Although fiber internet is gradually becoming more common across the country, the demand for high-speed broadband access is outpacing availability. A 2018 survey by RVA Consumer Studies found that “high speed internet/reliable broadband” rated second only to “laundry room” in a list of desirable amenities in a home, with 89% of respondents saying it is a must-have criterion in their buying decisions. However, relatively few rural areas in the U.S. have broadband access, leaving many customers without the option of high-speed internet service.
In eastern-central North Dakota, NDTC has prioritized the installation of a fiber-optic infrastructure and offering broadband internet access. This is vital to sustaining economic development and maintaining an attractive quality of life in our rural communities.
Keep reading to find out how fiber works and what makes it so indispensable, and how we are committed to bringing the fastest internet speeds with the most reliable connections to our customers.
What is Fiber-Optic Technology?
Fiber-optic cable has been used for telecommunications since the 1990s, although the technology itself has been around since the mid-20th century. In fiber optics, light is conducted through hundreds of bundled glass fibers as fine as strands of hair. It is on this light that data and signals are transmitted. Like flipping a switch and light coming on without delay, fiber-optic cable delivers lightning-fast signals for phone, digital TV, and internet.
History of NDTC’s Fiber Investment
Providing the best in telecommunications means continually staying at the forefront of developing technologies. As a provider in rural North Dakota, NDTC understood the need for connecting customers not only to one another, but also to the wider world, and foresaw the advantages fiber would afford. We began offering FTTP, or fiber-to-the-premises, starting in 2006 and have steadily built our fiber-optic network over the years since. This has been essential for increasingly fast internet speeds, crystal-clear telephone connections, and digital television.
The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA) officially recognized NDTC as a Smart Rural Community Gig-Certified Provider in 2018. To earn the SRC designation, a rural broadband provider must demonstrate a commitment to creating growth and opportunities in its community, particularly as it relates to sustainable online connectivity, and deliver the fastest internet speeds available. Providers are thoroughly vetted and approved before they can join the Smart Rural Community network.
With a future-proof technology like fiber-optic cable, the investment has been wise. The types of activities for which the internet is used are more varied than ever, and the need for consumers to have access to things like telemedicine and distance learning has never been greater. There is no limit to how far we can expand, or how many new technologies will be supported with a fiber network. However fast internet speeds may become, we have the infrastructure in place to manage it.
Benefits of Fiber
Fiber-optic technology has proven to be more efficient, effective, and reliable than other, more traditional forms of internet conveyance. Among the many advantages are lower long-term costs and easier upgrades, but there are several “hands-on” reasons why customers are discovering that fiber is a game-changer:
It all begins with fiber’s fast speeds. Large files can be uploaded or downloaded quickly, an important feature when trying to meet homework deadlines or work-project due dates. Videoconferencing will no longer be hampered by the dreaded “buffering” messages encountered on traditional modes of internet service. Latency problems are eliminated, vastly improving the online multiplayer gaming experience and the streaming of HD videos.
These days there are so many computers, TVs, smart appliances, home security tools, and other devices that require a certain amount of bandwidth to function within a home. Adding to this is every member of the household using the internet for myriad purposes – frequently at the same time – and broadband internet service has become essential. Fiber brings the speeds that support a greater amount of bandwidth.
Unlike other internet technologies, fiber is not susceptible to weather interference, signal obstructions, or distance limitations. It is less prone to failing in storms, whereas copper cables can potentially draw an electrical charge and be knocked offline. In the event that something causes a disruption in the fiber-optics cables, the exact location of the issue can be found much more easily and quickly repaired.
Fiber has more than 500 times the capacity of other internet-transmission technologies, ensuring that user demand will be met long into the future. Infrastructure upgrades and maintenance are less costly on fiber cables as well, so that efficiency and accessibility will continue in the long term. As populations grow, users’ requirements evolve, and new applications of internet use emerge, fiber will be there to handle it all.
Are you ready to experience the difference fiber internet can make in your daily life? Contact us to sign up!