Fiber Optic vs. Starlink – Which One Is Better?

About Fiber Optic vs. Starlink, Recently, customer appetite for fast internet connection has increased dramatically, compelling a spike in creative remedies for enhanced connectivity.

Starlink has sparked a lot of buzz in the tech community with its claims of super-fast speeds and worldwide coverage. It is not the sole solution for high-speed internet, though.

Fiber optic internet has existed for a while and has earned a reputation as a dependable and fastest internet remedy.

This post discusses Fiber Optic vs. Starlink technologies to identify which is more suitable for your broadband requirements.

Table of Contents

What Is Fiber Optic Internet and How Does It Work?

Before the introduction of satellite internet, fiber optical was the last latest connection technology. Fiber internet or fiber optic is a speedy broadband connection that employs fiber-optic cables for data transmission.

Such cables feature thin glass or plastic strands that can transfer data via light impulses. Fiber optic internet operates by transmitting data as light pulses along these strands.

Since light impulses move at extraordinarily high speeds via the fibers, fast and dependable data transfer becomes possible.

Additionally, the technology uses underground cables to prevent network interruption caused by weather, animals, or human activities.

One of the significant benefits of fiber optic internet is its fast speed, which can reach up to 1Gbs. It can offer significantly greater internet speeds than conventional cable or DSL networks.

Moreover, electromagnetic waves or signal loss affecting copper or coaxial cables cannot affect fiber optics. This phenomenon reduces the likelihood of interference interrupting fiber optic connections.

Optic fibers around the globe

What do you require to connect with fiber optic?

You must subscribe to a fiber optic internet plan with an operator to use fiber optic internet.

After registering for a fiber optic broadband connection, the vendor will probably provide a modem compatible with their network.

You connect this modem to the fiber cable to transform the light impulses into electrical signals that your devices can use.

Also, you require a router that allows you to connect to the internet wirelessly or through an ethernet cable. Lastly, you need fiber optic cables to connect your router and modem to the optical cable supplied to your premises.

Optic fiber cable

While the two technologies offer fast internet, they have several differences.

Speed & Latency

Internet speed is a term used to describe how fast a user can download or upload data over a network connection.

Fiber optic internet can provide up to 1Gbps, which is speedier than most cable or DSL vendors.

In contrast, Starlink guarantees connection speeds of between 150 to 500 Mbps.

However, actual speeds can differ based on network congestion and atmospheric conditions.

The term “latency” describes the time it takes for data to move between two points on the internet.

Lower latency is generally preferable because it allows faster and less delayed data transmission.

The usual latency range for fiber optic internet is 1 to 20 ms, ideal for fast response applications.

Conversely, Starlink has a higher latency due to the data traveling to and from space-based satellites.

Despite attempts to reduce it, Starlink’s typical latency remains between 20 and 40 ms.


Fiber optic internet is only more prevalent in urban and suburban areas, where the required infrastructure is already in place.

Therefore, finding your ideal plan may be easier because numerous fiber internet providers exist in many cities and towns.

However, some rural or remote regions do not have access to fiber optic internet.

The required equipment is lacking; installing it would be more expensive for the providers. 

In contrast, Starlink seeks to provide internet access to regions with little conventional broadband infrastructure.

Even extremely remote locations have access to the internet thanks to a satellite network technology that Starlink employs.

While Starlink is currently developing and limited in some countries, it will eventually offer fast internet to users with limited options.

Accessing the internet on the beach

Accessing the internet on the beach


An internet service’s reliability describes how consistently it operates over time and how prone it is to breakdowns or interruptions.

Compared to satellite-based services like Starlink, most customers believe fiber optic internet to be reliable.

Fiber optic cables are more immune to external variables affecting satellite signals.

Additionally, these cables are less likely to suffer damage from animals or storms, which can interfere with satellite-based programs.

Even though Starlink has worked to increase reliability, the same external factors influencing satellite-based service affect it.

For example, extreme weather, like heavy rains, can affect signal quality and create disruptions.

However, the Starlink network is redundant, with numerous satellites to provide backup if one satellite encounters a problem.

Additionally, Starlink can instantly reroute traffic to an alternate network area to reduce interruptions in the event of a problem.


Equipment Fee

The cost of network equipment from Starlink is about $600 for a home installation and $2500 for a commercial facility.

This price includes a satellite dish, Wi-Fi router, power cable, and mounting tripod.

Meanwhile, customers may purchase fiber optic equipment from the vendor or a third-party merchant.

The overall price of fiber optic equipment can vary depending on the vendor and the gadgets needed.

However, the cost typically ranges from $500 to $1500.

Setup Costs

Starlink is generally less expensive and simpler to set up than fiber optic internet in terms of setup expenses.

Users can install Starlink equipment without the assistance of an expert.

Conversely, you may require expert installation for fiber optic internet.

It may entail installing necessary hardware and connecting cables from the street to the user’s residence.

The fiber optic internet setup price varies depending on the service provider and installation needs.

Monthly subscription

For unlimited data consumption, Starlink charges a monthly fee of $110 for residential, $135 for RVs, and $500 for businesses.

Fiber optic internet vendors offer different speeds and data allotments, with monthly costs ranging from $50 to $200.

The exact price depends on the supplier, location, and specific plan. 

Customer Support

Customers can access FAQs, troubleshooting instructions, and support requests on Starlink’s website and mobile application.

Additionally, there is a phone number for customer care, but the waiting period can be lengthy due to demand.

In fiber optics providers, customer service options usually include live chat, email, and phone support. Some vendors may also provide in-person assistance via local offices or customer service centers.

StarlinkAvailable in remote areas with no data capStraightforward setup process relatively fastCostlyProne to weather interferenceSlow customer support  
Fiber opticsLimited in remote areasComplicated setup process may have a data capLimited in remote areasComplicated setup processMay have a data cap

In general, both upload and download speeds on fiber optic internet are faster than those on Starlink.

The technology offers breakneck internet speeds, with particular services offering more than 1 Gbps.

While Starlink can also provide high-speed internet, it may depend on external obstacles.

In addition, Starlink’s latency is higher than the fiber-optic internet, resulting in slower loading time.

However, Starlink plans to expand, increase its speeds, and lower latency to about 10ms.

Starlink dish


In locations where fiber internet might not be accessible, Starlink provides internet connectivity.

However, it comes with more expensive equipment, a higher monthly charge, and possible reliability problems in severe weather.

Conversely, fiber optic internet offers lightning-fast and dependable internet speeds.

However, it might only be available in fewer places and necessitate a more complex setup procedure.

The choice between the two will ultimately depend on your needs and objectives.