Can you ever have too much bandwidth?
For many years, the small rural town that I live in had no broadband internet options. I had at one point even created a website where fellow residents could voice their desire for someone–anyone–to come in with a broadband service.
After many painful years of dial-up access, Verizon finally came through with DSL. This was a huge improvement over dial-up access. About 18 months later, our cable company Adelphia started rolling out their broadband internet service, and I switched and got even more bandwidth. I get download speeds up to 3Mbps and occasionally a bit higher.
Finally, Murrieta hit the bandwidth motherlode. We are one of a handful of communities in California that Verizon selected for their initial roll-out of fiber-optic internet service. Last year they began tearing up streets and sidewalks, laying the fiber-optic cable throughout the entire city (all utilitiy lines are underground). And yesterday I finally got a card in the mail saying that the service is ready to order.
Needless to say, I picked up the phone and ordered right away.
Verizon calls their fiber-optic service FIOS: Fiber-Optic Internet Service. So what’s the big deal?
Fiber-optic broadband will give me 15 Mbps downstream speed. This is at least 5 times faster than my cable internet. It means that video chat performance will be even smoother. Downloads will be faster. VoIP service won’t choke my son’s important Everquest play. It means Jeff will be wearing a big smile.
The installation is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17th. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
And to think that when I first got online, I was connecting with a 300 bps modem…
May 18 Update
The installer showed up a few minutes past 3 PM, and left precisely two hours later. All I can say is that fiber optic broadband is amazing.
I ran a couple of before-and-after bandwidth speed tests at .
With Adelphia cable Internet, I had a download speed of 1.1 Mbps.
With fiber optic, my download speed jumped to 14.8 Mbps — over 10x faster!
Of course, having a big, fat pipe doesn’t mean that everything loads faster. There are still many other variables in the equation — many other choke points in any path on the Internet. But it does make a difference, especially in a household with several PCs and lot of heavy Internet usage.