All posts by Jenna McCabe

What is Fiber Internet?

Fiber internet used to be a fringe high-speed internet technology only accessible to people in big cities. Fiber networks are now reaching rural areas. In fact, you might have seen ads about fiber being available in your area.

But what is fiber internet? Is it worth switching over this newfangled fiber internet technology?

The transfer of information over wires from one computer to another is “the internet” in simple terms. The information is made up of very small snippets of code made up of ones and zeroes (on and off signals). Like Morse code using a light switch.

Transferring that “code” over wires is what makes the internet work. The difference between all the different types of internet services is only how those ones and zeroes get transmitted.

Dial-Up: In the earliest days of the internet, the internet sent audio signals that represented data, over copper phone lines. If you picked up a phone while someone in your house was online, you would hear what sounded like static. That “static” was the sound of data transmission of those ones and zeros.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): Using the same copper wire phone lines, companies figured out how to transmit ON or OFF electrical signals to transmit web pages and other internet data over phone lines at faster speeds.

Cable: Cable providers figured out how to transmit internet signals over their large coaxial cables, a technology that allowed the information to transmit much faster. Cable internet is a type of connection that transmits data through a cable television network through a coaxial cable. While cable is generally faster than DSL, it’s primary disadvantage is that you’re sharing bandwidth with neighbors who are using the same cable line, often managed by throttling speeds to ensure everyone on the shared line has access.

Fiber:  Cables are hair-thin fibers encased in a thick insulator (cable). Fiber-optic allow ON and OFF internet signals to be transmitted literally as light, at the speed of light. No other technology can compare to it in terms of speed. Fiber is usually up to 10 times faster than other internet delivery methods.

There are two major benefits of a fiber internet connection with higher speeds. One is that you have a dedicated line of data to the Internet Service Provider. You aren’t sharing a cable line with others in your neighborhood, so your internet speed won’t be influenced by their internet use. The second is that download speeds are typically the same as upload speeds, unlike cable which throttles back uploads.

The cost of fiber internet has never been more affordable.

Should You Upgrade to Fiber Internet?

YES! The only real limitation these days to access to fiber internet is geography. Fiber internet lines are not available for installation everywhere, but its growth continues to expand. If fiber internet is available in your neighborhood, it’s probably about time to make the plunge and switch. So much of the internet is now all about streaming HD content and high-speed gaming. You really don’t want to be left behind with an outdated internet connection that can’t keep up.

Fiber internet by Gorge Networks is available in:

Hood River
Heppner / Ione
Cascade Locks and North Bonneville
Fossil, Spray & Mitchell
Rufus, Wasco, Moro & Grass Valley