As 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.
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, 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.
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