Internet box: the advantages of fiber optics

Faced with the growing demand for very high speed internet access, more and more households are turning to the fiber optic network to benefit from a better online experience. According to ARCEP, the split in 2020 was 60% for fiber and 40% for ADSL. So what is fiber optic internet and how do you get the most out of it?

In this article, we will look at what fiber internet is and some of the benefits it can provide. We will also give you some tips on how to choose the right supplier and how to solve the problems encountered.

What is fiber optic internet?

The 4 operators in France (Free, Orange, Bouygues, SFR) market a device commonly called “BOX” to connect to the global Internet. Classically, it connects to the wall outlet and the telephone to have a broadband connection (ADSL).

To get a much higher speed, it is necessary to turn to another technology: optical fiber.

Fiber optics is a method of data transmission using very fine fiberglass or polymer wires to send digital signals at very high speeds. Indeed, light is able to carry much more information than the electrical signals used by traditional copper cables, which allows fiber optic links to deliver extremely high speeds.

In practice, optical fiber makes possible a more reliable connection to the Internet and up to 30 to 300 times faster than ADSL. On average, a 1GB file will take 27 seconds (300MB/s)* with fiber compared to 13 minutes (10MB/s)* with ADSL.

1 megabyte = 8,192 bytes; 1 gigabyte = 8,192 megabytes

What is an optical terminal plug (PTO)?

The optical terminal socket is an interface between the fiber optic cable and the electronic equipment, so this is where your internet box is. It allows for physical connection and photon beam alignment between the input cable and the device.

The electrical signals are converted into light pulses, which travel through fibers to the receiving device. There they are converted back into an electrical signal and sent to the connected device.

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Fiber optics to your home

If your building is connected to fiber, the technician will usually only need to run a cable to where you want to install optical terminal socket (PTO). This can be the living room, or any other place of your choice. In fact, depending on the limitations of your home, the technician will be able to advise you on the best location to install the PTO. The connection is not subject to any costs with operators in France, except when there is specific work to be done.

Two fiber optic technologies

The 4 French operators (Orange, Free, SFR and Bouygues) offer a fiber box using two specific technologies. There is indeed ‘Fiber to the Home’ (FTTH) as well as ‘Fiber to the last amplifier’ (FTTLA). So, depending on the operator, location and accommodation, you may benefit from one of these techniques.

The advantage of FTTH remains to provide a stable connection and better connection speed (upload – the data transmission you send from your line) than FTTLA. It necessarily requires the installation of a fiber socket inside the housing.

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On the other hand, FTTLA has the advantage that it does not require work in housing where the cable is already installed and does not require the presence of a fiber optic socket. In fact, FTTLA uses the fiber network to a telecommunications node located near your residence in a dedicated cabinet. From there, a coaxial cable takes over to guarantee the connection in the last few meters.

Advantages of fiber internet?

One of the main advantages of fiber optic internet is its speed. Fiber can carry data much faster than copper wires, meaning users can benefit from speeds of up to 1 Gbps (gigabit per second) or even theoretically up to 10 Gbps.

Another advantage of fiber internet is its low latency. This means there is very little delay in sending or receiving data, which is vital for real-time applications such as streaming, video conferencing or online gaming.

Optical fiber has increased reliability compared to ADSL, it remains less prone to electromagnetic interference, which means that users enjoy a continuous connection with fewer dropouts or interruptions.

Get the most out of your internet

Choose the right internet service provider

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a fiber internet service provider. First, make sure the provider offers this service in your area. In other words, is your address eligible for fibre ? Second, check if the provider has a good reputation and provides reliable service. Third, compare offers, often bundles from different providers in order to get good value for money. There’s no point in paying full price if your end use is minimal. Finally, make sure the provider offers customer support in case you have any problems.

Fix common internet problems

If you’re having trouble connecting to the Internet or your speed is slow, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem. First, check that your box and/or router are connected and turned on correctly. Then restart your computer/smartphone and try again. If it still doesn’t work, contact your ISP to get you on the right track.

How to maintain high fiber optic speeds?

There are a few things you can do to get the most out of your fiber internet access speed. First, use an Ethernet cable instead of a Wi-Fi connection, as you will have faster throughput. Next, close any programs or tabs you’re not using, as they can slow down your connection speed. Finally, if you’re still having trouble getting high speeds, contact your ISP and they can help you optimize it.

At the end

If you are looking for the fastest and most reliable Internet connection, fiber optic is the ideal solution. The key is to choose the right provider, the right offer, the ideal location of the box with the right cables and take advantage of all the advantages of fiber internet.

Photo from Thomas Jensen we Remove the spray

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