Companies like AT&T and Verizon have used fiber optics to bring advanced services to consumers. These include:
- Ultrafast broadband internet with download speeds of up to 300Mbps
- More than 600 premium television channels
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services
- Interactive web services for HDTVs
Planned CommunitiesMany planned communities use fiber optic networks for a variety of reasons. Fiber optics have the capacity to transfer massive amounts of data essentially at the speed of light. Planned communities can offer homeowners, educators, business owners, and government agencies the ability to conduct all their communications functions, including internet and phone services, on a single, closed network.
This means parents can easily communicate with school teachers, or even see their child in the classroom through cameras mounted for that specific reason. Local markets and businesses can offer interactive web services to members of the community, allowing them to order groceries, supplies, set appointments, and even speak directly to someone in charge by way of video phone or web camera.
Without the use of fiber optics, these types of communities wouldn't be able to offer these types of services because of shortfalls in speed and bandwidth of other technologies.
Converged TechnologiesFiber optic networks like AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS are able to offer a wider range of communications services because of their chosen technology. They want their subscribers to be able to communicate in the ways they want, when they want. This means doing things like answering the telephone through your television, watching streaming HD video content on any of your connected devices, and even surfing the World Wide Web through your television with a wireless keyboard.
Access to social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others directly through the television are standard service offerings from AT&T and Verizon. Because fiber optic networks have the capacity and speed to converge these types of technology, many service providers see this as their raison d'être.
Video ConferencingOne of the most useful and promising developments in the modern era is video conferencing. Unfortunately, it's been more available to business than consumers. One of the primary reasons for this is the bandwidth required to transfer voice, data, and video service between two or more locations.
Fortunately, fiber optic networks offer the speed and capacity to make video conferencing a reality for consumers. Not only is video-chat over the internet with a webcam a reality, but so is actual high-definition video conferencing from the comfort of your own living room.
Companies like Logitech offer high-definition video conferencing cameras designed to work with your television and high-speed broadband internet. The faster the connection, the better the reception, and no other form of high-speed internet offers the bandwidth of fiber optic networks.
Distance LearningSimilar to the reasons video conferencing and other services have largely eluded consumer markets, so have many forms of distance learning. Text-based education is great when you're sitting in an actual classroom, but distance learning requires more. It requires interaction between students and teachers, high-definition videos, and the ability for groups of students, often in different parts of the country, to create corroborative work projects.
Fiber optic networks make all this possible, and deliver true education services to students who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend school.
Future ExpansionTen years ago would you have believed you could watch live television on your Smartphone? Or that something as small as a tablet today has more computing power than the computer you were using a decade ago?
Fiber optic networks give you the peace of mind knowing whatever the future brings in the way of new technologies, they'll work better and faster if it they have the speed and bandwidth available.
Whatever we can imagine for the future will only be a fraction of its reality. It will take the fastest, most trustworthy, and most scalable technology to make it all work optimally. No high-speed communication technology offers you the ability to significantly improve your life like fiber optics. It's the future and it's available now.