you can see, the speed you get with a fiber Internet connection significantly reduce download times. That means less time waiting and more time playing or watching.

So, how fast is fiber? Fiber is so fast that it virtually adds days to your life by reducing the time you spend waiting for downloads.


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