All you need to know about fibre broadband
Fibre broadband is quickly taking over other types of broadband, mainly due to the fast speed it offers. When it comes to fibre broadband, there are different types of connection from the broadband exchange to the premises where the broadband service is delivered. Read further to learn all you need to know about fibre broadband.
What is fibre broadband?
Fibre-optic broadband is an innovative technology that brings you a faster and more stable internet connection. It is named after its plastic or glass cables which provide speedy data transfer. Fibre-optic cables are used in the connection which enables faster speeds over long distances relative to older, copper-based lines.
How is fibre-broadband different from copper broadband?
The primary difference between fibre broadband and copper broadband is the internet speed that it offers; the average speed of most ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband is around 11 Mbps. Using multiple devices at your standard broadband will not only slow down your internet speed but will affect the efficiency of your device. Fibre-optic broadband allows you to experience fast fibre broadband even when multiple devices are connected to it. Fibre broadband also offers to transfer your data at a much faster pace, as well as giving better service at much cheaper rates than most ADSL broadbands. Fibre broadband is extremely fast with a speed of around 1 Gbps.
What are the different types of fibre broadband?
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) is the most basic, in which fibre optic cables are connected to small green boxes present at the end of your street, and copper cables supply internet to each house. FTTC can provide fast speeds up to 76 Mbps, though this can change depending on the location of your street cabinet and the quality of the copper lines that are used for it.
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is a connection that runs directly from the exchange to your house without any station in between. This is often referred to as full-fibre internet. You can have high-speed internet as it uses fibre-optic cables only. The price of full-fibre is higher, but since this broadband does not require a landline you will not need to pay any line rental fees like you might with other connections.
Which providers offer fibre broadband?
Nearly all broadband providers in the UK offer fibre broadband, mostly using Openreach’s network. Some providers use their own network to deliver superfast service.
The UK’s most widely used provider of fibre broadband service is BT, with Sky, and TalkTalk closely behind. Virgin Media has its own fibre-based cable network covering approximately 52% of UK premises.
To compare deals, here’s a list of fibre broadband providers:
- Virgin Media
- John Lewis
- Shell Energy
- POP Telecom
Is Fibre broadband available in my area?
Fibre-optic broadband is available to over 95% of UK homes.
FTTC connections are commonly provided to almost all areas, while FTTP is workable for only 18% of UK homes.
You can check the availability of fibre-optic broadband by entering your postal code in a broadband postcode checker and selecting your address.
How does fibre broadband work?
ADSL broadband connection depends on typical copper wires, whereas fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables that deliver the best high-speed internet, proving to be the most reliable fibre broadband.
The two variations that are used are FTTC and FTTP. The former uses copper phone lines to deliver internet, while the latter uses the highest quality fibre cables for the fastest internet.
Is fibre broadband worth the cost?
If you live in a house that has multiple internet users using the internet simultaneously, then you’ll need to have the latest, faster broadband. It is not only the fastest but also the most stable; for an unmatchable internet experience, it’s worth every penny.
Consider the following usages before taking any broadband deals:
- Web browsing: 2 Mbps
- 4k Netflix: 25 Mbps
- Online gaming: 3-6 Mbps
This is the broadband speed required individually to carry out the above activities. The bandwidth required is sufficiently provided by fibre broadband, making it an upgrade to your current program. While fibre broadband doesn’t offer the cheapest broadband deals, it does offer the best value.
When should I choose fibre broadband?
You should choose fibre broadband if you have multiple internet users at your house and want to have uninterrupted internet speed. If you have only a few internet users in your household, then using standard broadband internet will suffice. You will not need a superfast service to browse the internet or stream data. Before opting for fibre broadband, check its availability for your area; fibre broadband isn’t available everywhere.
What do different fibre broadband speeds mean?
Superfast: The speed is over 30 Mbps. Ultrafast: The speed is 100 Mbps or higher. According to Ofcom, it may reach 300 Mbps. Gigabit: The fastest, reaching speeds of up to 1 Gbps or higher.
Only FTTP can provide gigabit speed. You’ll need to have an Ethernet cable plugged into the device to access it. Alternatively, wireless connections can still facilitate hundreds of megabits per second.
Factors affecting the speed of broadband:
Number of users
Multiple users can affect speed. Individuals may use the internet for different purposes, each requiring a different speed.
Number of devices
Having many devices connected to your internet server at the same time can change the speed as your network may not be able to handle the traffic.
Optical fibres are not affected by weather conditions. Optical fibre broadband sends signals as light beams rather than electrical signals.
Quality of devices
Low-quality devices that you are using for the internet may suffer lag. You’ll have slower internet, as it may not have the latest technology to pick up signals.
Viruses and malware
Viruses and malware may not impact your broadband, but they may cause trouble in your devices which could have a bad influence on its efficiency.
Multiple devices connected to a network at peak hours may result in overcrowding. If each device demands more usage during that hour, users may experience buffering during streaming and slow browsing.
Can I get fibre broadband-only deals?
It is always advisable to get a bundle deal of fibre broadband with television channel packages, however, if you do not need TV, you can easily get fibre broadband-only deals.
Are fibre broadband package deals better?
Fibre-optic broadband offers the best deals for broadband. It is not only the cheapest and fastest broadband, but it is also reliable, and won’t disappoint you in your hour of need. It delivers you more for less.
How can I find the best deal offering fibre broadband?
To find what’s best for you, you’ll need to consider a few things.
- Data usage
- Installation charges
- Charges for WiFi connection
- Contract duration