Fiber-Optic Internet: 13 Definitions You Need to Know.

March 18th, 2022

Fiber-Optic Internet Definitions to Know

Who doesn’t love fiber-optic internet? We know we do, but what does the term fiber-optic internet even mean? Well for all of you wondering, here’s the definition according to Wikipedia: “Fiber-optic communication is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of infrared light through an optical fiber.” Fiber-optic isn’t the only term that can be hard to understand when it comes to telecommunication terms. That’s why we wanted to take a minute to guide you through terms that will help you understand your fiber internet a little better.


Bandwidth – The range of frequencies within a given band used for transmitting a signal. You can take a bandwidth test to test how fast your internet is.

Broadband – Broadband internet is any internet connection that has a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. You can get broadband internet through a couple of different connections most notably cable, DSL, satellite, and fiber optics. With UTOPIA Fiber you have the option of getting symmetrical speeds starting at 250 Mbps and going all the way up to 10 Gbps, pushing us far beyond the set standard for broadband!

Conduit – the conduit is a hollow tube that houses your underground fiber optic connection. Check out a diagram of our conduit here.

Fiber – a broadband connection that uses fiber optic cables and light to transfer data at 70% the speed of light. This results in much higher internet speeds as well as consistent upload and download speeds.

Gbps – Gigabits per second.

ISP – Stands for Internet Service Provider. They provide you with internet services. UTOPIA Fiber currently has 16 different ISPs to choose from, you can check them out here.

Mbps – Megabits per second. Sometime shortened to Megs. 

Optical Network Terminal (ONT) – The modem-like device that UTOPIA Fiber installs in your home and connects to your router. Learn more about your UTOPIA Fiber ONT unit here.

Open Access – When a company provides the infrastructure and then lets local ISPs deliver their service through that infrastructure. This increases competition and allows the customer to choose the best service to fit their needs. UTOPIA Fiber is the largest and most successful  open access model in the country.

Overhead Installation – This kind of installation takes place when the fiber line comes via the power poles in your area. When you get this form of fiber line installed in your home it will typically enter where your power attaches to your home. Learn more about our installations here.

Site Survey – A site survey or walk-through, is an optional service provided by UTOPIA Fiber. If you opt to get a site survey, one of our technicians will visit your home before your installation to determine the best way for the fiber to enter your home. This is great to do, especially if you have a specific destination in mind for your fiber connection.

Symmetrical Speeds – The capability of uploading and downloading material at the same speed. If you pay for 1 Gbps with UTOPIA Fiber you get 1 Gbps download speed and 1 Gbps upload speed.

Underground Installation – This kind of installation takes place when your fiber line is fed through an underground line. When you get an underground installation, our contractors will take care to determine the best path for the fiber to enter your home. They will then dig some bore pits, and use a missile bore to bury your conduit underground (you can check out a video of how this works here). When it comes time for your installation our technicians will pull the fiber line from the conduit into your home, typically through the cold air return. Learn more about our installations here.

We hope this helped you understand your internet a little better! How many of these definitions did you know? Let us know on our socials what words you knew or if we missed any! If you have any questions about these terms or UTOPIA Fiber please reach out to us at (801) 613 3880 or