Fiber Optics 101


What is Fiber Optic Cable?


It is all about the light. The “fiber” part of fiber optics refers tiny strains of glass fibers that are bundled together in cables. These fibers are made out of carefully spun glass that is used to transmit light pulses. At one end of the cable, a small electrical transmitter creates a flash of light. This light travels through the glass threads and emerges on the other side, where a receiver reads the signals to form data. The core of glass thread can come in two different versions: Single mode and mult-mode. Single mode cables use only one fiber per cable, while multi-mode cables use a tight weave of many fibers at once. Rock Island/OPALCO are deploying a single mode infrastructure.


Why are Fiber Optics a Better, Faster Technology?


The light that fiber optics uses is superior in nearly every way to the electric signals that copper wires use. As we all know the speed of light is extremely fast, and it does not suffer from the resistance issues that electricity literally runs into as it passes through the wires. The result is greater speed over longer distances with greater capacity. The quality of the signal also receives a major boost. Fiber optic signals stay strong and clear of distortion as they pass through their glass threads (although sharp bends in the cable can cause problems), resulting in much greater fidelity than traditional wires. In the end, data transfers through fiber optics can reach around incredible speeds, with recent tests achieving terabits and patabits per second speeds.


Rock Island Fiber


What is Rock Island’s Fiber offering?


Rock Island Fiber is offering an Internet connection speed 100+ times faster than the basic DSL on offer in the county today. Service levels are (speeds up & down) 30Mbps, 75Mbps, 500 Mbps and 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps).


The core fiber technology to the home Rock Island is deploying is a Gigabit or
1,000 Mbps system. The backbone is a 10Gbps back haul so scalability is easily achieved as required.


Kbps, Mbps & Gbps?


Real simple, bits is speed or transfer rate of data while bytes is volume of data moved within a second time period.


So data capped plans, Satellite and some Cell phone providers for example, track bytes per second during the month and charge you if you go over a certain level. Plans sold based upon bits per second (Like Rock Islands) sell monthly plans based upon the speed we deliver of your data regardless of how much. However, if you want to move a lot of data it is best done with a faster connection.


The difference between 1,000Kbps(Kilo) is = to 1Mbps(Mega). 1000Mbps is = to 1Gbps(Giga) and so on to Terabits (Tbps) and Petabits (Pbps) etc etc.
Here is a short video if you would like to know more.


Are there data caps in my service?


No. Rock Island wants you to enjoy your broadband connection and not worry about how much you do. There are no caps or limits to the amount of data you can send or receive.


Come into the “Giga Bar” in Eastsound or Friday Harbor and let us show you how to use a lot of data.


Service Requirement


Is there a committed term for service.


Nope. Nada. Zip. Zero. There is no commitment for fiber service.


What device is placed on my home?


We will install a small junction box on your home to deliver your service. It is very similar to your current telephone junction box.