Fiber-optic cables offer fast, reliable internet connections

Update Security Software When Notified to Avoid Becoming a Victim

When I was growing up, my mom always told me fiber was a good thing. My mom was talking about fiber cereal and the like, but she was spot-on about fiber being a good thing.

As director of network development for Hawaiian Telcom, my world revolves around fiber-optic cables, which deliver broadband connections to our computers, laptops and smartphones.

Over the last three years, a number of news stories and guidance have been published about the dangers of ransomware and ways to protect your information. However, the world is still susceptible. Why? After all these years, people have not fully grasped that computer maintenance is a requirement and that computer security warnings require action. Remember, software is written by humans and humans are not perfect. We will always have imperfect software and those imperfections, once discovered, will be exploited by hackers.

Fiber optics are hair-thin strands of glass carrying information between two locations using light-based technology. Just one strand of fiber has enormous bandwidth capacity, which is why it can carry phone, high-speed internet and high-definition TV simultaneously. With fiber optics, a lot of data can flow very quickly over great distances without any loss of bandwidth or fluctuations in performance.

FIBER is highly reliable and less susceptible to interference or water damage, which translates into fewer disruptions. A fiber connection all the way to your home is the gold standard, enabling access to the fastest internet speeds available. This means if you’re streaming high-definition movies or using multiple internet-connected devices simultaneously, as many households do today, you can do so without annoying interruptions or slow speeds.

Scalability is another significant benefit of a fiber-optic network, meaning once the infrastructure is laid, it’s almost future-proof because we can increase speed by replacing the equipment at the ends of the fiber as technology improves. It also consumes less electricity than any metallic type of cabling, which can reduce power bills.

Fiber is a clear winner. Residential and business customers who’ve experienced its benefits consistently tell us it’s worth the investment. Broadband service is now the No. 1 amenity for residents of multidwelling units, outweighing a pool, security, or covered parking. A June 2016 study by Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas found fiber increases rental value by 8 percent and property value by 3 percent. If the average single-family home price on Oahu is $752,000, a fiber connection has the potential to increase its value by $22,560!.

Many local businesses see marked improvements in performance on a fiber connection. David Paik, owner of Aloha Island Lei in Halawa Valley, recently switched to fiber to improve upstream bandwidth so he could easily access and back up documents in the cloud. After switching to fiber, Paik noted remote access to his network and security cameras is seamless “as if I were physically at the office.”

Educational institutions understand and support the investment in such a robust technology. Hawaii’s Department of Education recently received recognition as No. 1 in the nation for broadband connectivity and classroom Wi-Fi access in EducationSuperHighway’s 2016 State of the States report. More than 230 schools from Kekaha Elementary on Kauai to Kau High on Hawaii island all have fiber, as well as most private schools and University of Hawaii campuses.

My mom was right (moms always are) — fiber is definitely a good thing.

Jason Thune is director of network development at Hawaiian Telcom. Reach him at Jason.thune@hawaiiantel.com.

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