This week the Government announced that Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester are to be the first areas that will receive “Full Fibre” services, but how does this differ from the fibre services already provided to much of the UK? This blog will take you through the different types of fibre and explain how important this next generation of fibre connectivity is for the UK.
Where are we now?
Right now, most of the UK has Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) which, as the name suggests, means that there is a non-fibre connection between the cabinet and your home or business. This final stretch is usually done by using copper which has a far lower capacity than fibre. When you combine this lower capacity with the fact that you are sharing some portion of the copper line, you start to understand why there are so many capacity issues which cause you to receive speeds lower than your advertised rate.
Will Full Fibre fix these issues?
Not entirely, but it will certainly improve the speed of your service overall.
The key word here is contention. As you will still be sharing the main line back to the cabinet or exchange, it is unlikely that you will experience the full 1gbps connection. That being said, Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is a significant step forward from the existing copper connections being used and those in the trial areas can expect to see greatly improved internet speed.
Is there a way of receiving a full 1gbps?
Yes, Leased Lines can provide service of 1gbps and higher. However, these can prove expensive, which is why they tend to be used by businesses who rely heavily on their internet connections.
Leased Lines can provide a wide range of guaranteed speeds, for both downloads and uploads. On a Leased Line, as the name suggests, you have a private connection back to the exchange, meaning that contention is not such an issue.
As installing this line can mean disruptive work to lay the cable to your premises, it can require planning permission. This is why lead times for these connections can vary considerably from one installation to the next.
Why all the fuss?
There is little doubt that the UK is depending on internet connectivity more than ever before. An ever increasing number of companies are using cloud-based software and services, we’re creating and sending more media now than ever before and the growth in demand for video calling and support have all contributed to a dependency on high-speed internet.
It was perhaps in response to this ever-growing demand that the UK Government established their £200m fund to investigate the roll out of FTTP. In reality, as our nation’s demand for internet-reliant services grows, so too must our ability to provide high-speed, reliable connectivity.