How Fiber Optics Can Speed Up Internet Speed In USA

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In the current era, Fiber networks are the major backbone of the internet industry. Fiber optics cable spanning thousand of miles connects the continents, countries, cities, and villages. Fiber optics help to exchange data at almost the speed of light. Fiber connection provides internet directly to people’s homes. Cloud-based platforms rely on fiber with their own data center to provide facilities to customers.

Corning, a renowned gorilla glass maker company in USA is currently the largest producer of optical fiber by manufacturing capacity and market share in the world and the largest manufacturer of fiber cable in North America. Corning started to install fibers in USA 50 years ago.

The lifetime of the fiber internet system depends on its electronics, the amplifier, and the lasers that are transmitting the light.6 billion kilometers of optical fibers are installed around the world, enough to go back and forth to the sun 20 times.

Currently, only 43% of American houses have access to a fiber Internet connection. In rural areas, it is hard to deploy fibers, and can be expensive for households to pay the bill. In this article, we tried to find out how fiber optics can speed up internet speed in USA.

What Is Fiber Optics Internet And How It Works

There are various types of internet connections available in the market.

  • Providing internet with the help of telephone copper lines known as DSL(Digital Subscriber Line).
  • Cable(Coax) services use the same coaxial type cable to provide internet.
  • Where both DSL and Cable are not available customers use satellite and wireless internet.

But currently, the best internet service can be provided through Fiber Optics technology. Optical fiber is a strong, thin, flexible, hard-to-break material. In DSL and Cable where data is transmitted through copper wires in the form of an electrical signal, in fiber data is usually transmitted through the glass. Sometimes plastic is also used in form of light pulses.

How Fiber Optic Works

Fiber is reliable, fast, and probably the best broadband technology. Fiber Optics does not suffer any interference from electromagnetic radiation or water or moisture. It has more capacity, more bandwidth, more data can be transmitted through optical fiber compared to copper wire. Currently, Fiber can provide an internet speed of 2/gbps for domestic usage in the USA and there is no limit. Earlier Impurities in glass slowdowns the speed of the Internet.

Why Optical Cable Business Boomed In USA

The boom in telecom industries in 1990 and early 2000 crated demand for fiber products because telecom providers wanted faster voice and data transmission systems. In 1970 Optical Fibre company Corning first invented the purest optical fiber which allows data to send over massive distances with minimal signal loss. In 1983 first two cities connected through long-distance fiber optics were New York and Washington DC.

Through Bipartisan infrastructure law, 2021 USA government sanctioned $65 billion in expanding access to broadband internet to all Americans, which caused a spike in demand for fiber products.

In the second quarter of 2022 Optic Fibers company, Corning reveals that their optical fiber segment saw revenue of $1.3 billion, a 22% increase year over year.

Experts predicted in 2030 global optical fiber market will reach $12 billion. Currently, the world is facing a shortage in Fiber Optic cable, and one of the reasons for the shortage in the supply chain is the pandemic. Also pandemic helps to boom the demand for optical fiber because people are shut inside rooms and the only way of communicating is access to the internet.

Expansion of 5G is also a reason for optical fiber demand. Giants like Meta, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon started building their subsea fiber optic networks. Usually, open sea optics networks are owned by the government or telecom companies but the high cost of rent in third parties networks and shortage of bandwidth evoked them to build their own fiber networks separately.

Why USA Currently Trails In Fiber Internet Expansion

On a regional basis in comparison to Europe and Asia specific USA trails in the adoption of fiber internet, especially in North America. where Asia and Europe households adopted more than 50% fiber internet, in the USA the percentage stands only about 21%. And the majority of household USA internet users are subscribers of cable internet. (Which is bundled with Tv and phone packages).

People of the USA adopted cable tv and cable broadband earlier compare to most other countries. Cable companies expanded their wire in every part of USA. They were also one of the first to offer a high-speed broadband solution.

Some experts predicted political issues are one of the reasons for the delay of fiber expansion across the USA. Municipal broadband service is restricted in 18 states of America. Municipal corporations can’t set lower prices compared to other internet service providers. In this scenario, customers are not interested to change their broadband service provider.

Another factor for the lower usage rate of Fiber broadband in the USA is Geography and the size of the country.

Hurdles In Expansion Of Fiber Optics Network

Most Internet connections are already fiber-based. Underwater Subsea cable networks connect continents. Installing a single cable takes huge money, labor cost, and several years to complete. Also requires expensive special survey vessels and specialized cable-laying to help lay the cable on the sea floor and ensure it does not get in way of human activities.

Fiber cables are also buried underground in most cities of the USA. Also, some internet service providers install the cable on the electric poles which is a cheaper option. In rural areas where fiber was never been installed before is harder for internet service providers to provide service because of the high cost of laying fibers across the ground,

Internet providing industry consumes 60% to 80% of the total cost is installing the network.

Currently Fiber optics industry in the USA facing labor shortages. With the ongoing booming industry experts predicted in 2025 USA fiber optics companies need 1.5 million workers, the figure currently stands at 650000. To encourage more people to join the Internet industry Corning started training programs with telecom provider company AT&T to train more specialists. Some big giants like Meta started working on automation technology to deploy fiber networks. Experts believe that despite all challenges fiber deployment is worth it compared to other services available in the market.

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