How Fiber Fuels Our Technological Revolution: Introducing the “Bandwidth Effect” Video Series

By: Phil Burrows
Phil is an intern on the Consumer & Mass Business corporate communications team and will be regularly contributing content to the Residential News Center

As societal and technological advances continue growing at an increasingly rapid pace, it’s easy to forget what actually powers our robust technology era. It’s like automobiles that continue to get faster, lighter, and are beginning to drive themselves.  But without gasoline and electricity, none of the auto world innovation would really matter.

For decades, copper wires have been the chief backbone for delivering cable television, phone services, and broadband to homes across the country.  As technology grew and the introduction of a little something known as the Internet came about, the copper backbone became less relevant as a viable backbone to support the load on which we were placing on it.  That’s where the story of fiber enters the picture.

As you’ll see in this first in a series of videos known as the Bandwidth Effect that we’ll share over the next few months, there’s a whole lot of power packed into fiber optic strands that a lot of people don’t realize.

Optical fiber originally came onto the radar in the 1970’s but, it wasn’t until 1977 that it became the newest national backbone linking major hubs across the country.  This compact, durable and limitless hair-thin strand allowed a laser beam to shoot light into the core of the fiber which allowed for limitless transmission of data.  

As the reliability and consistency of fiber grew, copper still often clogged the pipeline from these high speed neighborhood hubs to your home, also known as “The Last Mile.”

Fast forward to today where “Borderless Lifestyle” rules the roost and households now have more mobile devices, televisions, and tablets then can be counted on two hands. This means that copper simply cannot handle the amount of video and data we are consuming in historic proportions.

Verizon FiOS, first introduced in 2004, is connecting homes the last mile with fiber technology, allowing for speeds that will endlessly match the evolution of society.  In fact, we conducted the nation’s first successful trial of a 10 Gigabits per second downstream and upstream broadband connection.  Who would have thought that a tiny strand would open the door for endless opportunities for building our future?  Having deployed enough fiber to circle the Earth 7 times, or enough to represent  72 round trips between New York and Los Angeles, this is just the bright beginning of the future of Fiber optics.


Phil is an external communications coordinator, supporting public relations and integrated marketing for Verizon. His responsibilities include creating new ways to engage with the FiOS consumer base and media, both nationally and locally. While he often writes about the latest FiOS news, he also enjoys networking and discussing how technology is fueling a change in our everyday lifestyle.