Do you ever get frustrated by slow internet?
There are many reasons why your internet connection might appear slow. It could be an issue with your router, Wi-Fi signal, signal strength on your cable line, devices on your network saturating bandwidth, or even a slow DNS (Domain Name System) server.
There are many good broadband connections available on the market today and technology is moving fast to accommodate our ever-changing technological demands.
Whether you are looking for a solution for your home, or for your business, broadband service does not get better than FTTP ultrafast full fibre broadband. Starting at 40Mbps, speeds can scale to around 330Mbps with a pure fibre solution.
What is FTTP?
Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband is a pure fibre optic delivery method that provides ultrafast broadband access directly to a user from an internet service provider (ISP). It replaces the traditional and often outdated copper broadband connections used in ADSL/ADSL2+, by running fibre all the way from your local exchange to your home or business. Instead of using existing copper wires for the ‘last mile’ of access, it completely bypasses copper cables, and it connects with a pure fibre optic cable all the way from the exchange to the premises, promising super-fast broadband.
Fibre optic cables are designed to carry light. Because this delivery method uses pulses of light (literally travelling at the speed of light), the download speeds, and the overall performance of this service remains unaffected by distance and demand. This means that you get consistently faster and more reliable internet connection at all times, as it’s no longer subject to poor quality copper lines which gave rise to signal loss, jitter and packet loss.
Voice, video and data is delivered over the fibre via pulses of light, reaching speeds of up to an impressive 330 Mbps.
FTTP (Fibre-to-the Premises) is sometimes also referred to as FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home). They are essentially the same thing, but FTTP is used as an umbrella term, which includes both non-residential and residential premises.
What is ADSL Broadband?
Phone networks are still used to deliver broadband services, and ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) continues to be a popular solution because it is low cost and the infrastructure is present and widely available.
ADSL connections can provide both standard and high-speed broadband — the latter being achieved through an improved version of the technology known as ADSL2+. However, as the signal is carried across phone lines, the distance of the end user from the local telephone exchange can affect the quality and speed of the connection, and therefore making ADSL broadband not the most reliable option.
What is the difference between FTTC and FTTP?
Fibre-optic is the best broadband connection available on the market, and FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises), and FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) are the two main types currently available in the UK.
Whilst FTTP broadband is a pure fibre optic delivery method that promises super-fast delivery into people’s homes and businesses directly from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) is a blend of copper and fibre optic cables.
FTTC uses fibre optic cables right up to the street cabinet, and then an existing copper telephone line, known as a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), to connect the cabinet to your premises, be it your home or your business. Because of the cobber/fibre optic blend, FTTC is less expensive to install and is often used as a cheaper substitute to the rather expensive FTTP pure fibre cables.
Both FTTC and FTTP promise high speeds, and they are both faster than the conventional ADSL connections. However, because of the fibre optic delivery, FTTP is much faster but also slightly pricier.
FTTC broadband is the most common setup for broadband in the UK. It makes use of existing street cabinets and infrastructure, alleviating the need to dig up any roads in established areas, and making it widely available in the UK. All of this, makes Fibre-to-the-Cabinet a more economical and more accessible option for homes and businesses alike.
Although FTTC is less expensive to install, it is important to note that it was not built for the long term and its potential bandwidth is limited. Because it still uses inefficient copper cables in its delivery, speeds are far lower than full fibre optic connections.
FTTP on the other hand has been built to be expanded on and improved over time, making it a worthwhile investment for businesses that are internet critical.
In terms of availability FTTC can be easily found for residential premises, while FTTP is typically only available for businesses.
The limitations of FTTC
To get everyone connected directly to pure fibre broadband would be a very costly process, but FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) offers a cost-effective way of providing homes and businesses the speed and stability benefits of Fibre Broadband.
It is important to note that with Fibre-to-the-Cabinet, your business does not benefit from a dedicated connection. Therefore, if your business is internet critical, in other words, if your business heavily relies on robust data connectivity and sensitive data handling, Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) may not be the ideal choice for you.
Although FTTC broadband has strong merits, it is not built for the long haul. It is a contended service, which means that you will be sharing the fibre bandwidth with all the other users who are connected to the same cabinet. Because of this, you may notice significant peak time fluctuations in your broadband connection. The likelihood is that the first customers to be connected to the FTTC cabinet will benefit from superfast speeds, however, it is to be expected that the more customers are connected to the same cabinet, the quicker these speeds will decrease for all users.
Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) uses very high frequencies to transmit the broadband, and at these high frequencies, customers may notice something called copper cable crosstalk. This is a phenomenon by which a signal transmitted on one pair of copper cables or one channel, creates an undesired effect on another pair or channel.
And finally, this service is not covered by a Service Level Agreement (SLA). An SLA is a contract between the service provider and the end user that defines the level of service expected from the service provider, should anything go wrong, giving customers complete peace of mind over guaranteed uptime, quick service restoration, and 24/7 service monitoring.
Benefits of FTTP
Fibre optic cables are designed to carry light. Because this delivery method uses pulses of light (literally travelling at the speed of light), the speed and performance is unaffected by distance.
Anyone who runs their own business, which is internet critical, or far large families and serious gamers, FTTP is an ideal solution, as it lets you operate several different devices at once, and it is super-reliable compared to standard ADSL broadband.
With an FTTP network there is less chance that the internet will go down during a crucial point and it is a fully reliable dedicated service. Furthermore, an FTTP connected building can handle a far greater volume of simultaneous users. A full fibre network offers greater physical resilience versus a network that includes copper-wire transmission. FTTP can also effectively future-proof organisations that anticipate growth.
However, there is the question of availability. Full fibre optic connections are still very limited within the UK.
All in all, a fibre connection to your business or to your home is custom built to order, and therefore it is not a cheap option. You will also need to confirm with your Communications Provider whether FTTP connection is available in your area, before you decide.