What is Fibre To The Premises?
We’re all familiar now with "fibre" broadband, however what some people are not aware of is that most fibre connections aren’t fully fibre.
13:40 06 September 2017
The most popular product on the market currently is a hybrid fibre and copper connection known as Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) which uses fibre connectivity to your local street cabinet and then copper from the cabinet to your property.
As copper is not as good a conductor of broadband as fibre this means that most FTTC connections are capped at 80Mbps as the copper struggles to handle more than that. In addition those speeds reduce the further the longer the copper part of your line is, for example if you live 50 meters away from your local cabinet you can expect faster download speeds than if you lived 500 meters away from your local cabinet.
The FTTC network is limited by the copper on both speeds available and how far from the cabinet fibre can be provided.
As demand for faster and faster broadband increases the technology used to deliver increased speeds is constantly evolving. We’ve spoken previously about G.Fast broadband which uses different technology from the cabinet to force a better signal through the copper wire however this is only going to help improve fibre speeds where fibre is already available in most instances and not help customers with ADSL only connections.
What Is Fibre To The Premises
Fibre To The Premises does exactly what it says on the tin, it delivers a pure fibre connection to your property with no copper involved whatsoever. This means that rather than being capped at 80Mbps you can expect to receive up to 330Mbps download speeds(currently, plans are to increase this to 500Mbps in the near future and then upto 1Gbps) and 30Mbps upload speeds. Whilst most homes may be satisfied with their current fibre connections, we can see FTTP being of a benefit right now to households with many connections, gamers (low ping due to 100% fibre and the 30Mbps upload speed both being helpful), vloggers where the 30Mbps means uploading videos is faster than currently available and businesses where increased bandwidth will help with SIP and networking capacities.
We think FTTP will come in to it’s own with the internet of things and streaming TV, as more content becomes available online (Sky have plans for all on demand and some live TV to be delivered over the internet in the relatively near future) and in increasingly higher definition we’ll all be forced to increase the speeds we receive in order to keep up with technology. Pricing is expected to come down as the roll out gains momentum and it will be interesting how BT handle their USO obligations on minimum speeds (10Mbps available to everyone through ADSL, FTTC, FTTP, G.Fast & Wireless Providers) and their Superfast (20Mbps and above) & Ultrafast (100Mbps and above) and the way those are priced for the market. The good news is these changes are underfoot with 6 Cities being trialled for Ultrafast broadband right now so we’ll know the answers soon.
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