Everything there is to know about Fibre internet

21 February 2024

Personal
Technology

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Have you ever wondered about the magic behind your internet connection? How some videos load in the blink of an eye, while others spin endlessly, testing your patience? In an era where staying connected is paramount, the quality of your internet connection can make all the difference. Enter Fibre internet, a revolutionary technology that’s reshaping the way we experience the online world. With its lightning-fast speeds and reliability, it’s emerging as the gold standard in connectivity.

But what exactly is Fibre, how does it work and why should you consider making the switch from traditional copper internet? Here, we’ll explore the ins and outs of Fibre internet, its benefits and how it stacks up against its copper counterpart.

What is Fibre internet and how does it work?

For decades, the traditional form of internet connectivity has been copper wire connections, with these cables serving as the backbone of our internet, carrying data from one point to another. Then came Fibre internet and it was instantly touted as a game-changer. Also known as fibre-optic internet, it is a cutting-edge technology that uses thin strands of glass or plastic – the so-called fibres, which are thinner than human hair – to transmit data using light signals, generated by small lasers or LEDs. As a result, Fibre has become the single fasterst method for delivering high-speed internet access. It’s also very reliable.

How does Fibre internet work?

Here is a simplified breakdown:

Data transmission: Data is converted into light signals that travel through the fibre-optic cables. These are made of a core, where light travels and a cladding that reflects the light back into the core, preventing signal loss.

Total internal reflection: This ensures that light signals bounce within the core, even when the cable is bent, which in turn allows for data to be transmitted over longer distances without degradation.

Optical signals to electrical signals: When the light signals reach their destination, they are converted back into electrical signals that computers and devices can understand.

What are the differences between Fibre and copper internet?

One of the primary factors that sets Fibre and copper or wireless internet apart is the way in which data is transmitted. As mentioned earlier on, while traditional copper wires carry data using electrical signals, fibre-optic cables use light to do so. Some additional differences between the two connections include:

  • Speed and reliability: Speed is where Fibre internet truly shines. But it’s not just about speed. Fibre is also more reliable than copper, in fact, copper cables are susceptible to various environmental factors like temperature changes and electromagnetic interference, which can affect your internet speed and quality.
  • Long-term investment: Though the initial cost of installing Fibre may be higher than copper, it’s a long-term investment that’s worth every penny. Fibre cables last much longer than copper ones, reducing the need for frequent replacements and repairs. What’s more, Fibre’s ability to handle increasing data demands positions it as the more future-proof option.
  • Installation and maintenance: Fibre internet requires a different infrastructure than copper internet, which can sometimes make the installation process more involved. However, once installed, fibre optic cables are more durable and require less maintenance than copper cables, potentially saving money and headaches in the long run.

What are the pros and cons of Fibre internet?

Copper wires have certainly served us good, however, fibre-optic boast several benefits that have helped trump copper connectivity. Here are some of these advantages:

  • Speed: Fibre internet connections can work at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. That’s literally 100 times faster than copper wire connections, enabling seamless streaming, gaming and downloading large files in the blink of an eye.
  • Reliability: Fibre optic cables are less susceptible to interference and degradation, meaning a more stable and reliable connection, even during adverse weather conditions.
  • Low latency: The near-instant transmission of light signals reduces latency, resulting in a smoother online experience, ideal for real-time applications like video conferencing and online gaming.
  • Distance: Unlike copper cables, which lose signal over long distances, fibre-optic cables maintain signal strength.
    Scalability: Fibre infrastructure can handle increasing data demands, making it ideal for emerging technologies.
  • A future-proof connection: As we dive deeper into the digital age, our internet needs will only grow. Fibre internet is ready to grow and meet the demands of tomorrow, from smart homes to virtual reality experiences. 

Yet, just like everything else in life, disadvantages and certain limitations do exist. For instance, Fibre might not be available in all areas, while setting up this infrastructure can be costly thanks to the specialised cables needed and installation processes.

Two technicians rolling out fibre internet

How is Fibre internet installed?

Step 1: Laying the groundwork

The journey begins with three main components:

Fibre optic cables – these are the lifelines of your internet connection as they carry data

Connectors – these are used to join fibre optic cables together or to connect them to other equipment. They ensure that the light signals are aligned perfectly for minimal loss of data.

Termination points – also known as optical network terminals or ONTs, these devices convert the light signals back into electrical signals that your devices can use.

A team of skilled technicians lay the ultra-thin fibre-optic cables either underground or overhead, depending on the infrastructure in your area. Once these are in place, they all lead back to a central hub called the Optical Line Terminal or OLT. Think of this as a traffic controller for data – it manages the flow of information through the fibre-optic network and it’s like the heart of the operation, ensuring that your data travels smoothly and reaches its destination without a hitch.

Step 2: The magic box at home

Now is the time for this data to make its way from the central hub to your home. For this to take place, you’ll need an Optical Network Terminal or ONT, a nifty little device that’s installed at your home. The ONT is like a translator – it takes the light signals from the fibre-optic cables and turns them into signals that your devices understand, like your computer, smartphone or smart TV. Typically, the ONT is usually placed in a spot that’s convenient for you, ensuring that you can easily connect your devices and enjoy the benefits of Fibre internet without having to rearrange your home.

Step 3: You’re all connected

And just like that, your home is now part of the Fibre internet revolution. The ONT takes care of the heavy lifting, converting the light-speed data into a format that’s ready for you to surf, stream, game and work seamlessly. You’ll notice the difference in no time – websites load faster, videos stream without buffering, and your online experience becomes smoother than ever.

Young couple using devices

Why chose Fibre over copper?

The benefits of Fibre make it a clear choice for anyone looking to enhance their online experience. Whether you’re a gamer seeking the lowest latency, a remote worker in need of reliable video conferencing or a household with multiple streaming devices, Fibre internet offers a level of performance that copper simply cannot match.

How to get GO’s True Fibre internet

At GO, we know that no matter what you are doing on the internet, a poor connection should be out of the picture. We believe that the only way to future proof Malta and to be able to handle the phenomenal growth in data, is to invest in a state-of-the-art, fibre-to-the-home network. As a result, with GO’s True Fibre, every bit of the internet is pure Fibre, from start to finish, ensuring that you get all the speed, bandwidth and reliability benefits without compromise.

Want to jump on the bandwagon? Check out our 6 months free Giga internet offer. With speeds reaching 1000Mbps, with our Giga plan you’ll also benefit from a free TV stream for 24 months, while you’ll also get our Smart Wi-Fi Starter Kit for free, which includes a Nokia modem with integrated beacon and additional beacon, ensuring that your Wi-Fi remains strong in your home’s every nook and cranny.

With its lightning-fast speeds, low latency, and unwavering reliability, fibre internet is all about giving you the best online experience possible, enabling you to do more, explore more and stay connected like never before.