Mar 13

High Speed Internet: DSL vs. Fiber

DSL and fiber optics are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to comparing high speed Internet options in almost every way. The best way to show these comparisons is to show the same company’s performance over DSL and fiber optics.

Here are some more of the difference between DSL and fiber optic Internet service, using AT&T as an example.


Why would a company have both if one is that much better? There’s an easy answer. Whole-system fiber optic networks are incredibly new. So new, in fact, that it’s available only in larger metropolitan areas, no matter which Internet service provider you choose. On the flip side, DSL service has been around since the early 1990s, making it readily available wherever land-line telephone service is available.

Right now, AT&T U-verse is only available in markets in 21 states. AT&T FastAccess DSL and AT&T High Speed Internet are available anywhere where the AT&T phone service is.


Nowhere else is the difference between DSL and fiber optics evident than the speed in which data is transferred. It has to do with the technology of how each works. DSL operates through land-line phone systems. It literally splits the information coming in, using a lower bandwidth to operate the phone and a higher bandwidth to operate the Internet.
Fiber optic lines are carried as fast as the speed of light and can carry a whole lot more information than electrical impulses. There is nothing faster available than whole-system fiber optic systems. It can handle any Internet activity including downloading movies and video conferencing.

AT&T FastAccess DSL offers four speeds ranging from 768 Kbps to 6 Mbps. On the other hand, AT&T U-Verse High Speed Internet offers seven different tiers ranging in speed from 3 Mbps to 24 Mbps.
An update about speeds offered:
The speeds of U-verse Internet went up to 75 Mbps. In addition, in certain areas of AT&T’s service, GigaPower Internet is available, with speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
Based on the above, when about Internet upload and download speeds, AT&T Internet is extremely competitive now.


DSL offers high-speed internet at prices much cheaper than fiber optics. For as little as $15 per month, AT&T Fast Access DSL provides 11 e-mail addresses, McAfee Internet Security Suite, and virtually unlimited storage space. AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet provides the same features listed above, plus the boosted performance, starting at $35 per month. Plus, it opens the door to other U-verse services, such as U-verse TV and U-verse Voice, all using the high-powered Wireless Gateway.
Fiber optics is a technologically superior product to DSL. However, not everyone needs that much speed, or maybe can’t afford the monthly expense. Both have their advantages, and both provide quality Internet experiences.