You’ve no doubt heard people talking about fiber-optic Internet in recent years, but does fiber live up to the hype? With so much riding on your business, you want investments like technology upgrades to be worth the time, money, and effort before you make a decision. This article will help you decide whether switching to fiber over cable is a good move for your company.
Time is Money
There is no question that fiber-optic Internet has time on its side. Fiber-optics employ light instead of electricity to transmit data, and though the information sent along a fiber-optic cable does not travel at the speed of light, it comes close —within about 31%. That’s nothing to scoff at, especially considering that time spent waiting on Internet lag is a problem for many companies. Let’s say about a minute of productivity is lost in a day due to slow upload and download speeds. That’s about five minutes a week for the average work week. Multiply that by 52, and you lose roughly four hours and 20 minutes a year. Not so bad, right? Now multiply that figure by the number of people you employ. You’d be lucky not to lose a couple of weeks’ productivity, especially considering some put the number much higher—as much as a week lost per employee!
All of this says nothing of disrupted Internet service due to inclement weather and electromagnetic interference, which can last from minutes to hours. Short of taking a hatchet to the cable, you won’t see much disruption if you choose to go with fiber-optic.
Internet Fiber Provides Fortified Security
Unlike copper wire, which is susceptible to tapping and other forms of hacking, fiber-optics are much more difficult to gain access to via the cable itself. With valuable company information and client data at risk, your business stands to lose big if proper security measures are not taken. According to a Data Breach Study at IBM, the average cost of leaked information is $3.8 million. Though this study takes into account 383 organizations of varying sizes from 12 different countries, the risk to small- and medium-sized businesses is no less troublesome. In fact, smaller operations are often targeted more frequently because they are less likely to have built-in security. Such security breaches can leave businesses with fines and swamped in litigation, from which many do not fully recover. Fiber-optic Internet can help deter some of the losses incurred.
Easy Installation and Less Attenuation
Generally, fiber-optic cables are less bulky and more flexible than their copper counterparts. Small, flexible cables are easier to install into tight spaces and along pre-existing routes, so you don’t have to completely rearrange your business’s layout. Furthermore, because fiber-optic cables are not affected by electrical interference, they can coexist with electric cables without the risk of service interruption. Depending on how large your business site is, copper cables may not be an ideal choice. Larger sites require more cable, which can result in signal loss known as attenuation. While copper cables can only run a little over 9000 feet with minimal attenuation, fiber-optic cables can stretch almost 25 miles!
Fiber Isn’t Flawless (Yet)
Although fiber-optic Internet has a lot to offer your business, it does have some drawbacks:
- Limited choice of service providers
- Higher monthly cost
With few options for fiber-optic Internet currently on the market, your business doesn’t have as wide a selection as it would with copper cable Internet. Until the number of companies offering fiber-optics increases, service and installation costs will remain higher, too. But many Internet providers are looking to expand their infrastructure for fiber-optic Internet, so it is only a matter of time until it is a more viable choice for businesses with limited budgets. Whether switching to fiber-optic Internet will help your business depends on your specific needs. If your team depends on fast, uninterrupted upload an d download speeds, uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to communicate with telecommuters and on-site team members, or regularly utilizes the cloud to store important information,
nQuery recommends upgrading to fiber-optic Internet services. Your employees and clients will both thank you!
As the founder of nQuery Telecom Solutions, Emilio Diaz uses his 20+ years of experience in the telecom business to help build cost-effective telecom solutions for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government institutions. His experience as an innovative technology entrepreneur and a long-term business owner gives him intuitive insight to help boost productivity and maximize future growth.
You can reach Emilio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-760-8491.