What Is a Fiber Internet Modem?

March 13, 2024 | Tachus Community


When getting set up with your fiber internet connection, you may wonder if you’ll need a modem.

It sounds surprising but fiber optics actually don’t use modems. Instead, fiber uses a more advanced piece of equipment called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). ONTs convert light signals into data for your devices, delivering consistent internet at blazing-fast speeds.

While the use of the tech is very similar, and conversationally many people will use the phrase ONT and modem interchangeably, there are important differences between the two.

What is the difference between an ONT and cable modem?

ONTs and cable modems both translate signals into data that your devices use to connect to the internet. The main difference between ONTs and cable modems is the type of signal they receive.

ONTs receive signals from quick bursts of light that travel through thin glass strands of fiber optic cable. Traditional cable modems receive electric signals that travel along copper wiring.

ONTs and modems function similarly as they translate their signals into data that can be used by devices. However, with the sophisticated tech behind fiber optics, ONTs are better at providing faster speeds, higher bandwidth and reliability.


When the light signal from the fiber optic cable reaches your home, it hits a photoelectronic sensor inside the ONT. The ONT converts the light signal into data that can be used by your devices.

How does an Optical Network Terminal Work?

It sends this signal to your router which then broadcasts wireless connectivity throughout your home.

Can I use my existing modem with fiber?

Traditional cable modems aren’t compatible with fiber internet.

This is because cable modems can’t receive light signals from a Fiber network or convert them into digital signals. They can only work with analogue signals sent over a traditional cable network with copper wiring.

But it won’t be hard to say goodbye once you experience the blazing-fast speeds fiber can achieve.

When you upgrade to Tachus Fiber Internet, your technician will install an optical network terminal at your home.

Where will the Optical Network Terminal be Installed?

The ONT will be installed on the side of your house in an area that works best for you. Tachus technicians will help you to determine the most optimal location to install the ONT.

And no need to be worried about any eyesores, the ONT will be out of sight, out of mind.

Once the ONT is installed, they’ll feed the fiber line into your home and establish a connection with your router. Overall, the fiber installation process can take about 30 minutes to an hour.

Ditch your old Modem and Say Hello to Lightning-fast speed!

So long, cable! It’s time for ultra-fast, ultra-reliable fiber internet from Tachus.

Are you ready to upgrade from your old equipment, spotty connection, and frequent downtime?

With Tachus Fiber Internet, you can leave your internet woes, and cable modem, in the past!

Tachus provides 100% fiber-fast speeds, with consistent connections and homegrown customer support. No taxes, fees, or BS – just lightning-fast internet that’s 100% frustration free.

Check and see if Tachus is available in your area today!