Telephone companies installed their telephone lines decades ago. These copper wires were designed to transmit voice signals which use very little bandwidth compared to the Internet. DSL Internet over these telephone lines struggles to achieve the broadband speeds demanded of today’s society. Worse still, these speeds degrade substantially (attenuation) the longer the telephone line. Telephone companies have upgraded to VDSL Internet which uses fibre for the first part of the journey (just to the neighbourhood). This however still leaves copper wires at the end, delivering only a fraction of the speed of fibre. Furthermore, as copper wires transmit data using electricity, they are bad for the environmental, prone to problems with electricity fluctuations and flooding, and easier to be hacked. Worse still is that copper mining is harmful to the environment, producing hazardous chemicals and toxic by-products.
Cable TV companies also installed their TV lines, coaxial wires again made from copper, decades ago. As TV is more bandwidth intensive than voice, coaxial cable is able to achieve higher speeds than Internet over telephone lines. However, cable Internet is what is known as a shared medium. Houses within a neighbourhood will share a certain pot of Internet bandwidth. Broadband speeds may be fine when no-one else is online but can be very low, unstable and far from those advertised, when other neighbours are surfing the Internet, typically when you also want to be online. Coaxial cables also use both copper and electricity to transmit data and are therefore, as with VDSL, inefficient and unfriendly for the environment.
Fibre optic Internet uses cutting edge technology. Information is sent via small, flexible strands of glass that transmit light. This allows data to be sent very fast over greater distances. It is delivered on a dedicated line, which facilitates higher and more consistent speeds. This is true even during peak usage times. Transmitting over light instead of electricity and with a dedicated line means that it is harder to hack, less likely to go down during a power outage, resistant to electrical interference and environmentally friendly. Glass, existing naturally as stone or sand, is a clean material, easily extracted as opposed to copper.
Optic fibre is fast, reliable, clean and green: the best and only viable Internet solution for today and for the future.