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Fiber-Optic Internet In the United States


Fiber to the home or FTTH as it is commonly referred to is the gold standard of residential internet connections.

With much of the backbone of the internet deployed using fiber optic cable, it is no surprise that fiber optics are the fastest form of broadband technology.

In fact, the latest deployments by Verizon FiOS and Google Fiber are capable of reaching speeds of 500mbps and 1gbps respectively.

The biggest benefit of fiber is that it can offer much faster speeds over much longer distances than traditional copper-based technologies like DSL and cable. The actual service depends on the company providing the service, but in most cases fiber is the best bang for the buck broadband and future-proof for as long as we can tell. Even if typical broadband speeds become 1000 times faster in 20 years, a single existing fiber-optic connection can still support it.

For more details about the number of fiber optic providers and what communities they serve, we've compiled a full list of a every provider offering fiber optic internet service in the United States.

Should You Get Fiber Optic Internet?

If you have a fiber provider in your area and you are interested in near instantaneous connection speeds then fiber optic is your best bet. We definitely recommend this technology.

Benefits of Fiber Optic Broadband

Transfer lots of data quickly.

Because fiber broadband is the fastest internet available, you can transfer large amounts of data quickly and seamlessly. This means that whether you are watching a movie on Netflix or video chatting with family in Asia or Europe your connection will be seamless and quick (provided they are on fiber too).

Next Generation Technology

Because fiber-optics uses light instead of electricity to transmit data, the frequencies that are used are much higher and the data capacity is much greater. The fiber-optic cable itself is made from glass or plastic which is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference like metal cables. This allows data to flow over great distances without degrading. Interference and energy loss is the limiting factor for all types of communication transmissions and fiber optics handles these factors much better than other modes of transmission. In the future, more and more of our world will be connected via fiber optics as we outgrow the old copper based infrastructures.

Limitations of Fiber

New Infrastructure Requirements

The biggest limitation hindering widespread fiber optic adoption is the cost requirements of implementing new fiber optic lines when old infrastructures such as DSL and cable are still serving customers.

Installing a new fiber optic network is a large capital expenditure for service providers. However, as the cost to maintain aging copper networks increases over time, more and more will choose to upgrade to fiber if not purely for financial reasons. Of course as consumer demand for better and faster broadband increases, service providers will have to install fiber-optic networks to meet that demand. Our mission is to bring that power to the consumer.

How Fiber Optic Internet Works

fiber optics

From the ultra-fast transatlantic fiber lines that connect the Americas and Europe, to the data hubs that connect you to the internet, everything comes back to fiber... But how does it work?

Well, at a fundamental level, fiber optic communication works by sending small binary transmissions of light down a fiber optic wire. Then, at each end of the fiber optic infrastructure there is a computer, repeater, or optic amplifier that makes sense of the signal or amplifies it so it can continue on down the network.

Similarly, fiber to the home technology works by delivering a fiber optic connection all the way to the premises of the consumer allowing for much faster and lower latency speeds than DSL or cable.

Fiber Optic Performance

According to the FCC, companies providing fiber optic internet connections offer 117 percent of the advertised speed during peak times, greater than that of DSL and cable.

Additionally, the FCC found that fiber internet has the lowest latency (18ms) of all of service types tested. If you are unfamiliar, latency is a key metric to how fast your internet responds and "feels."

Even though fiber optic internet is the way of the future, as of 2012 only 23% of Americans have access to fiber broadband ranking the United States 14th of many western countries in fiber optic penetration according to the OECD.

Largest Fiber Providers

Verizon Fios
10.11% Coverage
Frontier FiOS
3.02% Coverage
1.83% Coverage
Level 3 Communications
1.01% Coverage
Bright House Networks
0.99% Coverage

States with the most Fiber coverage

Rhode Island
84.7% Coverage
New Jersey
64.1% Coverage
59.7% Coverage
New York
56.4% Coverage
55.6% Coverage
District of Columbia
53.6% Coverage
47.5% Coverage

Fiber Providers: Availabilty by State

Alabama244,0635.0%39 Fiber Providers
Alaska24,2643.2%9 Fiber Providers
Arizona185,3682.7%30 Fiber Providers
Arkansas131,4464.4%26 Fiber Providers
California5,791,41115.0%46 Fiber Providers
Colorado529,4329.9%45 Fiber Providers
Connecticut39,2171.1%18 Fiber Providers
Delaware523,93155.6%11 Fiber Providers
District of Columbia334,54353.6%23 Fiber Providers
Florida3,395,71117.1%50 Fiber Providers
Georgia737,5057.2%71 Fiber Providers
Hawaii541,38938.1%7 Fiber Providers
Idaho185,51111.1%31 Fiber Providers
Illinois335,1522.6%79 Fiber Providers
Indiana799,51012.0%55 Fiber Providers
Iowa649,99921.0%123 Fiber Providers
Kansas753,63725.8%67 Fiber Providers
Kentucky572,04712.8%55 Fiber Providers
Louisiana441,4309.6%33 Fiber Providers
Maine172,48112.8%21 Fiber Providers
Maryland3,564,37559.7%32 Fiber Providers
Massachusetts2,577,16038.8%29 Fiber Providers
Michigan646,7526.6%54 Fiber Providers
Minnesota869,97715.9%74 Fiber Providers
Mississippi37,0971.2%23 Fiber Providers
Missouri979,93916.0%55 Fiber Providers
Montana104,37110.2%25 Fiber Providers
Nebraska317,78916.9%53 Fiber Providers
Nevada339,22211.5%27 Fiber Providers
New Hampshire377,53928.2%18 Fiber Providers
New Jersey5,722,39164.1%33 Fiber Providers
New Mexico153,3767.1%26 Fiber Providers
New York11,037,11656.4%60 Fiber Providers
North Carolina1,072,43710.6%46 Fiber Providers
North Dakota236,60734.1%29 Fiber Providers
Ohio997,4778.6%56 Fiber Providers
Oklahoma175,5784.5%44 Fiber Providers
Oregon802,85820.1%61 Fiber Providers
Pennsylvania5,233,65040.6%45 Fiber Providers
Puerto Rico26,7860.7%4 Fiber Providers
Rhode Island889,53984.7%16 Fiber Providers
South Carolina530,26510.9%27 Fiber Providers
South Dakota214,46225.5%35 Fiber Providers
Tennessee1,188,39918.0%39 Fiber Providers
Texas3,778,16714.0%87 Fiber Providers
Utah647,95821.7%33 Fiber Providers
Vermont100,49815.9%17 Fiber Providers
Virginia3,974,70847.5%46 Fiber Providers
Washington1,813,12925.6%62 Fiber Providers
West Virginia39,3382.1%14 Fiber Providers
Wisconsin388,1546.7%67 Fiber Providers
Wyoming60,69110.3%16 Fiber Providers
Last Updated on 2/23/2015 by .

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