Why Superfast Fibre Broadband is Fast Becoming a Necessity
Fibre broadband. If you do not have it in your home, then chances are you will have heard something about it.
What, however, do you know about FTTC broadband and FTTP broadband? In a moment, we will look at the difference between the two connections and why, wherever physically possible for our properties, we put in FTTP broadband as standard through Openreach.
But first, why is fibre broadband fast becoming an absolute necessity for contemporary living?
Here are seven reasons.
1. Fibre broadband is more reliable
Fibre broadband is less likely than standard broadband to suffer faults.
Conventional ADSL broadband uses copper cables. These copper cables carry broadband all the way from a BT exchange to your local street cabinet and then from the cabinet to your home (or business).
The total distance travelled can be as much as several kilometres, especially for people who live in rural areas.
As the broadband signal travels along the copper cable, it inevitably suffers from attenuation and degradation. This reduces the broadband speeds that can be achieved. It also makes the signal prone to interference.
By contrast, fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables. These do not experience the signal attenuation from which copper cables suffer. Nor do they suffer from interference.
This means that fibre broadband is much more reliable and can deliver far higher speeds (hence it is known as superfast broadband).
2. The growing number of internet-enabled devices in the home
Have you ever sat down to work out how many devices in your home are connected to the internet? The number may surprise you.
In a typical home, internet-enabled devices can include:
Tablets and iPads
DVD and Blu-ray players
Many households in the UK have several different types of internet-enabled devices. With all these different devices competing for the same limited bandwidth, standard broadband simply struggles to support the demand.
3. Bandwidth-intensive services are on the rise
From the BBC to pay-TV and subscription video-on-demand services, broadcasters are increasingly turning to broadband to deliver their services. This is resulting in the choice of TV and video becoming more and more restricted for those who do not have fibre broadband, as without it, picture quality can suffer and playback can often be interrupted by buffering.
If you want to be able to watch programmes at their best, fibre broadband is more or less essential, particularly as providers are ramping up their Ultra HD programming.
Before long, broadband will become the mainstream way for TV and video services to be delivered. When you factor in the simultaneous use of other online services, it is clear that superfast fibre broadband will soon become a necessity.
4. Fibre broadband vastly improves videoconferencing and online gaming
Online gaming and videoconferencing services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are highly sensitive to time delay (latency) and delay variability (jitter).
In standard broadband, copper telephone cables are used to deliver the broadband signal from a BT exchange to a home – and as mentioned before, often over distances of several kilometres. Significant latency and jitter can result.
Fibre broadband provides online gamers with a far smoother gaming experience. It also provides a much more reliable and less frustrating experience of using video and voice telephony services.
5. Fibre broadband makes most apps more responsive
One thing often noticed by those who have moved from standard to fibre broadband is that they no longer experience the sluggishness and other unexplained issues that used to plague their internet use.
From website browsing and social media scrolling to online shopping and online banking, in general, most things online are more responsive, quicker, and less frustrating with fibre broadband than with conventional broadband.
6. Upload speeds are much higher with fibre broadband
Superfast fibre broadband does not just deliver higher download speeds; upload speeds are also generally much higher.
This opens the door to a host of affordable online backup options, which are often simply not feasible with conventional broadband.
It also means that a whole raft of activities that are reliant on uploading files can be performed quicker with fibre broadband. These include sharing work files with colleagues via Dropbox, adding photographs to a photo-sharing site, and uploading videos to YouTube.
7. Fibre broadband makes homeworking more productive
As a result of the pandemic, many people have discovered the benefits of homeworking.
For this to be sustainable over the long term, reliable access to corporate systems and virtual private networks, and reliable and effective communications through videoconferencing, are required. This is unlikely to be achievable through conventional broadband.
And by enabling more productive homeworking, fibre broadband can also lead to a better work-life balance.
FTTC or FTTP broadband?
We have seen why fibre broadband is far superior to standard broadband but when it comes to the connections, which is better, FTTC or FTTP? And what is the difference?
FTTC stands for “Fibre to the Cabinet”, while FTTP stands for “Fibre to the Premises”.
Essentially, the difference between the two is that FTTP broadband is wired directly to your home, whereas FTTC draws its connection from a cabinet that serves a specific area. You may have come across one of these cabinets in the street; they are usually green or grey.
Because FTTP uses fibre-optic cables exclusively, it is the fastest system you can get – often three times faster than FTTC packages.
Furthermore, FTTP connections are often more reliable than FTTC connections and less likely to be damaged, since you do not share the wires with anyone else.
Which is why, wherever physically possible, Brookworth Homes puts in FTTP broadband as standard through Openreach.