Explained

Fiber Internet 101

Ting is talking fiber! Here's everything you need to know about fiber, its benefits and how it's faster and better than traditional cable.


We <3 fiber Internet

We love fiber internet because it’s the only way of transmitting data that’s future-proof. The fiber technology we have now should last us for life!

What is fiber internet?

Fiber is the latest innovation for people who want fast internet speeds with no lag. The fiber in fiber internet refers to fiber-optic—glass strands that transmit data with light instead of electrical pulses. As a result, fiber is significantly faster and more efficient than the copper wires used in DSL or coaxial cable internet connections.

So, is fiber internet better? The short answer is yes.

Because fiber can transmit data faster and more accurately over long distances, it offers faster download and upload speeds, translating to streaming without buffering, video calls in high definition, gaming without lag, and much more. In addition, with fiber, you won't experience any slow-down during peak usage periods—a common complaint with other internet access options. 

Here's a real-life example of putting things in perspective: Fiber delivers download speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps). So you can download a two-hour HD movie in around 40 seconds with a gigabit fiber connection. The same download would take more than 25 minutes on a 25 Mbps connection, which is how the FCC defines "broadband" today.

And that's just HD video. With higher resolution video, including 4K, fiber allows you to start watching immediately and never has to stop to buffer.

One day in the not-too-distant future, we'll look back at old copper internet options like DSL and cable internet with the same "remember when?" energy with which we look at dial-up today.

It’s really, really fast

It’s no secret that if you want the fastest internet, you need to go with fiber. Fiber Internet is up to 100 times faster than the average cable connection. It’s important to understand that there’s more to love than just peak numbers, though. Fiber internet is high bandwidth—think of it as having lots of space for information to flow. That means that your internet will always be fast, because, unlike cable, you don’t have to worry about congestion when more people in your house, or even in your neighborhood, are online. This also ties into why fiber internet and the future will definitely be pals. But more on that later.

It’s reliable

Since it uses coaxial cables, cable internet is susceptible to electrical interference and is often negatively affected by bad weather. Fiber internet does not have these issues, so you don’t have to worry about losing your internet connection during a thunderstorm. When it comes to durability, this is one concern some have had about fiber internet and the future. Well, it may surprise you to learn that the tensile strength of optical fiber is actually greater than that of copper. As for overall longevity—30 years after fiber began to be laid in earnest, it’s clear that it is at least as durable as copper. With advances in manufacturing, it’s likely to be even more so. 

It increases property value

This may sound like a claim dreamed up by some sneaky marketing team, but studies actually back this statistic up. Once such study specifies that your home's value can be increased by up to 3.1% by having a fiber internet connection. Similarly, landlords that include fiber internet connections on their properties can command higher rent.

It supports innovation and new opportunities

Today, there are apps and SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions with capabilities we could not have imagined just a few years ago. There are also productivity tools that allow us to cowork with colleagues across the globe and control hardware and software remotely, all in real time. The thing is, these require fast, reliable, high bandwidth internet. You guessed it: fiber fits the bill perfectly. 

It’s future proof

We know—this sounds like a term invented by a marketing department in the 1980s trying to leverage the success of “Back to the Future.However, this is a real concept. And while very few technologies are truly future proof, fiber optic cable is a notable exception. Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate its importance is looking at technology that is not future proof: cable internet. Due to its bandwidth and reliability constraints, the time is fast approaching when it simply won’t be able to keep up with our higher bandwidth demands. Conversely, the maximum bandwidth and speed capabilities of fiber is so far beyond what we currently need, connections like Ting Internet will easily keep up with our needs for many years to come. In short, when it comes to fiber internet and the future, fiber internet is the future

The importance of gigabit internet infrastructure

What can gigabit internet do for your community? This article takes a look into the benefits of fiber internet infrastructure.

A light-speed internet connection brings up a world of possibilities. Whether it’s online school, remote work or just connecting with your loved ones, having a reliable internet connection has truly become an essential quality-of-life amenity. At Ting Internet, our core belief lies in digital inclusion and how it is essential in ensuring that no parts of our community are excluded from the benefits provided by gigabit internet infrastructure. 

What is gigabit internet?

Gigabit internet is an internet connection that can reach speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (megabits per second), which is equal to 1 Gbps (gigabit per second). Gigabit internet is ideal if you plan to share your connection with your family as you are guaranteed faster load times without any buffering, delays or lags. Ting fiber internet offers gigabit speeds and is built on a fiber network, ensuring you get symmetrical speeds—which means your upload speed will be as fast as your download speed.

Why gigabit internet infrastructure matters

Let’s look at how close we are to achieving a national gigabit internet infrastructure. Most houses in the United States with internet access have had the option of a gigabit internet plan through their internet service provider from as early as 2019. In fact, 88% of homes in 40 states in both urban and rural communities with internet access can opt for gigabit internet speeds. This means fast and reliable internet access has never been more powerful or prevalent than it is now. 

Gigabit speeds better support everyday activities like 4K streaming and online gaming, as well as meet the demands of emerging technology such as virtual and augmented reality applications. A gigabit internet infrastructure also makes it easier for businesses to thrive and expand, making them more competitive in what is now a global economy. It allows us to expand beyond limits and work toward building smart cities.

And while not everyone may need gigabit speeds today, it's critical to stay on par or even ahead of innovation. In fact, fiber is one of the few (if not the only) technologies considered “future proof” due to its massive untapped potential. Especially with things like telehealth, remote work options, e-learning and even VR headsets becoming a norm, a robust and lightning-fast internet connection is all the more essential to bring tomorrow’s technology to today. 

Ting’s gigabit internet infrastructure

Gigabit internet infrastructure is the future. It gives advancing technology room to grow and helps towns grow along with it. At Ting, we’re committed to bringing fiber networks to communities across the United States. Presently, we operate in seventeen towns and are working hard to bring fiber to five more neighborhoods. 

Fiber versus copper

Then, of course, there’s the question of “Why fiber internet instead of copper?”

Copper transmits information in the form of electrical signals. Fiber, as we mentioned, uses optically pure glass strands to transmit data as light signals. These optical fibers allow transmission over longer distances and at exponentially higher data rates than traditional wire cables. Fiber also has far higher bandwidth than copper. Bandwidth is the capacity to transmit information, as opposed to the measured speed, at any one time. So this higher bandwidth means that, unlike copper, your fiber internet won’t be slowed down when there are more people online in your neighborhood or home.

Fiber is also more reliable. It isn’t susceptible to electrical interference or disruption by bad weather like copper. Any concerns that may have existed about the longevity of fiber have been alleviated—already-laid fiber-optic cable has proven to be long-lasting, and improvements in the manufacturing and installation process will make it even more so.

So what does all this mean in the real world? In short, with fiber (specifically FTTH), you’ll experience high-resolution TV with no buffering, crystal-clear voice and video calls, gaming with no lag and low ping, and rarely ever have to worry about slowdowns or outages.

Why fiber internet is the future

With the rapid pace at which technology now advances, the term “future proof” is generally considered a misnomer except in one case—fiber internet. With bandwidth and speed potential far beyond anything we’ve seen up until this point, fiber will be able to meet our needs for a very long time. With this in mind, telecommunications companies, cities and towns are building out fiber networks, making better internet accessible to more people.

We’ve long believed that every American needs and deserves great internet. As early adopters of fiber, many Ting Internet towns are already hubs for innovation. Towns like Charlottesville, VA, and Centennial, CO, lobbied their municipal representatives and had important conversations about why fiber was necessary to modernize their home internet experiences and make businesses more competitive. Today, more than 15 cities and towns across America enjoy the advantages of Ting Internet.  

Why fiber internet? It meets our current and future needs

Fiber internet has the bandwidth, speed and reliability we need now and will require in the future. Copper can no longer keep up with our digital demands.

Here’s a little tidbit for anybody wondering “Why fiber internet?” Did you know that the underpinning of the internet is fiber-optic cable? The undersea cables that connect the continents are made of fiber. So is the main backbone of the internet in America. Without fiber, the internet would be more like the inter-not.

All that fiber allows data to travel at incredible speeds around the world. One fiber-optic line can have as many as hundreds of tiny strands of glass cable all transmitting data as pulses of light traveling at nearly the speed of—you guessed it—light. And when you have a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) aka fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) internet connection like Ting’s that utilizes fiber all the way to your modem, you can really take advantage of that speed. So why isn't FTTH more widespread? 

Copper cable was convenient (but is now nearly obsolete)

One of the main reasons more Americans don’t have fiber internet is that many internet service providers (ISPs) still rely on outdated copper wiring for their connection. Since copper wiring was already in place due to having been the infrastructure for telephones and, later, for cable TV, it’s something most homes already have access to. ISPs can spend less in startup costs by using this existing infrastructure rather than installing a fiber-to-the-home connection.

The thing is, copper wiring was not designed with the internet in mind (which would have been quite a feat since the technology is 200 years old). It has limited bandwidth, it's slow compared to fiber, and it suffers from both environmental interference and signal degradation over distances. Considering our current and future digital needs, copper just isn’t up to the task.

Our growing digital needs

The way we communicate has changed rapidly in the last 20 years. Most of us use the internet for all our major communication, be it over video chat, instant messaging, email or via social networks. Many of us work online, and the idea of being in an office or working from home without an internet connection is unimaginable. Whether it’s for research or remote learning, education also relies heavily on the internet. Productivity tools and apps are increasingly moving to the cloud, and online gaming is massively popular. All this online activity requires a manner of transmission that won’t be bogged down by the increased volume and is extremely reliable. Without a doubt, fiber is the one that fits the bill.

Fiber internet explained: A complete glossary

Mystified by fiber-optic cable terminology? We try to avoid industry jargon. If you're interested in the building out of a fiber network, read on.

We try our best to avoid industry jargon. There are certain concepts, though, where jargon is the only concise way to say a thing. "Fiber blowing," for example, beats "shoot air down a tube to reduce friction such that a fiber-optic cable can be pushed as opposed to pulled through the conduit, lessening the risk of damage."

We'll continue to avoid jargon. That said, if your interest in the building out of a fiber network goes beyond "When will it be in my neighborhood?", there are a few terms and concepts it might be beneficial to understand.

Central office

The central office or CO is where the fiber switching smarts live and where all network traffic is sent to and received from the larger internet and routed. If you've ever seen a server room, it looks a lot like that: thousands of wires and fiber strands coming into the structure and getting connected to high-tech equipment, mounted in tall metal racks.

If you've never seen a server room, think about your home's main electrical panel: a centralized unit routing power behind the walls, all over your house so that you can flip a switch and have light without even thinking about it.

Conduit

Conduit is the rigid tubing that we place underground to house and protect the individual fiber strands that make up the network. Many smaller conduit tubes (called "microducts") can live within a larger orange conduit. The configuration is determined by capacity needs.

Directional boring

Directional boring uses a steerable horizontal drill that creates a small, conveniently conduit-sized tunnel under obstacles like roads and utilities. Once the tunnel is in place, the conduit can be pulled back through. Definitely not boring.

Tracer line

To ensure conduit can be located underground again, either by Ting, by the city or by a utility, a copper tracer line is placed along with the conduit. The tracer line ensures the fiber conduit can be pinpointed without digging.

Locate / locates

There's a lot of infrastructure underground: water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, all kinds of stuff. We need to get an accurate map of what's already there before we dig. Finding and marking these utilities is called (appropriately enough) locating. We need to get these utility locates completed before we can do anything at all underground. Locates need to be done by the utilities themselves, by the city or by specialist companies. They can be a bottleneck in the process of building a fiber internet network.

Stitch boring

Where directional boring uses a horizontal drill over long distances, stitch boring uses an autonomous pneumatic missile. Stitch boring is effective across short distances, which is how we use it. Where the directional bore can go under a wide road, a stitch bore is more suitable for going under a driveway. 

Handhole

A handhole is basically a small pit that's dug to give access below ground. Directional boring and stitch boring both require a handhole to be dug. Wherever possible, we dig handholes where a flowerpot (read on) will be placed to minimize disruption.

Flowerpot

Flowerpot is an industry term for a buried access hatch. Many utilities use flowerpots. They're so common, you may have ceased to notice them. A flowerpot provides easy access to the underground fiber. Flowerpots are used for all sort of underground utilities: irrigation systems, underground power, water or in this case, the protective conduit that houses fiber strands.

A flowerpot is where our network team makes the splices for the individual fiber that runs up to a home or business to bring lightning-fast fiber internet.

Fiber splice

Fiber is glass, and so joining multiple strands together isn't as simple as twisting them together like you would a copper wire. Instead, a specialized piece of equipment called a splicer is required. A splicer takes two pieces of fiber and fuses them together with a tiny and almost optically perfect laser weld.

Splice dome

The Splice Dome is where fiber technicians face off gladiator style to test their fiber splicing skills. Only one technician, the victor, emerges from the Splice Dome.

Just kidding.

In network terms, a splice dome is where fiber branches out in multiple directions to allow for individual connections off the main trunk of fiber. Numerous splices are completed, and the splice dome consolidates and protects these connections.

Fiber pulling

With conduit in the ground, the smaller fiber-optic cables can be routed. Using a line fish and piece of highly specialized equipment called a “rope” (in the industry parlance), these fiber cables are physically pulled into and through the existing underground conduit.

Fiber pulling is effective over short distances only. Attempting to pull fiber over long distances is difficult and can even strain the cables themselves.

Fiber blowing

Fiber blowing is a technique that allows fiber-optic cable to be sent through the underground conduit while greatly reducing any risk of damage. Rather than being pulled, fiber is pushed. “Blowing” refers to air that is sent through the underground conduit to lessen friction. Wheels on the fiber blowing machine also help to push the fiber-optic cable forward.

Using fiber blowing, fiber can be sent many hundreds of feet at a time without issue. Ting was the first company to popularize fiber blowing in North America.

Microtrenching

Microtrenching uses a specialized machine to cut a small slot 1.5 to 2 inches wide and about 12 to 18 inches deep running parallel to the curb. The protective conduit that will later house fiber is laid in the resulting slot. This process is relatively quick and much less disruptive to the surrounding area compared to traditional construction.

Is gigabit cable internet as good as fiber?

Can DOCIS copper cables compete with fiber cable speeds? The analysis details why fiber beats this new cable technology.

It’s generally accepted that fiber internet is superior to copper-based cable internet in nearly every way. The one exception is that there are still areas where cable infrastructure already exists and fiber-optic cable is unlikely to be installed in the near future. In these areas, the cable internet telecommunication standards DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 4.0 can act as a temporary solution.

What is DOCIS?

Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) permits the addition of high-bandwidth data transfer to existing cable infrastructure. The most recent versions (3.1, released in 2013, and 4.0, released in 2017) facilitate gigabit speeds over cable. However, any suggestion that simply purchasing a DOCSIS 3.1/4.0-compliant modem will give you fiber internet performance is simply false. For numerous reasons, DOCSIS is not and will never be a lasting alternative to fiber internet.  

The real trouble comes when DOCSIS 3.1/4.0 is treated as a mitigation strategy and as a shortcut to gigabit, rather than investing in the upgrading of telecommunications networks to full fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) internet, aka the kind of work Ting does. Our internet needs have changed, and old copper networks are struggling and breaking under the load. That’s why copper is the past, and fiber is the future.

DOCSIS versus fiber: not the same technology

The internet exists because of supporting infrastructure. Miles and miles of fiber backbone connect data centers across the country to local cities and towns. Why is fiber used for the main infrastructure? Because it supports not just the greater speeds and bandwidth we need today, but also the exponentially greater demands that will come in the future. In the early days of the internet, this main fiber backbone was connected to the local copper networks initially utilized for landline phones and later cable TV due to availability and cost. 

We’ve come a long way from cable TV and telephones. Wherever possible, cities and towns are upgrading the infrastructure that services homes and businesses to fiber internet. Those existing copper networks weren’t built to support digital signals and, therefore, aren’t up to the task. We know that fiber is faster (and has the potential for speeds we can’t even imagine yet), more reliable and can even increase property value. “But hold on,” you might ask. “My internet service provider says they have gigabit DOCSIS cable internet. Doesn’t that mean it’s at least as fast as gigabit fiber internet?” In short, no—and here’s why.

Copper (even DOCSIS) has consistency and bandwidth issues

Copper networks are prone to signal degradation over long distances. So over those miles of copper run from your internet service provider (ISP) to your home, you’ll almost certainly experience at best a drop in speed and at worst actual dropouts. Perhaps the biggest speed issue with copper, however, is its bandwidth constraints. 

Ever notice how the internet gets slow at night when everyone’s at home on a cable connection? This isn’t just caused by more people being online in your house but is affected by your neighbors as well. That’s because you’re sharing some section of copper wiring with others on your street. Due to copper’s inefficiency, that sharing results in slowdown. DOCSIS 4.0 may allow much higher potential speeds than regular cable connections, but it’s still copper, so this issue remains. 

In the DOCSIS vs. fiber battle over consistent speed, there’s a clear winner. With a gigabit fiber connection, your speeds are never compromised. Gigabit fiber is built for transmitting digital information quickly and efficiently. Signals can be transmitted long distances without degradation, and with FTTH, the kind of fiber networking Ting does, you’re getting an end-to-end fiber connection. This means you don’t compete for bandwidth with your neighbors or other users in your home.

DOCSIS 3.1 is not symmetrical (and why upload speeds matter)

ISPs tend to only talk about their download speed. That sticker speed you see on your internet connection is not symmetrical, meaning it doesn’t reflect your upload speed. The thing is, upload speed impacts everything you push to the internet. When you add a file to your Google Drive or sync your photos to iCloud, that’s uploading. When you’re at work collaborating on a shared file, that’s uploading. When you send an email or a video or a picture, that’s uploading. Of course, video conferencing, online learning, gaming, voice over IP calls (VoIP) and more require two-way communication—meaning your upload speed is just as important as your download speed.

Even with DOCSIS, cable’s maximum upload speeds are considerably slower than its download speeds. That means that all those things mentioned above will be negatively affected. With symmetrical fiber internet like Ting, your upload speed is just as fast as your download speed. Businesses, students, video chatters and gamers rejoice!

Fiber is a future-proof solution

Fiber and DOCSIS 3.1 address the same fundamental issues—people need greater internet access speeds, and the network needs to be able to handle more people and things doing more stuff online. The fact is this: Fiber is a sustainable solution to these issues, with capabilities that will take us far into the future. DOCSIS 3.1 and 4.0 stretch the capability of cable internet to its limit in an attempt to do the same. DOCSIS 3.1 can be a useful stopgap in places where fiber hasn't yet been deployed. However, it should never be considered as a long-term alternative solution in lieu of real innovation. Fiber is built for transmitting digital information. As the volume of information we need to transmit increases, switching to fiber is the obvious choice.

Did you know: Fiber internet can increase home value

Today, potential home buyers look for more than curb appeal—they’re looking for quality internet. Find out how fiber internet increases your home value.

As homes get smarter, we’re relying on faster and more dependable internet connections now more than ever to power devices that keep us connected. Whether it’s working from home, attending virtual classes or having a smooth online gaming experience, fiber is the perfect internet choice for today’s needs. But did you know that fiber internet can also increase your home value

Let’s talk about some facts. Based on this study from the Fiber Broadband Association, property owners can expect to see a 3.1% increase in the value of their property when outfitted with fiber internet. On a $300,000 home, that’s over a $9,000 boost!

This study also tells us that “homes where one gigabit-per-second broadband was available, transaction prices were over 7% higher than homes located where the highest speed available is 25 Mbps or lower.” This is great for folks who are property owners and have Ting Internet since they experience symmetrical speeds up to one gigabit per second. Fiber doesn’t just provide you with internet that’s pretty great; it future-proofs your home with tomorrow’s technology while also increasing your home value. 

What’s so great about fiber internet?

Since fiber internet transmits data quickly and more accurately over long distances, it offers faster (and symmetrical) speeds, which means streaming without buffering, video calls in high definition, and gaming with no lag and low ping. Plus, fiber offers dedicated bandwidth straight to your door so you won’t experience any slowdowns during peak usage periods.

Fiber is able to handle multiple devices connected at the same time, allowing every member of the family to work, play and stream seamlessly from home. As remote work becomes a reality for more and more people, an excellent internet connection is key to staying productive and video conferencing without interruptions or lag. By equipping your house with fiber internet, your property will also appeal to prospective buyers who work remotely, bringing significant value to one of your most significant assets—your home.

How is fiber different from cable internet?

We’re all about describing the benefits of fiber internet over traditional cable when it comes to internet service providers. Traditional cable uses copper wires, which can be affected by several factors, such as distance and weather. While that technology worked great with telephones, it's not as effective when it comes to the internet.

Alternatively, fiber-optic cables are incredibly strong, not affected by weather conditions and much more durable than copper wires. They use small glass fibers to transfer data via light pulses, similar to how electricity moves through copper, but significantly faster as fiber cables carry multiple signals at the same time. The small size of these cables allows them to be bundled into larger packages, which means there’s more data available to access.

FTTP vs. FTTC: Is one better than the other?

Now that you’re up to speed on the basics of how fiber is better than traditional cable internet and how it increases your property value, let’s talk about FTTC vs. FTTP and when to pick one over the other.

Fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) brings a fiber connection all the way inside your home, which is why this type of connection is sometimes also called fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). With this approach, you get a dedicated fiber line—giving you a powerful, reliable internet connection and limitless streaming potential. 

Meanwhile, FTTC (fiber-to-the-curb), sometimes known as FTTN (fiber-to-the-node), is pretty much what it sounds like. Technicians install the fiber link right up to the curb outside your house, and from there a cable carries the internet signal into your residence. FTTC is handy and cost-effective because it usually uses existing network infrastructure to transmit signals, so its network performance isn't quite as impressive as what you would get with FTTP. 

Looking for a light-speed internet provider?

Ting fiber internet is your answer to an ideal internet provider, bringing you symmetrical speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Work, stream and play at light-speed!

Light-speed fiber internet with Ting

Ting is an internet service provider (ISP) that provides fiber internet to homes and businesses in cities across the U.S. Our lightning-fast internet is built with fiber optics, which brings us up to speed and blows away the old and unreliable copper internet connections. It’s lightning-fast, reliable and future-proof, so you can stay connected–no matter what.

Why go with fiber?

Ting fiber internet gets you the fastest internet available today for those who don’t want to mess around with subpar, middle-tier speeds. 1,000 Mbps is, by any account, a lot of speed. Why settle for internet that won’t keep up with the next evolution of technology? 

Fiber internet is an important infrastructure for our future and perfect for gamers, telecommuters, entrepreneurs, students and busy families with ten devices all online at the same time–without any buffering, delay or lag.

What are symmetrical speeds?

Many internet service providers provide asymmetrical internet speeds, which means relatively high download speeds paired with much lower upload speeds. This would suggest that ISPs believe the majority of people need high download speeds and that upload speeds aren’t as important. 

At Ting, we tend to disagree. The idea that upload speed is only important for a small fraction of “power users” is inaccurate. It doesn’t take into consideration our evolving use of the internet or the cloud especially. So, in a word, yes; upload speed is important. It’s important for gaming, fast cloud storage, photo sharing and more. Basically, it’s important for pretty much everything we do online. That’s why Ting's symmetrical fiber internet means you can upload as fast as you download, up to 1,000 Mbps.

How to choose the right internet provider for your new home

If your day-to-day life relies on being online, choosing the right internet service provider is critical when you move into your new home.

 You've crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's on your new home, and now comes the exciting part—finally moving in! While there are likely hundreds of things on your to-do list as you get ready to move, don't forget to choose which internet service provider (ISP) to go with. The internet is an element of your home that will touch nearly every aspect of your daily life.

You don't need to settle for the average internet that was already wired to your home. If your day-to-day life is reliant on quality internet coverage (which it probably is), you should talk to your family about what factors are important to you when choosing an ISP. As more of our lives move online, and as we continue to work, learn and play at home, having a great internet connection is critical.

Fiber internet is the upgrade to make when you move into your new home. Ting internet uses fiber optics instead of aging copper wires, resulting in a faster and more reliable internet experience. Plus, you can get up to one gigabit (1,000 Mbps) of bandwidth, which would give everyone in the house the power to do what they want, whenever they want, all at the same time.

Here are five key factors you can keep in mind before choosing an internet service provider for your new home.

Convenience

The Internet of Things (IoT) isn't just a catchy phrase; it's the reality of modern world. Smart home devices like thermostats, refrigerators, security systems, HVAC units and even lightbulbs can all be connected through the internet to make life easier. However, it takes a robust internet infrastructure to handle the bandwidth your "things" require over the course of just one day. Fiber internet provides you with lightning-fast speeds, ensuring your connection isn't affected by multiple devices accessing it.

Speed

If you've been asking yourself, "What is internet bandwidth, and why does it make a difference?" here are the answers you seek. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over a given period of time and is usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps). The more bandwidth your internet provider can deliver, the more quickly and efficiently you can do whatever you want. Additionally, most providers have an asymmetric connection, where your uploads are much slower than your downloads. With Ting fiber internet, you have a symmetrical connection. That means you can upload at the same lightning-fast speed at which you download.

Security

Considering how much of our lives we have connected to the internet, we all want to be safe online. The best internet providers offer robust safety features, including parental controls, time limits and blocking of certain websites. Of course, being safe and secure on the internet isn't just for kids. Learn more about how you can beef up your passwords, and consider using a secure VPN as you browse.

Reliability

With remote work and e-learning options increasing, having an internet connection that you know will work day in and day out is crucial. Greater bandwidth allows multiple devices in your home to accomplish internet-intensive tasks without anyone bogging down the connection. This means you can be on video calls at work while the kids stream television without any interruptions or lag. That's the kind of consistency you’ll want in your new home.

Affordability

Buying a new home isn't cheap, so you'll likely be looking to save in other areas, and you shouldn't have to break the bank to get quality internet service. When you're choosing an internet provider for your new home, make sure they offer unlimited monthly data with no caps on usage at a fair price. Ideally, you'll want to avoid contracts or termination fees as well. With Ting fiber internet, you’ll have no commitments. We also don’t believe in any hidden fees whatsoever. We promote clarity and give people the info they need to make informed decisions.

Slow internet - Five signs you need better internet access

Here are some signs that you need better internet access and that it’s time to switch to a fast fiber internet provider like Ting.

We talk a lot about the benefits of fast, reliable fiber internet. However, if you don’t have anything to compare it to, how will you know your internet is slow? 

1. “Can you hear me now?” takes up most of your video calls

Video calls really came into their own in 2020. Those of us who hadn’t used them regularly before latched onto them as a lifeline to stay in touch with loved ones and discovered what video-call veterans have long known: Video calls are no fun if your internet connection can’t keep pace.

“Can you hear—” 

“Oh, no … you go ahead.” 

“I can hear you … Can you hear me? Oh shoot, you’re frozen.” 

“Maybe I’ll try to go audio-only—” 

“What was that? Hold on, I’m going to try to reconnect.”

If you’re dealing with this oh-so-frustrating symptom, look at your upload speed first. Many internet providers only quote their download speeds, especially when their upload speeds are lacking. With Ting Internet, you get symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Want to see what speeds you’re really getting right now? The Ting Internet speed test will take the guesswork out of the situation.

Upon taking the test, you’ll notice two additional measurements called ping and jitter. These are also key factors in call quality. We’ll talk about them more a bit later.

2. You don’t get HD streaming, and you do get endless buffering

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify and other streaming services allow you to adjust the quality of your media. If you have a slow connection, some services dial video and/or audio quality back for you automatically. So when your 4K movie drops back to HD (high definition) or even to a blocky SD (standard definition), you’re likely suffering from sub-par internet access. 

If your movie night takes forever to get started because of buffering, or if your experience is interrupted by the dreaded buffering wheel, it’s bad news: This is another sign you’ve got a slow internet connection. The aforementioned trick of manually lowering the resolution may help, but wouldn’t it be nice to have better internet access that allows you to enjoy great-looking movies and TV? For streaming with zero buffering, see if Ting Internet is inTing Internet your neighborhood.

3. Your lag problem is real and not just an excuse for your gaming losses

Lag (the delay between your input and a game or app responding) is the bane of the online gamer’s existence. Interestingly, online gaming doesn't require a terribly high sustained download or upload speed. Your online gaming experience lives and dies by those two attributes we mentioned earlier while talking about video calls—ping and its close cousin jitter. 

Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms) and is basically how long it takes for a tiny data packet to travel from your device to your provider’s server and for a response to come back. The data packets may be tiny, but online gaming requires sending and receiving a lot of them quickly. High ping suggests network congestion at the service provider level and manifests as lag.

Jitter is basically a plus/minus on ping: the variability in your high and low ping. You want this to be low as well. If you’ve got low average ping but it suddenly varies to lag-causing high ping at a crucial moment, your teammates on the now-losing team are going to want your head.

Consider a ping of anything below 25ms a competitive advantage when playing online. Between 50ms and100ms could be considered good to borderline. Above 100ms and you’ve got a problem—you can expect noticeable issues. Once you get to 150ms, you might as well put down the controller, because the game will likely be unplayable. When it comes to jitter, you always want this to be below 30ms. Good fiber internet will often have low, single-digit jitter.

As noted by PC Gamer (and they should know), fiber internet will generally give gamers a better experience. And with Ting Internet in particular (up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download with fiber from our hub all the way to your modem), you won’t find a better connection for gaming. You can read more about speed, ping and jitter on our website under FAQs.

[link url="https://internet.ting.com/speedtest-new" title="Speed test" open="new" type="read more"]Test your speed[/link]

4. You're an expert at the Google Chrome Dinosaur Game

If you’ve spent a lot of time with this little guy, you know the frustration of unreliable, slow internet.

This little dinosaur is the de facto mascot for Google’s Chrome browser. It pops up when Chrome can’t connect. 

If you hit the space bar, the Dinosaur Game begins, and you’re jumping obstacles in a simple monochrome sidescroller until your internet connection comes back. While it can be a fun little distraction, being a regular player means you’re in dire need of better internet access. Before you achieve the bittersweet distinction of posting a high score, you may want to see if Ting Internet is available where you live. (After upgrading to Ting, you can always revisit the game by choice—just type chrome://dino/ into your browser’s address bar.)

5. You know the hold music by heart

If you have perpetually slow internet, you’ve probably tried to call your service provider in search of a solution. Let’s be honest here—if there were a simple fix, it would have been done. So you probably have called many times. You’ve memorized the phone tree (“For billing inquiries, press one. To hear our latest offers and why you, as a long-standing customer, aren’t eligible, press two.” And an agonizingly long time later: “For technical support that definitely does not have a solution to our internet being slow by nature, press eight.”) Worse yet, you know their hold music—that is somehow simultaneously inoffensive and infuriating—so well, you could choreograph an interpretive dance number to it at a moment’s notice. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ija9LOv0UXc

What is Ting internet?

Reliable fiber internet for families, businesses, students and entrepreneurs to work, stream and play at the speed of light.

We’re an internet service provider that delivers fiber-optic internet to homes and businesses in cities across the U.S. Our lightning-fast internet is built with fiber optics and blows away old, slow, and unreliable copper internet connections. Fiber internet brings us up to speed. It’s lightning fast, boringly reliable and future proof, so you can stay connected no matter what.

Along with making sure we deliver high-quality internet, Ting is built on customer service. We empower our teams with the tools and knowledge to help customers, and then we get out of their way so they can do it. Ting is also a part of Tucows (TCX), a company that’s been doing more with the internet since 1994. Better said in our CEO Elliot Noss’s words: “We believe in doing things differently and empowering the underdog. We're changing the industry because we’re tired of business as usual too.”

How is Ting fiber internet better?

Fiber is the fastest internet available today. With symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 1000 Mbps, Ting fiber internet provides you and your family the power to download, stream, video chat, listen to music, run home automation devices and much more. All devices stay connected at the same time—without any buffering, delay or lag.

Why Ting Internet?

Ting fiber internet isn’t like the other ISPs you’re used to. For one, we never lock you into a contract or plan. We don’t do termination fees, which means no commitments. We also don’t believe in any hidden fees whatsoever. We promote clarity and give people the info they need to make informed decisions.

We’re confident in the power of fiber internet and believe that you’re going to love how easy it makes your life. The most common thing we hear from people and businesses who get Ting is that “I don’t have to think about the internet anymore.”

Ting Internet is true symmetrical gigabit internet offering 1,000 Mbps upload and download speeds. A bit of good news for those who decide to join Ting: We don’t do phone trees, and you’ll always speak to a real person who is incredibly knowledgeable. A bit of better news: You’ll never have to call that person to complain about slow internet since our dedicated fiber internet connection to your home is among the fastest and most stable available. And Ting is always committed to contributing to the communities that welcome us—from sponsoring worthy causes to helping make internet affordable to more homes.

You’ll <3 fiber internet from Ting

So by now you’ve looked at a future with fiber internet, and the future looks bright. But why Ting fiber internet? Well, Ting offers a symmetrical gigabit connection—both your upload and download speeds will be up to 1000 Mbps (that’s really fast). And thanks to a dedicated connection that goes straight to your router, you’ll get speeds closer to the maximum. If you ask our customers, though, they’re just as likely to talk about our knowledgeable customer support team (all human, no robots or phone trees) and our commitment to enriching the communities that welcome us. Ready for an upgrade to future-proof internet? See if Ting is in your neighborhood

How much does fiber internet cost?

Fair question. Ting fiber internet costs $89/month plus your start-up fees, but if you preorder Ting Internet we give you a hefty discount. That gets you unlimited monthly data with no caps or limits on what you use.

Since we started our fiber service in Charlottesville, we’ve never raised our prices. Ditto goes for all the towns that we’re now available in. We don’t do contracts or termination fees, which means no commitments. We also don’t believe in any hidden fees whatsoever. We promote clarity and give people the info they need to make informed decisions.

Who is fiber internet for?

Ting fiber internet is for people who use the internet. That's most of us these days. When we go into a town, we do our best to wire entire neighborhoods and pass every residence along the way.

Ting is great for families, businesses, students, entrepreneurs and more. Ting is for people who want to future proof their homes. It’s for people who work from home and need to move ideas quickly. It’s for streamers who want to stream with no buffering and gamers who want to game with no lag. It’s for communities that want to stay connected and for local businesses to thrive without stressing over unreliable internet.

Learn more: Download the e-book

There you have it; when it comes to DOCSIS vs. fiber, the latter is the clear choice whenever it’s available. You can learn more about fiber and how it’s superior to copper in our e-book What is fiber Internet? 

Get started with fiber internet

Wondering if we've made it to your neighborhood yet? Ting's lightning-fast fiber internet is currently available in the following towns:

Alexandria, VA

Aurora, CO

Charlottesville, VA

Colorado Springs, CO

Culver City, CA

Encinitas, CA

Fullerton, CA

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Holly Springs, NC

Roaring Fork, CO

Rolesville, NC

Greater Sandpoint, ID

Sanford, NC

Solana Beach, CA

Wake Forest, NC

Westminster, MD

Sign up for our newsletter!

Be the first to know about news and special offers.