Speeding may gradually become the norm locally — at least online — as fiber optic cable networks have begun to be installed in parts of Fresno, Madera and surrounding areas, according to AT&T.
Such cables allow pulses of light to travel through strands of glass fiber within an insulated casing. Light can carry more data, faster and for a longer distance than traditional metal cables.
“Our 100 percent fiber network is available in parts of South Madera and locations throughout the area,” said AT&T regional spokesman Steven Ramirez. “We also continue to build across the Central Valley, across California, and nationally.”
Though fiber cables can transmit 10, 40 or even 100 gigabits per second, Internet speeds will be lower for individual users sharing the same cable network. AT&T is offering eligible customers a “1 gigabit” connection via AT&T Fiber. That “1 gigabit” connection will range in speed from 500-940 megabits per second. Normal speeds for Madera (via copper cables) range from about 1 to 75 megabits per second.
“AT&T’s announcement that AT&T Fiber is now available in parts of our community is exciting for Madera’s residents,” said Madera City Administrator David Tooley. “Access to high speed internet services will help increase community engagement, create economic development and expand education opportunities. AT&T’s role as a strategic collaborator cannot be overstated.”
AT&T Fiber costs $80 a month as a standalone service or $10 cheaper if bundled with other services. The price drops another $20 for customers willing to have their Internet speeds throttled down to 80-100 megabits per second.
For now, AT&T Fiber is only available in 57 metro areas nationwide. The company plans to expand to at least 75 metros in the next few years. Visit www.att.com/internet/fiber.html to see if a fiber optic connection is available where you live or work.