Fibre broadband is supplied using fibre-optic cable network to deliver faster internet speeds along with a stronger connection. Making it ideal for larger households or those requiring a faster connection. Unlike standard broadband which run across the entire telephone network via copper (or sometimes aluminium wires). Fibre broadband is delivered by fibre-optic cables either directly to your premises or to your local cabinet (the green box) which you see situated on streets throughout the UK.
How Fibre Broadband Works?
Fibre cables are essentially long strands of glass or plastic, that allow data and information to flow quickly along with them. Information is bounced down the cables in the form of light which is then received at the other end. This is an extremely efficient way to transfer the information as unlike copper wire you receive a lot less signal loss when using fibre. Therefore allowing faster speeds. In the terms of broadband the faster the speed, the quicker the information is transferred down the line.
Can I get Fibre Broadband?
Within the UK much of our telephone infrastructure was, and in more remote areas still is. Based on copper wire. More rural areas suffer greatly from slow internet speeds due to the fact that much of their network is still using copper wires. In traditional ADSL broadband, that is delivered along copper wires, data is lost quickly over long distances, therefore, resulting in poor speeds depending on how far a residence is from the exchange.
The UK government has made broadband infrastructure investment one of its key priorities. Whilst most towns and cities now benefit from fibre broadband take up from suppliers in more rural areas has been much slower.
Types of Fibre Broadband
There are two main suppliers of Fibre services within the UK. BT Openreach (used by BT, Sky, Plusnet, TalkTalk plus many others) who provide much of the broadband infrastructure within the UK and Virgin Media. Both use fibre-optic cabling to send data to the street cabinet. Once it reaches there the way it is transferred to your home will depend on who you choose and the type of service you have in your area.
Fibre to the Cabinet
Fibre-to-the-Cabinet broadband uses fibre optic cable from the local telephone exchange to connect to the nearest street side cabinet which serves your property. This is normally within a few hundred metres of your property. BT Openreach will usually install a new cabinet adjacent to or near the existing ‘green cabinet’ which serves your phone line. Your phone line will be connected to the cabinet. Although the connection to the cabinet uses fibre-optics, the connection to your home will still be using conventional copper wire.
Virgin Media fibre to the Cabinet
For fibre to cabinet services. Virgin media connect to their local street cabinets in an almost identical way to the BT Openreach. The cabinet is then connected to your home via Hybrid Fibre Coax cabling.
For the vast majority of UK homes and businesses. Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) is the way most of us will be connected. In selected areas and some new builds you may have a fibre to the home connection.
Fibre to Home
Fibre to the home (FTTH) also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP), is where a fibre network is installed from the exchange to an individual building such as home, flats or businesses to provide unprecedented high-speed Internet access. As the connected property is not reliant on copper cabling. FTTP’s all Fibre connection offers its not only offers users lightning speeds but improves the performance of your internet connection. As you don’t receive the same degradation of signal that you get from copper wiring.
Due to the high cost involved in converting existing connections to an all fibre network. Fibre to premises is currently only available to a small proportion of fibre broadband connected homes within the UK. Therefore is currently only offered via a small number of suppliers.