Broadband is the transfer of wide bandwidth data using a high-speed internet connection. Many people today opt for a broadband internet connection over a dial-up internet for many reasons, but the main reason is that broadband is faster. The term broadband incorporates various high-speed technologies such as Fibre, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), and Cable. If you are wondering what the difference is between DSL and fibre optics, read on.


Fibre-optic broadband connections are revolutionizing the telecommunications industry. While traditional transmission techniques like cable and DSL used metallic based systems to transmit data, fibre cables are not electrical in nature. A fibre optics transmission device will send a light signal rather than an electrical signal, which is then carried through the fibre cable to the receiver. 


  • It provides the fastest internet available today as the fibre can transmit a lot of data quickly with minimal delays in processing. Plus, if delays are to occur, only a small high speed network recovery fee would be necessary! It makes sense as light travels faster than electrical signals.
  • Unlike transmission of data with cable, data transmitted over fibre cables does not degrade over long distances allowing for data to move faster and still be intact. 
  • Unlike other transmission methods, fibre optic internet does not have a bandwidth limit allowing you to use as much as you need. 
  • Fibre optic internet is more scalable, stable, and secure than most making it suitable for many businesses. 
  • Fibre cables are more reliable because they are highly resistant to lightning, electromagnetic, and corrosive damage.
  • Investing in fibre is more cost-effective long term as fibre optics networks do not require the same overhead as copper networks.


  • Fibre optic cables are more vulnerable to damage compared to copper wires. 
  • The cost of installing fibre-optic networks is high in the short term. This is because they need special testing equipment, and their endpoints and connection nexuses use special equipment and setups.
  • These networks are susceptible to fibre fuse, which occurs when too much light encounters a fibre imperfection. When this happens, long lengths of cables may be destroyed in a very short time. 
  • Fibre optic cables propagate light in only one direction. This means that if bidirectional communication is needed, the people laying the cables must lay two concurrent cables to achieve bidirectional propagation. 

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

This transmission technology uses traditional telephone lines that have already been installed into your home or business to transmit data. The transmission rates of this type of connection range from several thousandbits per second (Kbps) to millions of bits per second (Mbps). 


  • This option may be cheaper than the other internet services on this list.
  • DSL does not require new wires to be laid as it uses the already existing telephone lines.
  • Unlike Dial-up, this type of connection is always on. 
  • The newer versions of DSL are faster than the older versions.


  • You may be required to carry phone service as it’s typically provided by the phone company.
  • Speeds vary depending on how close or far away you are from the DSL main distribution point.
  • Some DSL providers may institute data caps. 

Difference between Fibre optics vs. DSL

  1. Fibre optics transmit data faster than DSL. This is because fibre networks transmit light, which travels very fast. You may find the transmission rates of fibre networks to be 100x faster than DSL.
  2. DSL networks may be more readily available than fibre networks. This is because most areas, including rural areas, already have telephone lines installed. Fortunately, people are seeing the benefits of fibre optic networks, so demand is rising fast. In the next few years, it will be more readily available as expansion projects are increasing significantly today. 
  3. Installation of DSL networks is faster, easier, and may be cheaper than fibre network installation. 

When it comes to picking a network service provider, fibre may be a better option for you. However, if it is not available in your area, some broadband service providers offer competitive prices and have lucrative bundles you can choose from.