Comparing High Speed Internet Alternatives – fiber, satellite and Fixed Wireless

Man holding objectAs discussed in our first blog on High Speed Internet Alternatives, there are a number of options to  consider when determining the right solution for your needs.  If you are not an industry insider, the vast array of industry terms and broadband connections can be a bit confusing.  For that reason, we’ve developed a quick review of the most popular high speed Internet alternatives.  In today’s blog, Part 2, we’re addressing fiber, satellite and Fixed Wireless.

Fiber Optics

Contrary to popular belief, fiber optics is not a new concept. It is actually a pretty old concept.  Guiding of light by refraction, which is the core principal of modern fiber optics, was first demonstrated in the early 1840’s.  Over the years, additional inventors and scholars, from Alexander Graham Bell to Corning Glass, to Schott Glass in Germany are credited with major advancements in fiber optic technology.  Today, fiber optics is a cornerstone for modern communications. Phone and cable companies have invested billions of dollars building-out fiber optic networks.  Yet with all this investment, more than 50% of businesses are still without fiber availability. The reason why? Laying fiber is very costly and time consuming.  Permits are required and streets need to be trenched and repaved.  For highly developed areas, freeways and other community infrastructure may even prevent fiber connectivity.

So if you are a business looking for fast broadband, and are located in an area with fiber, fiber may be a good alternative.  Take note though that even if there is fiber at the corner, it may still be a long wait and an expensive install to get fiber to your office.  Additionally, if full redundancy is a requirement for your broadband Internet, you may want to consider adding a secondary broadband service that will provide network, carrier and path diversity.  After all, if your service is delivered in conduit in the ground, it can be cut, flooded or excavated, causing failure.


The first satellite, Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. As technology progressed, future generations of satellites with increased capacity and improved performance led to satellite’s prevalent use in television delivery, military applications and telecommunications, including satellite Internet.

Today, businesses can gain access to the Internet via ground stations that relay Internet data to and from satellites, via microwave, some 22,200 miles above the earth.  For customers located in areas with limited broadband coverage requiring modest speeds, up to 15 Mbps, satellite may be an option.  But unlike business-grade services such as fiber optics or Fixed Wireless, satellite service is not conducive for real-time cloud computing.  Because of the great distance that the signal needs to travel, to the satellite and back again, even at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), all satellite communications experience high latency as compared to ground-based communications.  With latency levels around 500 milliseconds or more, real-time services like VoIP and streaming media are not tolerated.

Fixed Wireless

Fixed Wireless, like fiber, is an attractive broadband service for businesses that need robust broadband.  Also known as microwave, Fixed Wireless is a time-proven technology, dating back to the early 1900’s. It was first commercially available in 1931 for long haul communications, and was greatly improved in the 1970’s when digital microwave was developed.

Fixed Wireless, when implemented by an ISP, provides seamless connectivity to the Internet in much the same way as a fiber network does. It is not a mobile technology, nor is it Wi-Fi where bandwidth is broadly available to random users.

Fixed Wireless is safe and reliable, and delivers guaranteed bandwidth with 100% Committed Information Rate and symmetrical speeds to GigE. There are many compelling advantages for Fixed Wireless as compared to fiber optics: it is readily available, provides fast installation free from trenching and construction and can offer path and network diversity for businesses that are looking for redundancy.

If you’re looking for reliable broadband in Southern California, optimized for real time video and cloud computing, see Skyriver Enterprise.

Jenny Bourbiel

About Jenny Bourbiel

Jenny Bourbiel is Vice President of Marketing for Skyriver. She oversees marketing, public relations, product management and customer relationship programs for Skyriver. A new addition to the Skyriver portfolio of services is the company's innovative 5G class millimeter wave broadband service, Skyriver Magnitude (TM). As a lifetime marketer and technology enthusiast, she bonds smart customer insights and creative thinking to connect people with Skyriver broadband services in profound and lasting ways. Since joining the Skyriver team, her customer centric initiatives have strengthened new customer growth as well as customer loyalty. Jenny brings a wealth of marketing knowledge to Skyriver, in both executive and brand management roles with leading consumer and technology brands including Verizon Wireless, Hilton Hotels, DirecTV, WD-40, and AT&T Wireless. At AT&T Wireless, she managed the marketing strategy for next generation wireless services, including the launch of the American Idol partnership that fueled the popularity of texting in the U.S. Prior to joining Skyriver, Jenny was a Marketing Consultant, working with companies such as Cox Business, where her campaigns earned the CTAM Marketing Excellence Gold Award. Earlier, Jenny held the position of Marketing Vice President for Buzztime, an interactive online gaming company. Jenny’s passion for marketing extends to her community involvement. She has sat on various marketing committees, and was on the Board of Directors for the Arts Center Foundation. Jenny holds a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Spanish.