Internet technology for a strong connection
Internet technology has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last few decades – are you ready?
A generation of people who have never heard a modern handshake are entering the workforce – and that’s a good thing. The ringing of a 56k modem connecting the internet through a copper phone is more of a “nightmare fuel” for many 90s netizens.
Thankfully, we’ve come a very long way since the dawn of the internet, but there’s still a huge knowledge gap when it comes to the broadband services we use to access it. With telecom often being inundated with complicated terminology, it’s still a bit difficult to understand the basics of what kind of broadband options you’re looking for. Today, the two broadband services commonly offered by the larger service providers are fiber and fixed line. Knowing the difference between the two is important as it will help you choose an internet connection that is best suited to your needs.
Internet at the speed of light
Fiber optic broadband is delivered over underground optical networks, carrying data through cables at the speed of light. Any home or business that requires fiber optics should ideally have a line that runs past its address. From there, a single strand of fiber is connected to your building, an ONT (optical network terminal) is installed by Chorus or one of its contractors, you are given a router and sign up with an ISP, and you’re ready to race.
It’s also very reliable in that it’s a case of “install and forget” for most customers, and with a slew of fiber speed offerings now available, it’s easy to upgrade your plans as your internet and data usage grows grows.
And no discussion of fast is complete without some numbers. Today, a standard fiber optic connection delivers a connection speed of over 300 Mbit/s. That’s ten thousand times faster than that dusty old dialup. And if you have chosen a “premium” connection like Fiber Max? Expect speeds of 850Mbps. To get the good oil on speed and reliability for different types of broadband technologies, you can also read the Commerce Commission’s “Measuring Broadband Winter Report.”
So what is Fixed Wireless all about then?
This is a very good question. It could be said that fixed wireless (often advertised as wireless broadband) essentially helps service providers reach homes with lower data volumes or customers who don’t already have fiber past their home or business.
Fixed wireless is ideal in these circumstances, as running fiber outside of the UFB footprint can be expensive (although not always), especially when there aren’t many premises that the fiber passes by. Think of rural areas or remote locations where running cables is not practical. Here, Fixed Wireless offers a decent connection with decent speeds at a reasonable cost.
With an average broadband speed of around 32 Mbps, a 4G fixed line wireless connection does not have the same speed credentials as fiber broadband. Given that data travels over the airwaves, fixed wireless also has greater latency – i.e. delay – than fiber optic networks. This can interfere with video and voice calls or other streaming applications.
The final result
The choice is easy for most New Zealanders: fiber broadband is in a class of its own. With most plans uncapped today, it’s faster and more reliable than 4G landline based on independent MBNZ testing, providing 24/7 uninterrupted internet connectivity for the whole family and every visitor. And with the overall goal of reaching 87% of New Zealand homes and businesses with the UFB network by the end of this year, most of the country is already covered.
Find out which broadband connection is available at your address: https://www.chorus.co.nz/tools-support/broadband-tools/broadband-checker.
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