What to know about fiber-optic installation

Couple on tablet learning about fiber-optic installation in home

Speed and reliability are essentially the core of a good internet connection, and it's why fiber-optic internet is a significant upgrade compared to other types of internet connectivity — including satellite, DSL and cable internet.

Fiber-optic internet is known for its high upload and download speeds, as well as its reliability and scalability. These features are built into fiber-optic internet connections to give users a more seamless internet experience.

Are you new to fiber-optic internet and desire to experience what fiber-optic internet service can offer? This article will walk you through the fiber-optic installation process and how you can check availability of this service from Frontier®.

How fiber-optic internet works

Fiber-optic internet is delivered by cables that use thin strands of glass or plastic fiber — otherwise known as "optical fiber" — which transmits data as pulses of light across long distances. It's called this because it uses light-based (optical) technology.

Imagine how information travels across distances through copper cables as electrical pulses, such as with cable and DSL internet. Fiber-optic internet works in a similar way, only that the information is transmitted as a beam of light through fiber cables.

Consequently, light travels through fiber-optic cables either straight down the middle of the fiber — as it is with single-mode fiber cables — or it bounces off the inside walls of the cable down to its destination — the case with multi-mode fiber. Fiber-optic cable is structured in a way that it has two parts.

The main part known as the core (in the middle) is where the light travels through, while the other part (wrapped around the core), known as cladding, keeps the light trapped inside the core. Splicing — wedging two fibers together using a fusion splicer — also helps further prevent light spillage.

If you need help verifying splice loss, fiber attenuation — the amount of fiber loss — or troubleshooting your fiber cable, an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) can check the integrity of the fiber-optic cable.

How is fiber-optic internet installed in my home?

The process of setting up fiber-optic internet to your home is called "Fiber to the Home" (FTTH) or "Fiber to the Premises" (FTTP) — but these abbreviations traditionally refer to the same thing.

Setting up a communication signal using optical fiber is quite similar to setting up a cable or DSL internet connection. The technician replaces existing DSL infrastructure — coaxial cables and telephone wires — with optical cables. If you're considering having fiber-optic internet installed in your home or office, a good place to start is to confirm that your internet service provider offers fiber-optic internet service in your area. The fiber-optic cables often run underground.

Once you've confirmed that fiber-optic internet is available in your area, the installation process typically consists of these steps:

  1. The technician locates the optical network terminal. The optical network terminal — also known as a fiber network terminal or fiber jack — is positioned in an out-of-the-way place in your home. They come in different size ranges and can be big and blocky. The technician's first task when installing fiber internet is to locate where the terminal is in your home. If a terminal is not installed already, an installer will have to come and do it for you.
  2. The technician connects the fiber terminal to the network box. The technician's next step is to connect your network terminal to your network box using an ethernet cable — this should come with your network box — which goes into both equipment at both ends.
  3. The technician plugs your network box into power. Once the technician connects your network terminal to the network box, they'll then plug the power cord into a power socket. Your network box is connected to power when the lights turn on.
  4. The technician connects your device to the network box. The technician will have you turn on your device — desktop, laptop or mobile phone — and connect to your network box so you can enjoy Wi-Fi.
  5. You can then customize your home Wi-Fi network by choosing a network name and password.

Don't forget that these steps can only be taken when you're sure your ISP offers fiber-optic service in your area. If you're a Frontier customer and fiber-optic service is in your area, our technicians will oversee the entire installation process.

The benefits of fiber-optic internet

There's no doubt that fiber-optic internet is the present and future of telecommunications. We'll tell you why by highlighting a few benefits below.

Want to have firsthand experience of these amazing benefits and more? Check the availability of Frontier Fiber Internet by entering your address.

Fiber-optic internet speed vs. DSL internet speed

If you're new to the subject of internet speed, a simple way to understand the concept is that it's the rate of movement of data per time.

For example, when you turn on your internet and type a query on Google, your device sends the data as an upload, and the feedback comes back as a download. Your internet speed is the rate at which your query goes and returns with your search result. This speed is measured in what is known as megabits per second. Just like mass is measured in kilograms, Mbps is commonly the unit of measurement when discussing internet bandwidth.

Fiber-optic networks send data in the form of light through optical fiber cables. So, it can deliver wired speeds up to 1 gigabit (1,000 Mbps). On the other hand, cable or DSL internet uses existing telephone line wire — copper cables — to receive and transmit data.

Fiber-optic internet reliability

The internet has become an important part of our work and personal lives. Having reliable internet is now a matter of necessity.

One key attribute of fiber-optic internet is that it's designed to have much less interference with its signals, as is typical with other types of broadband internet connections. As a result, you don't really have to worry about climate or weather changes affecting the quality of your internet connection. Fiber-optic cabling is also less susceptible to damage due to the protective cover offered by cable jackets. Similarly, proper cable management, such as the use of tube cables, can prolong the life span of fiber-optic cables.

Is fiber-optic internet available in my area?

Frontier offers fiber-optic internet plans that can cater to all your internet needs — whether you have multiple internet users online simultaneously, need to video conference for work, want to stream in 4K resolution or play games online. Our fiber-optic technology can offer nearly symmetrical upload and download speeds and enough bandwidth to share.

Fiber-optic internet availability varies by location. Are you wondering if fiber-optic internet is available in your area? It doesn't take long to figure out. Simply use our check availability search to see if Frontier Fiber Internet is available in your area.

Why isn't fiber-optic internet available in my area?

Although fiber-optic technology has been around for a while, it's not quite everywhere yet. One challenge is that fiber-optic cable installation can be expensive, and outside plant cabling required for the installation of fiber-optic internet often involves digging trenches and burying pipes.

If fiber-optic internet isn't available in your area, it could be that the system just hasn't been set up yet — but don't worry, that's changing.

Will Frontier Fiber Internet be available in my area soon?

Despite the challenges of installing fiber-optic cables across the country, Frontier is actively working to widen the coverage area of our fiber-optic internet service, so if it isn't in your area now, be sure to check back soon.