What is fiber internet?

Learn more about superfast fiber internet service for your home.

What is fiber optic internet? 

Fiber optic internet is a form of broadband that uses a network of bundled tiny glass fibers called fiber optic cables to deliver internet service via light waves. 

How is fiber different from other types of
internet service?

The technical difference is that most forms of traditional internet service transfer information by sending electric signals over copper wires, while fiber internet transfers information by sending light over fiber optic cables. The advantage is that fiber optic technology transfers information at much faster speeds than cable or DSL.

What speed can you get with fiber internet?

Your internet speed will depend on many factors, including your internet service provider, your specific plan, and the way your home network is configured. On the high end, the fastest plan from AT&T Fiber provides both download speeds and upload speeds of up to 5 Gbps, the fastest among major internet service providers.*

*Fastest among major internet service providers, based on 5GBPS offering. Internet speed claims represent maximum wired network service capability speeds to the home and recommended setup. Actual customer speeds are not guaranteed. Single device wired speed maximum 4.7Gbps. For more information, go to  www.att.com/speed101.

Is fiber internet better than Wi-Fi®?

While fiber and Wi-Fi are both popular technologies for residential internet users, it doesn’t make sense to compare them in this way. Each technology serves a different purpose.

Wi-Fi helps connect nearby devices together into what’s called a local area network (LAN). For example, Wi-Fi can connect your laptops, phones, and other devices to your Wi-Fi gateway or modem. A fiber optic network, on the other hand, is a way of connecting that entire local area network with the wider internet.

Can fiber internet have Wi-Fi?

It’s perfectly normal to use both Wi-Fi and fiber internet together. In that situation, when you send an email, your message will travel over your Wi-Fi network to your Wi-Fi gateway. From there, it will travel over your internet service provider’s fiber optic network and eventually connect with the wider internet.

It is also possible to use fiber internet without Wi-Fi. For example, you could connect directly to your modem with an ethernet cable.

What are the benefits of getting fiber internet?

There are several benefits of getting fiber internet. Here are a few of the big ones:

  • Symmetrical upload and download speeds. Many plans using more traditional broadband technologies will have much faster download speeds than upload speeds. Fiber internet, on the other hand, is known for having nearly equal download and upload speeds. This is an important advantage, because slow upload speeds are important when you need to upload large files quickly.
  • High max download and upload speeds. The simplest benefit of fiber internet plans is that they can be much faster than DSL or cable internet services.
  • Consistency. Even a plan with fast maximum speeds could frustrate you if it isn’t dependable. Fiber internet can provide consistently fast speeds, even during peak usage times. This is important, because it is frustrating when your internet slows down at the times you at most likely to be using it.

How do I choose a fiber-powered internet plan?

When you are considering a specific fiber internet plan, you’ll want to look at a few factors: which plans are available at your address, how much speed you think you’ll need, and how each option fits into your budget. You might also want to look at data caps. Some internet service providers will only allow a maximum amount of data usage before they start charging overage fees.

What is the best internet service provider?

While the best of anything is a matter of opinion, there is some information you can use to help choose the best internet service for you. For example, AT&T Fiber is the fastest major internet service provider, with speeds up to 5 GIG.* AT&T is also rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction for Residential Internet Service in the South and North Central regions.**

If AT&T is not available at your address, you might want to look at similar factors to determine which provider is best for you. Look at your speed options and check customer ratings.

*Fastest among major internet service providers, based on 5Gbps offering.  Internet speed claims represent maximum wired network service capability speeds and recommended setup. Actual customer speeds are not guaranteed. Single device wired speed maximum 4.7Gbps. For more information, go to  www.att.com/speed101. **AT&T received the highest score in the north central and south regions in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction (ISP) Study of customers’ satisfaction with their current internet service provider. For more information, visit jdpower.com/business/awards.

Is fiber-powered internet available everywhere? 

You need to check with internet service providers in your area to see if they offer fiber-powered internet where you live. For plans powered by AT&T Fiber, check your availability to see which plans are available at your address.