Fibre is not just about faster speeds, it is also about additional capacity. This means a better internet experience.
Starting with speed, fibre will be faster but what does that really mean?
If I just want to download a simple email with no attachments then I won’t notice the change from copper to fibre broadband.
An analogy would be if I want to travel from one floor in my building to another, I can take the stairs or I can take the lift. Not too much difference either way if I am only traveling one floor.
If I am trying to get to the top of the Sky Tower, all 220 metres (that’s a lot like trying to download an HD movie rather than a simple email), then there is a huge difference.
I can take the stairwell (Copper). There are 1,267 steps from the base of Sky Tower to the Sky Deck. It would take me 29 minutes to reach the Sky Deck walking at 4 kph.
I can train like a firefighter and go a lot faster – current record is 8 min 37 sec (Use VDSL instead of ADSL to get more speed from my copper connection).
Or, I can take the elevator (Fibre).
An elevator at the Sky Tower travels at 18km per hour (speed) and the ride to the Sky Deck takes only 40 seconds (due to the much faster speed). My HD movie downloads faster on fibre just like getting to the top of Sky Tower is faster if I take the elevator.
Capacity is different to speed, more capacity means more data can travel at once.
Only one person can go up the stairwell at a time as it is too narrow for two-abreast (limited capacity). On a copper service you can usually get a reasonable speed for your download, but you can’t do anything else at the same time without slowing down your file download (due to the limited capacity).
In my Sky Tower analogy, more than one person can travel in the lift at the same time (due to the greater capacity).
In a broadband sense, while waiting for my HD movie to download on my fibre connection I can also watch catch-up TV on my tablet (without experiencing buffering), or play an on-line game on my Xbox or PlayStation, without affecting the movie download.
And once the lift is full (capacity) and another passenger arrives in the lobby they simply call the next lift (more capacity). The three glass-fronted elevators at the Sky Tower can take 225 people to the Sky Deck levels every 15 minutes !!!
A gigabit connection is like having many lifts in your building (and nobody ever uses the stairs again!).
A gigabit fibre connection delivers faster SPEED and more CAPACITY than we have previously experienced.
In the age of the desktop computer the Internet was a destination and we logged on to the internet to do a specific task. In the age of smartphones & tablets in the home and workplace, the Internet is everywhere you go and supports most things that you do every day.
The combined power of speed and capacity over a gigabit connection, means that you can download tonight’s entertainment, and update the security software on your home network and make a Skype call to a friend, all while the kids are doing their homework online – without any interaction affecting the other.
Now, if only it could cook the dinner as well . . . .