What is Fiber Internet? 

What is Fiber Internet? Is it really that much better than DSL, Cable, or Satellite internet services? Fiber Internet is growing in popularity, and the technology has become the gold standard for fast, reliable, and high-quality internet. In this article, we explore how fiber internet works, its availability, benefits, and more. If you have found yourself asking, “What is Fiber Internet” you’re in the right place. Let’s go! 

What Is Fiber Internet? 

Fiber internet uses cutting-edge light technology to deliver data. Fiber optic cables are used to send information through bursts of light. The light travels much like electricity would through a copper wire, but much faster closer to the speed of light! This type of internet reaches speeds we haven’t been able to achieve with other forms of internet, it is also more reliable. 

what is fiber internet - fiber optic cables

Fiber Optic Cables 

Fiber optic cables set this type of internet apart. Cable internet uses copper wires, but fiber internet uses cables that consist of tiny strands of glass. The strands send data through pulses of light. Fiber cables send data quickly at about 70% of the speed of light. They can also send more data at once than cable, DSL, or Satellite internet. 

Is it available everywhere? 

Fiber is a newer internet technology and is currently not available everywhere. According to the FCC, about 39% of the US has access to fiber internet. That number is going up, but it’s a slow process to bring fiber internet to a city. In order to do so, many steps need to take place, including extensive research, planning, and construction. 

At Race, we understand the importance of bringing Fiber to communities. That is why we are committed to bringing high-quality, affordable internet infrastructure to communities across the state of California. Learn more about our areas of coverage here

what is fiber internet

What are the Benefits?

Greater speeds

Fiber optic cables can allow data to travel at a much higher speed than cable, DSL, or satellite internet. Fiber can reach speeds up to 2,000 Mbps. These speeds are much faster than your average cable internet. A faster connection allows for a better experience, whether you are on an important video meeting or streaming your favorite movie in 4K, higher speeds will create a smooth experience without any troublesome buffering. 

Higher bandwidth 

In today’s world, we are constantly connected. The average American has more than ten connected devices (think of how many phones, computers, TVs are connected in your house). Our super-connected life demands higher bandwidth to handle these devices. Fiber internet can meet these needs and provides up to 1,000 times as much bandwidth as cable internet. 

More Reliable 

Fiber internet is not affected by the weather. Fiber is water-resistant, and temperatures do not affect its performance. It is also less susceptible to power outages or electromagnetic interference because it uses pulses of light instead of electricity to transfer data, unlike cable.

Do I need fiber internet? 

The answer to this question depends on your needs. If you require higher speeds, more bandwidth, and better reliability, then Fiber Internet may be an excellent option for you. However, if you aren’t sure we recommend talking to your internet provider to determine the best option. There are many variables and individual needs vary. If you’re ready to learn more about our internet services, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry. Our team will help you pick the right service for you.  

To learn more about Fiber Vs. Cable Internet read our blog, Fiber or Cable Internet  – Which is Best for You? 

What is Fiber Internet: Key Takeaways 

In summary, fiber internet is an excellent option for today’s homes and businesses alike. Let’s review the key takeaways from this article below: 

  • Fiber internet uses fiber optic cables made of glass strands that send data through light. 
  • Fiber Internet has soaring speeds, and reliable fiber internet can meet modern demands. 
  • Fiber is not available everywhere yet, so check with your local provider to see if it is an option for you. 

If you are interested in learning more, check out our services or contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 to see what we offer in your area! 

5 Simple Steps to Take When Choosing a Home Internet Provider in Your Area

Finding a home internet provider in your area can be an overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t need to be. When choosing a provider, you need to look beyond pricing and speeds—check into customer service, ratings, and service areas. Depending on your location, you will likely have 2-3 home internet providers to choose from. Follow the steps below, and you will be well on your way to finding a great internet provider in your area! 

1. Understand What Types of Internet There Are 

There are many different types of internet you can choose from. When choosing an internet provider, you need to have an idea of what services you want. This will allow you to eliminate any providers that cannot meet your needs. 

Tip: The two most common types of internet are fiber and cable. If you want to learn more about these types, check out our blog Fiber vs. Cable Internet, Which is Best For You? 

choosing home internet provider

2. Figure Out What Speeds You Need 

Internet speed demands will vary depending on how you use the internet. For example, if you use your internet solely to check your email or casually read articles, you may not need the fastest internet a provider offers.  

On the contrary, activities that require more bandwidth like gaming or video conferencing benefit from higher speeds. Service with more gigabits or fiber internet would allow you to do these activities. You’ll also require a faster connection if you have multiple devices that share a network and bandwidth. In this case, fiber internet would make a great option. 

Below is a quick and handy guide for what speeds might work for your needs. 

choosing home internet provider

4. Find Home Internet Providers in Your Area 

Once you know what type of internet you are looking for, you can research what companies provide it. Below is a list of considerations to make when choosing your home internet provider. 

Compare Plans 

First, look for plans that include the type of internet you want and can handle the speeds your home demands. If you have cable tv or need a phone line see if you can bundle your services to create a package that works for you and saves money. 

Additional Costs and Hidden Fees 

Check to see if there are any additional costs like a monthly router rental or an installation fee. Ask the home internet provider what additional fees you might incur and any overage charges if you hit a certain amount of data. The more you understand, the fewer surprises you will find on your bill! 

Data Caps 

Many providers have data caps. A data cap limits the amount of internet you can use. Once you hit your data cap, providers either slow down your service, which makes for a frustrating internet experience or charge you for overages. When choosing a home internet provider, ask if there are any data caps and what happens if you exceed them to understand exactly what you are getting. At Race, our plans are truly unlimited. Both our Gigify Me and Basic Broadband+ include unlimited data so that you can enjoy a fast internet experience with no surprise fees!

choosing home internet provider

4. Look for Exceptional Customer Service 

Pay close attention to how a potential provider treats you. The customer should always be #1. Good customer service means building relationships with customers and the community. Another sign a home internet provider gives excellent customer service is if they are helpful. Below are positive signs a company is providing great customer service. 

Self-Service Resources

Check to see if they have resources for self-service, such as F.A.Q pages and blogs. These resources allow you to educate yourself and even troubleshoot issues if they arise. 

Customer Support 

Ask what response times are if issues occur. Check to see if support is available in various ways such as phone, chat, email, or on-site. 

Read Reviews 

All companies will tell you they are the best. Instead of taking their work, dig deeper and find out what other customers have experienced. If you see mostly positive reviews, this is an indicator that the service provider will excel at customer satisfaction. 

choosing home internet provider

5. Are they local or involved in the community?

Local service is right in your community and ready to help when you need it. Often, larger nationwide companies can’t get a technician out quickly, and if a problem arises, you might be out of the internet for days. In addition, to support local home internet providers invest in their communities. At RACE, we’re connected to our communities and give back through local events, donations and even serve on local chamber committees. 

Choosing A Home Internet Provider Summary 

Now that you have read our guide, it’s time to apply the findings! If you do your research and understand your options, you’ll be rewarded when choosing an internet provider with high-speed quality internet!  

  • Understand what type of internet and speeds you need 
  • Check for hidden fees or data caps 
  • Research the home internet provider, read reviews, and check out what resources they offer to clients. 

Are you looking for a new Internet provider? If you are interested in learning more about our internet services, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or send us an inquiry, and we will help you pick the right service for you. 

How the CASF Is Bridging the Digital Divide

Since 2008 the California Public Utilities Commission has

helped bridged the digital divide through the use of the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). This fund has helped bring broadband to underserved and unserved communities throughout the state of California. Since its inception, the program has funded a variety of broadband projects, including several fiber-based, gigabit projects like Gigafy Phelan. These projects aim to close the digital divide, and companies throughout the state continue to apply for further funding. In this article, we’ll explore exactly what the CASF funds are, a brief history of the program, the types of grants available, and how Race uses them to bring high-speed quality internet to communities.

What is the California Advanced Services Fund? 

The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) provides funding for the deployment of broadband infrastructure to areas of the state that are unserved or underserved. CASF aims to close the digital divide bringing broadband to 98% of households in each consortia region by December 31, 2022. And they are well on the way to achieving that goal. As of December 31, 2018, 97.1 percent of California households are in census blocks with access to broadband services reaching speeds of 6Mbps down and 1Mbs up or greater. 

Unserved areas are eligible for up to a 70% CASF matching grant. These grants are used for areas without high-speed internet access and often prioritize areas with rugged terrain, making infrastructure development costs too high for companies and investors to fund alone. 

Underserved areas are eligible for 60% CASF matching grants. These areas typically have broadband or internet services but at very slow speeds and do not perform well. The funds allow internet providers to increase speeds to at least 6 Megabits per second download and 1.5mbps upload. 

CASF Map

Above is a map of the consortia regions of the State of California. Source: 2020 Annual CASF Report

CASF: A Brief History 

In December of 2007, the Commission authorized the CASF. The CASF provided grants to telecom corporations to bridge the digital divide and bring high-speed ethernet to California’s unserved and underserved communities. Since then, the program has helped fund over 798 projects and awarded funds totaling over 300 million dollars. 

How Are the Grants Funded?

The CASF initially started as a 23 cents tax collected on phone bills. Currently, CSAF grants are funded by a surcharge rate from revenues collected by telecommunications carriers and remitted to the state.

Types of Grants Available 

Infrastructure, Loan, and Line-Extension Grant

Provides broadband access to households that are within the last miles of existing infrastructure. This includes the line extension program.

Rural and Regional Urban Consortia Grant 

The Rural and Regional Urban Consortia Grant funds the cost of broadband deployment activities. However, the grant doesn’t support any capital costs of the facilities which the Commission determines. 

Tribal Assistance Program

Provides technical assistance in developing market studies, feasibility studies, and business plans which support tribal communities to improve communications. 

How Do You Get a CASF Grant? 

Telecommunication companies have to compete for these grants, and often the way to earn them is through finding the most cost-effective solution to bringing services. To maximize the grant, Race utilizes current and existing utilities and utility easements. This reduces the cost and allows us to create a more extensive infrastructure. For example, if the utilities are all above ground near your home, Race will utilize that existing infrastructure instead of trenching underground utilities to your home. On the other hand, if there are no existing utilities, building above-ground infrastructures is often most cost-effective.

Race Communications - CASF

How does Race Communications use CASF? 

Race Communications has received California grants to cover up to 60 percent of construction costs, including the labor, equipment, and materials required to bring fiber or cable internet to a region. The percent of funding is based on the needs of the area. This funding does not include operational costs (the expenses of day-to-day business).

CASF Key Takeaways: 

  • CASF grants were created to bring broadband internet to both unserved and underserved communities with the goal of 98% of households in each consortia region by 2022. 
  • Race Communications has received CASF grants which cover up to 60% of construction costs and utilize existing utilities to lower infrastructure costs. 
  • Grants are funded by a surcharge rate from revenues that are collected by telecommunications carriers and paid by the end-users

8 Elements that Make the Best Internet for Gaming 

With more than 2.5 billion video gamers around the world, it’s no surprise that we are often asked, “what should I look for to find the best internet for gaming?” The answer to that question is complicated, so today, we’re walking you through eight elements that create the best internet for gaming. These suggestions will help you narrow down providers and find a service that fits your needs. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to find internet solutions that allow you to play on– and smoothly!

1. High-Speed Connections

Slow internet makes for a terrible gaming experience and is definitely not the best internet for gaming. If speeds are slow, you’ll be met with freezing and lagging, which will ruin your game. To improve your gaming experience, you need to have high-speed internet. Ideally, 35 Mbps or higher to help you avoid lag time and latency issues. This will also allow you to communicate in real-time with your friends while gaming. 

2. Check into Latency

You want the best internet for gaming, and latency plays a huge role in this!  Latency is the average time it takes your gaming device to send the data to the game server and then send it back to you. Latency is measured in milliseconds and pings. Pings are how fast you get messages from other players or your gaming server after making your move. The lower your latency, the better. Lower latency allows for smoother gameplay. 20ms – 40 ms is optimal, but anything under 75- 100 ms is acceptable for gaming. You’ll achieve these speeds by investing in high-speed internet combats latency by enabling data to be sent and received quickly. 

3. Low Lag Time 

Lag time is the time difference between your gaming server sending information and your screen displaying it. Essentially, it’s how long it takes to see the commands you input into your controller shown in action on the screen. For optimal gaming, lag time should be to be less than 15ms. High-speed internet plays a role in lag time, but you also need to play on a monitor or TV with a high refresh rate (sometimes referred to as game mode). A screen designed for gaming will maximize your experience by reducing lag time. 

5. Reliability Reins 

When you’re gaming, you want internet that won’t quit! Fiber optic internet is a great option when it comes to reliability. Fiber is composed of tiny glass strands that send data through light. Because of this, it’s less susceptible to power outages and weather extremes that are known to cause loss of connectivity in other types of internet. 

6. Avoid Data Caps

Gaming requires a lot of data. You’re constantly sending and receiving information, and it adds up quickly.  Some internet providers place limits on the amount of data that you can use in a given month. How a provider caps your data can vary, some providers slow down your speeds while others charge you data overages. This isn’t ideal for a gamer! Instead of worrying about data caps, choose an internet provider with unlimited data. 

7. Bandwidth Is Critical 

Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data your internet can handle. When you are gaming, high amounts of data are sent over your internet connection. Due to the volume, there’s a demand for plenty of bandwidth to keep up. 

In addition, remember that bandwidth is affected by ALL devices in your home. For example, if you’re gaming and someone else is streaming a movie in the next room over, it can slow down your connection causing a less than stellar gaming session. To combat this, look into fiber internet. Fiber is better suited to handle the demands of a connected home.

8. Hardwired Connections Improve the Experience 

The type of internet and speed will only get you so far searching for the best internet for gaming. You’ll also need to consider how you are plugging into your internet connection. Wifi is highly convenient, but internet speeds are not typically as fast as a hardwired connection. In addition, a lot can affect your wireless connection, such as distance from the router or how many devices are connected to wifi. Connecting your gaming device straight to a dedicated ethernet port can help you maintain fast speeds and eliminate any wifi bandwidth issues. 

Conclusion! Play On and Find the Best Internet for Gaming! 

Now you understand what elements you’ll need to find the best internet for gaming. Take these eight considerations with you on your search for internet providers, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the best services for you. And fewer internet issues = more time for gaming, so take the time to find a provider that works well for you and your lifestyle. Are you looking for high-speed, reliable internet for gamers, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or submit an inquiry and we will help you pick the right service for you. 

What Does It Take To Get Fiber In Your City?

High-speed internet allows businesses and residents alike to connect to the world. In addition, faster internet will improve your online experience for education, businesses, and entertainment. At Race, we are committed to bringing high-quality, affordable internet infrastructure to communities across the state of California.

However, before our fiber network becomes available to the community, there are several steps that need to take place. Bringing our services such as fiber internet into communities is an in-depth project that takes extensive research and planning, not to mention the actual building of the network and infrastructure. Today we are giving you a behind-the-scenes look and breaking down what it takes for Race to come to your community. Let’s go!

What is internet infrastructure? 

Before we get into how to build an internet infrastructure, let’s define it. Internet infrastructure is the framework of the internet. It’s made of physical hardware, transmission media, software, and cables that connect everyone to the internet. The infrastructure essentially hosts, stores, and possesses all the information and content you find on websites, cloud services, and applications. It is the heart of the internet. 

18 Months Out – Research and Exploration Begins

This development phase typically begins 12-18 months out from the time the internet is available to the community. During this phase, Race creates a construction plan for the communities. This phase explores exactly how we’ll bring high-speed internet to the city. We work to develop the project in partnership with local authorities. During this phase, we cover permitting and review infrastructure. This covers everything from where roads are located, researching underground utility paths, finding utility easements, and uncovering potential challenges.

9-12 Months Out – Design Begins 

9-12 months out from the launch of services Race enters the design phase. During this phase, our engineers and design team partner with the city to plan out the network. Every inch of our network is carefully planned using data we gathered during our research phase. Our engineers create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and map out obstacles such as existing utility poles, water, gas, and electric lines. 

6-9 Months Out – Construction Begins

The plans are now complete, and it’s time to get to work! Our crews hit the ground during construction and get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber cables. This is the time you’ll see our team members out on your street. The team is working diligently to bring you some of the fastest internet in the nation at a great price! 

The construction phase is most vulnerable to outside factors that can delay or stretch out this timeline. Like any construction, Race can be heavily impacted by weather, permitting, and resources. This is especially true while the global supply chain is disrupted due to the pandemic. 

9 Months Out – Spreading The Word

Now that we know bringing high-speed internet to the community is possible, it’s time to make announcements. The announcements come around the same time as construction crews begin arriving in an area – usually around 9-12 months before the launch. Race begins to prepare the citizens for the arrival and announces the services to come. At this point, we build a community page on our website and publish a press release informing residents about the upcoming services and developments in their city or town. We develop pages with community-specific information and allow residents to subscribe to monthly newsletter updates. 

1 Month Out – Sign up 

Construction is now in its final stage. We are inching closer to bringing high-speed internet to the community! Once our building is almost complete, Race releases our order form for your region. This gives you the ability to choose the services you want for your home or business. 

Once services are chosen and construction is complete, we will begin the installation process. The installation process has its own unique steps based on your location so check with your customer service representative to find the process in your area.

Conclusion 

There you have it! It takes time to build a carefully thought out internet infrastructure, but the high-speed internet at the end is worth waiting for. We are committed to providing high-quality internet to communities throughout the country. If you are interested in learning more, check out our services to see what we offer in your area!