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How fiber optics work: getting down to fiber basics

How fiber optics work

Learning how fiber optics work

To those of us who are perhaps less familiar with the practical applications of communicating with light, it can seem almost like magic how fiber optics work. Pictures, videos, emails, phone calls and more, traveling through glass fibers as thin as human hair, all at the speed of light. Fiber optics technology is a marvel of human ingenuity, not to mention physics and design, and with it comes high-capacity digital communications for a modern age.

Historically, copper was used to wire homes to telecommunications networks, mostly for the use of telephones. In many ways, copper was suited for voice signal. However, with the advent of the Internet, copper’s time had come. As with all major technological shifts though, especially when there’s infrastructure involved, the change doesn’t happen overnight. Fiber is the infrastructure that will meet our massive and growing digital needs.

If you’re curious about how fiber optics work on a smaller scale (with big implications), read on. This post will cover how optically pure glass strands are used to transmit information as light as compared with copper, that transmits information as electrical signals.

College basketball streaming: a cord cutter’s guide

college basketball streaming

Watching college basketball online and over the air

The 2017 college basketball season is now here and watching as a cord cutter is easier than ever!

We’ve put together a helpful guide to watching college basketball without the high cost and long-term contracts of cable TV. Between over-the-air channels you can receive with an antenna to multiple online streaming services, including some free options, you won’t miss a thing.

How do you decide which ONT to use?

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Whether a member of the Ting team or the mayor of a Ting town, we put your questions in front of smart people.

Deciding which ONT to use

Want to get the attention of Ting’s VP of Internet, Adam Eisner? Ask him about our ONT.


An ONT (Optical Network Terminal) is your home’s main connection back to the fiber network. In most cases, it’s a gray box attached to the side of your home with a fiber line plugged in.

ONTs come in a number of configurations. “When we first launched Ting Internet, we used (what we could call) an all-in-one gateway,” says Eisner. “The fiber terminated into the box and that box was also responsible for broadcasting wireless Internet throughout a home of business.”

So why did we replace our original ONT? “We eventually moved away from that model, really because we found it wasn’t flexible enough for what people wanted to do with their Internet service.”

Ting wants you to be able to use your Internet however you want. It’s yours, after all.

“We view ourselves as a fat pipe of Internet that doesn’t really want to get in the way of the king of things the customer wants to use the Internet for.”

How to do a proper Internet speed test

Internet speed test

We’re going to show you how to perform a proper Internet speed test

Internet speeds can seem slow for a variety of reasons. Rogue programs using your bandwidth, poor Wi-Fi reception and other problems can make your Internet connection feel frustratingly slow.

Running a proper test will help you get started on diagnosing the problem.m. Here’s how.

Does Ting Internet offer home phone service?

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Whether a member of the Ting team or the mayor of a Ting town, we put your questions in front of smart people.

Does Ting Internet offer home phone service?

Occasionally, we’re asked if we have any plans to roll out a home phone service to complement our Internet service.

We don’t.



According to Adam Eisner, VP of Internet, there’s an ongoing discussion of what services pair well with Internet service. However, at present home phone isn’t one of them. He adds that Ting does offer a mobile phone product, which is a great option, especially for families.

As for the future, we’re always looking at our options.

What is the difference between 5/5 and gigabit fiber Internet?

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Whether a member of the Ting team or the mayor of a Ting town, we put your questions in front of smart people.

What is the difference between 5/5 and gigabit fiber Internet?

A common question regarding our fiber Internet service packages is the difference between our 5/5 and gigabit plans.

Put simply, 5/5 (5 Mbps upload and download) is fine for people that visit the Internet. Gigabit, which is 1000 Mbps upload and download, is for people that live there.