Is all Internet created the same?
Do you know what type of technology GBT or your current Broadband provider uses to provide Internet to your home or business? Did you know there are about 6 different ways to provide Internet, and the type of technology used will greatly affect the capabilities and user experience your household can come to expect? GBT provides Internet to our customers via 4 methods. Read on as we briefly explain each of their capabilities and limitations.
Internet provided via Fiber Optics
Fiber optics today is the best type of technology to provide Internet service. Fiber is a buzzword for those that do not have it but also the most expensive way to provide service. Fiber is the best because it can deliver very fast synchronous download and upload speeds and is the most reliable. At GBT, we can provide up to 1000Mbps download by 1000Mbps upload to almost 95% of our Cooperative territory, including the rural areas. Fiber is also the best when it comes to latency, which is the time it takes to send information. When it comes to latency, the lower the number the better, and typically fiber can produce latency at 17 milliseconds (ms) or quicker. Fiber is typically a dedicated connection to every home or business and does not have its bandwidth shared between other subscribers within a service group.
Internet provided via Coax or Coaxial Cable
Coax cable, which at one time was mainly used to provide cable TV service, is a second way to provide Internet. Like fiber, coax connects to your house utilizing a physical cable that transports Internet from GBT’s facilities to each individual home. Like fiber, coax can provide fast download speeds up to 250Mbps on a GBT Internet connection, but it is somewhat limited on the upload speed to 25Mbps, and latency usually is the 50-60 millisecond range. Upload speed is used to send files to other people via the Internet and is also utilized when using applications like Facetime or Snapchat.
Internet provided via Fixed Wireless
Many people think they have Wireless Internet because most households only use Wi-Fi in their homes or businesses when using the Internet. For Internet Service Providers like GBT, when we refer to Wireless Internet, what we really mean is Internet that is getting delivered to homes without a wired connection, but instead using a point-to-point or wireless Internet connection. GBT has recently made several upgrades to our wireless Internet offering and now can provide speeds up to 100Mbps by 10Mbps to most of the non-cooperative areas we serve. Fixed Wireless is a great alternative to wired Internet service because it is often less expensive to deploy, but does have limitations based on Distance from the tower to the homes and elevation. For fixed wireless to operate, line of site is important, which can often be difficult when trees or other obstacles are in the way.