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FTTC vs FTTP: What is the difference?

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

Fibre and full-fibre broadband deals, also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), are some of the most sought after in the country, with the former being the fastest broadband connection in the UK. Our guide will cover everything you need to know about these two broadband solutions, including if they are available in your area.

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What’s the difference between FTTC and FTTP internet?

FTTC broadband uses a combination of fibre optic and copper wires, while FTTP uses fibre optic exclusively. Fibre optic cables are more durable and reliable than copper wires, making FTTP the faster and more stable option.

The latest Ofcom report (1) claims that 57 per cent of households can access FTTP broadband, with plans to roll out full-fibre broadband to 85 per cent of UK premises by 2025 and 99 per cent by 2030 (2). Generally, FTTP is less available in rural areas due to a lack of infrastructure, meaning that some households will only have access to FTTC broadband or standard broadband (ADSL).

FTTC explained

FTTC broadband uses fibre optic cables that connect to the cabinet in your street. From there, copper wires are routed into your home via a landline service to connect you to the internet. Copper wires are more susceptible to signal degradation and weather damage, with speeds reaching up to 80Mbps.

Most FTTC deals are classified as broadband and phone deals because they use copper wires. However, due to the upcoming PSTN switch off, some providers are phasing out landlines and replacing them with digital voice services.

Wider coverage than FTTP across the UK
Suitable for many households
Less likely to require an engineer for installation
Slower download and upload speeds than FTTP broadband
Speeds affected by proximity to the cabinet
Potential need for a landline phone

FTTP explained

FTTP only uses fibre optic cables, allowing for faster speeds than FTTC. FTTP deals can reach up to 1,000Mbps, depending on the provider. 

FTTP deals do not require a landline connection, but they can be found in many other formats, including broadband-only, broadband and TV and broadband, phone and TV packages.

Faster upload and download speeds than FTTC
No requirement for a landline service
Better able to accommodate future technologies
Greater reliability and resistance to damage through the use of fibre optic cables
Less budget-friendly
Not accessible to every household
Potential installation fees


If you live in an area with sparse access to FTTC and FTTP broadband, there are other avenues you can consider. Mobile broadband can deliver speeds up to 150Mbps and does not require fibre optic or copper cables but instead relies on 4G or 5G data. 


If mobile broadband is also not available, you can investigate satellite broadband. This option is usually quite expensive, but it’s ideal for those living in remote areas who need fast speeds. 

If you want to find the best broadband deals in your area, use our postcode checker to discover all the top speeds and prices available in your region.

FTTC vs FTTP speed comparison

We have outlined the various download and upload speeds you can expect with both FTTC and FTTP to give you a better understanding of which speeds are right for you.

Average download speed35Mbps50Mbps
Highest download speed75Mbps1,000Mbps+
Average upload speed10Mbps80Mbps
Highest upload speed20Mbps1,000Mbps

Theoretically, FTTP connections can be symmetrical, meaning equal download and upload speeds. However, this highly depends on your internet service provider, with average upload speeds around 50-95 per cent slower than average download speeds.

It is important to know the minimum broadband speed to suit your needs so you don’t overspend. If you need a low-speed connection, you can invest in a cheaper package. However, investing in FTTP broadband might make sense if you need a faster connection. If you want to learn more about broadband speeds and how to measure them, consult our guide.

Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

Our Home Tech Expert Gemma Ryles’ recommended broadband deal

Our home expert has found this fantastic deal from Virgin Media. While Virgin Media may not technically use FTTP or FTTC broadband, the speeds it offers are equivalent to full-fibre deals and can be bundled with phone, TV or SIM services at an additional cost. This M500 Fibre Broadband deal comes with average speeds of 516Mbps for just £35 per month, with absolutely no upfront fees.

What is the best option for me?

Choosing between FTTC and FTTP may sound complicated, but your decision ultimately comes down to a few key factors.

In our survey, participants who identified as heavy broadband users for activities such as gaming, HD streaming and large downloads used FTTP broadband the most, at 57 per cent. Those with moderate habits (SD streaming and social media) used FTTC more, at 34 per cent. 

If your habits are moderate, opting for an FTTC package may be more affordable, as you likely don’t want to overspend on a service you won’t make the most of. For those working on a budget, FTTC is the better alternative, as FTTC broadband averages £47.94 per month compared to £54.26 for FTTP. 

You can always scale up later and invest in FTTP broadband for a luxury browsing experience.  However, don’t underestimate your internet needs, as that can lead to frustration.


You can switch broadband providers regardless of your deal, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Depending on where you are in your contract, you may be liable for cancellation fees, which will vary based on the provider. 


When switching, you should contact your broadband provider first, even if you plan on staying with them, and follow the instructions on what to do with your current equipment. Switching to a new deal may incur installation charges, which you should account for in your broadband budget.

Which providers offer FTTP or FTTC?

Almost all the best broadband providers offer both FTTC and FTTP broadband to eligible customers. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular providers and included their top speeds to support you through your switching journey. 

We have also included an Independent Advisor Rating on the relevant providers. This score was calculated using our survey and data from Ofcom to give you a deeper insight into these companies and help you determine if they are right for you.

Broadband providerIndependent Advisor ratingFTTP?FTTC?Fastest average download speedAre they nationwide providers?
Community Fibre*★★★★3,000Mbps
EE ★★★½1,600Mbps
NOW Broadband★★★½100Mbps
Virgin Media★★★1,130Mbps
Connect FibreN/A1,000Mbps
*Hyperoptic and Community Fibre customers comprised less than 1 per cent of survey respondents.


Survey of broadband customers aged between 24 and 64 conducted on Censuswide, 11-14 March 2024. Survey sample: 2,003 respondents, totalling Sky (489), BT Broadband (412), Virgin Media (396), EE (134), Vodafone (124), Other (102), Plusnet (66), NOW Broadband (45), Three (31), Hyperoptic (14), Community Fibre (8), Unsure (7). Respondents who selected Hyperoptic, Community Fibre, Other or Unsure were discarded from our review. Respondents were asked to rate each category on a five-point scale, from Very Poor to Excellent or from Never to Always, with the option of selecting Don’t Know for each question. For the third question (‘What issues, if any, have you experienced with your current broadband provider?’), respondents could select from the following: Price Hikes, Slow Speeds, High Prices, Frequent Disconnections, Poor Customer Service, Billing Issues, Other and N/A. The questions used to calculate our score were ‘How often, if at all, do you feel the actual speed of your broadband service matches the advertised speed?’, ‘How would you rate your experience with customer service and support from your broadband provider?’, ‘What issues, if any, have you experienced with your current broadband provider? (Select all that apply)’, ‘How easy or difficult is it/would it be to reach your provider using your preferred method?’, ‘How do you rate the value for money of your broadband service?’ and ‘How would you rate the transparency of pricing and additional fees in your broadband service?’.

  1. Ofcom, Connected Nations UK Report 2023 
  2. UK Parliament, Getting better broadband 

FTTC AND FTTP broadband FAQs

FTTP is typically more expensive than FTTC, although this will depend on the provider and the speed of each package. Higher speeds are more expensive, making FTTP broadband unaffordable for some people. However, smaller broadband providers are often more affordable than their larger competitors, making it important to compare quotes.

You can use our postcode checker to find out if FTTC and FTTP broadband are available to you. If you are presented with speeds above 80Mbps, then you can use FTTP, with speeds over 20Mbps usually being classed as FTTC. 

For a more detailed look into which broadband deals are available in your area, take a look at our dedicated city articles.

If you can’t sign up for an FTTC or FTTP broadband deal, ADSL is one of the country’s most popular types of broadband and is accessible to 99 per cent of residents. However, it is the slowest type of broadband, offering speeds up to just 10Mbps.

You could also opt for wireless broadband packages, which provide an internet connection through a wired, underground connection or a mobile data network. Satellite broadband offers are ideal for those living in rural areas with few options for an internet connection, although they are generally more expensive than traditional broadband solutions. Finally, mobile broadband can be useful if you’re looking for a portable solution.

Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

Gemma Ryles

Home Tech Writer

Gemma Ryles is a BJTC and PPA-accredited journalist with three years of experience writing across various publications. As a home tech expert at Independent Advisor, Gemma tests, researches and writes about broadband and home security. 

Previously, Gemma reviewed and curated lists about consumer technology at Trusted Reviews, where she honed her skills in creating buying guides and features to help customers make informed decisions. She has previously worked at Yorkshire Post, BBC Yorkshire, Glitterbeam Radio and Bonus Stage. 

Gemma has a BA in Journalism and in her free time can be found writing short stories, gaming and crocheting.