Our fibre internet expert; Steven Sargent, walks us through Fibre internet

27 August 2020

by Sophie Vella

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What is fibre internet?

Fibre Internet is the transmission of data in whole or in part from data centres anywhere in the world to the home or offices of subscribers.  Fibre is referring to optic fibre, a medium through which data is transmitted in the form of light pulses. All of GO’s Internet services are delivered using fibre somewhere along the route to the subscriber, however GO’s True Fibre is the only service in Malta that delivers Fibre all the way to the Home (FTTH) of GO’s subscribers.

How did GO get fibre internet to Malta?

Fibre based telecommunications have been used since the 1980’s. GO (Maltacom at the time) connected its first international fibre cable to Sicily in 1995 with the aim of improving international data bandwidth as the home based internet service was taking off.  In the meantime, large organisations like the government and banks were commissioning GO to connect their various branches and offices through fibre all the way. GO started delivering DSL (High Speed Internet over traditional copper telecommunications cables) and around the year 2010 started moving fibre closer to subscribers’ homes.  In 2013 GO piloted True Fibre internet and has been deploying fibre to the homes of subscribers since then.

How is fibre internet better than copper wires/traditional internet cables?

Traditional telecommunications cables were made of copper pairs.  Data over these copper pairs is transmitted through electrical pulses. Copper as a medium is easier to produce, requires fewer specialist tools and easier to work with.  Fibre internet on the other hand, allows for higher bandwidths to be transmitted, is not subject to interference, is more abundant as a raw material, requires less energy to operate, takes less space inside ducts and datacentres and signals transmitted over it can travel for longer distances without degradation.

Which is faster and more reliable?

Some days ago, researchers from the University College London managed to attain speeds that can download the whole Netflix library in less than a second. To obtain these high speeds, fibre internet is the only way to go.

Is fibre internet more secure?

Some might argue that fibre-based transmission is more secure because signals are contained inside the fibre core. However, given the specialist knowledge and equipment required to access data from cables, I believe that both True Fibre and DSL internet services delivered by GO are secure.

Will I get more bandwidth with GO fibre internet?

Yes.  GO’s True Fibre is future proof and can provide speeds of up to 1Gbps.  An upper-limit bandwidth for fibre-based transmission has not been declared yet, and new breakthroughs in speed are frequently attained.

How is GO’s fibre package better when compared to other companies in the market?

GO’s true fibre internet is transmitted from GO’s data centres to the subscribers’ homes over a fibre optic cables all the way.  Other companies in the market either rent GO’s fibre network to deliver their services, or deliver fibre to their cabinets, and then proceed with copper to the subscriber introducing extra points of failure in the network.

How long does it take to install fibre in an area?

GO has been gradually increasing its roll-out speed.  At our current capacity it would take us a year to cover an area the size of Birkirkara, Lija and Balzan put together.

How will changing to fibre internet effect my day-to-day internet experience? Does it affect upload/download speed?

Your internet experience is affected by multiple factors.  The amount of people using the service simultaneously in the home, Wi-Fi coverage and/or wired connectivity and what internet service is used for – streaming 4K video vs browsing – all affect the internet experience. GO True Fibre internet will make sure that there is enough bandwidth to satisfy any bandwidth needs up to your modem.  Installing Smart Wi-Fi for ensuring that there is good coverage throughout the home is what I would suggest for an optimum internet experience.

How do I set up GO fibre internet? Once GO installs it in my road.

Once you visit GO’s internet page and select the internet package you want, you will be guided to enter your postcode which will advise you if GO True Fibre internet is available in your area.

How can I see which internet plan I’m eligible for with GO?

You can find out which internet plan you are eligible for by following the above directions and logging in to https://www.go.com.mt/internet/internet-at-home.

Steven Sargent is a Senior Manager at GO.  He deals with Fixed Access Networks and is in the Service Operations Team.