Fiber optic internet, commonly referred to as just fiber internet, is a newer, faster option for homes and businesses needing more bandwidth to support many connected devices at once. Learn how the technology works, what it’s capable of and how it can enhance your online experience.

How Does Fiber Optic Internet Work?

Unlike cable internet, which transmits information through electrical pulses, fiber internet uses tiny glass fiber optic cables to transfer data using light signals. With the capacity to send information at significantly higher speeds than cable internet, fiber internet makes it easier to upload, download and connect quickly and consistently.

Advantages of Fiber Optic Internet

High-Speed Connectivity

The most straightforward benefit is that fiber internet has equally fast upload and download speeds. Unlike cable companies, fiber internet providers won’t cap your speed, eliminating unexpected buffering and frozen screens.

Reliability and Stability

Glass strands provide a clear path for the internet signal to travel, so the quality never changes. With cable, copper cables use electricity to transmit a signal, resulting in more interference and degraded quality over distances.

Since fiber internet uses light signals to send data, bad weather like rain and lightning won’t slow down your signal like cable.

Increased Bandwidth

Fiber’s glass tubing provides more bandwidth than cable’s copper wiring, allowing you to connect as many devices as you need without affecting the speed. The cable lines that provide your home with traditional internet also supply your neighbors, so things may slow down when someone down the street starts streaming.

Security Features

Light signals are difficult to intercept without physically accessing the transmitting equipment, making fiber less vulnerable to security threats. This gives you peace of mind when doing sensitive tasks online, like banking, working or shopping, knowing that you’re protected against eavesdropping and hacking.

Impact on Online Activities

Streaming and Downloading

Thanks to fiber’s crazy-fast download speeds, your favorite show won’t buffer while binge-watching the latest season. Backing up data and downloading large files takes less time than other internet types, too.

Gaming Experiences

Whether you’re a casual gamer or a competitive livestreamer, fiber internet’s consistency ensures you can play, chat, stream and more without lagging. Lightning-fast upload and download speeds help you go faster than your opponents, and crystal-clear audio and video enhance your entire gaming experience.

Telecommuting and Remote Work

If you work from home, you know how important having a reliable, fast internet connection is. Dropped video calls and waiting for large files to upload make it harder to collaborate with coworkers and impact productivity. High-performing fiber internet streamlines your workflow, allowing you to work faster from anywhere in your home.

Coverage Areas and Expansion

Fiber internet isn’t available everywhere just yet. Building a fiber internet network is costly and time-consuming, so many providers build their networks in more populated areas first. Slowly but surely, new providers are investing in the infrastructure needed to provide fiber internet to rural areas. Many providers will let you sign up for email updates that notify you when fiber is available at your address.

Considerations Before Switching

Equipment Requirements

If your current provider gave you a modem and router, you’ll likely have to return the equipment to them when you cancel your service or pay a fee. When you sign up for fiber, the provider will set up new equipment compatible with fiber optic internet during installation.

Installation Process

Installing fiber inside your home only takes about an hour or so to complete. After your service is installed, your new fiber internet provider will dig a trench from the main line at the street to your home to bury the fiber optic cables. The only time the homeowner has to be present is when a technician sets up your new equipment inside your home.


In most cases, fiber internet and cable are priced similarly. In some cases, fiber internet plans may cost less than cable. Discounts and programs like Lifeline are available that make fiber internet more affordable.

Comparison with Other Internet Types

  • Cable: The most common type of connection uses a cable TV line to connect to a provider. It was initially designed for phones and TVs but struggles to keep up with multiplayer gaming, streaming and video conferencing.
  • DSL: A Digital Subscriber Line/Loop (DSL) uses a telephone line connection to provide internet. Like cable, this technology is dated, slow and unreliable.
  • Satellite: Satellites in space send and receive signals that route to a dish at your home. Since the data has to travel so far, it takes a while to load anything, and satellite dishes are expensive upfront.

Experience the Next Generation of Connectivity

No matter how you use the internet, Lumos makes sure your digital life never slows down with 100% Fiber Optic Internet. Experience faster upload and download speeds, whole-home coverage and unlimited bandwidth for all your devices, all at the same time.
Check for Lumos Fiber Internet near you and discover the difference fiber can make for your online experience.