Do you want superfast fibre broadband? Some things you should know

Written by Kevin O'Malley on 03 Jul, 13
World-class connectivity

UK homes and businesses in Bristol can now connect, for the very first time, to superfast fibre broadband lines offering download speeds of up to 1Gb.

Many of the UK’s major mainstream providers are already offering fibre lines that can deliver speeds of 40Mb to even 100Mb throughout much of the country.

But the real cutting edge – superfast fibre – is delivering speeds ten times faster than ‘ordinary’ fibre’s very top speeds and 140 times faster than the UK’s average broadband speed.

In this post we take a long look at life on broadband’s cutting edge: how do you get there, and is it worth it?

The cutting edge

Another way to say cutting edge, superfast, as opposed to just fast, or ordinary, fibre is FTTP which stands for fibre to the premises.

The vast majority of UK properties with fibre have FTTC, fibre to the cabinet: that means that, although the connection is delivered mainly by fibre, a small portion is coming on a standard metal network.

Signals on metal lines, like most of the UK’s copper phone lines, tend to attenuate and are far more likely to experience interference than fibre, which slows broadband down.

FTTP doesn’t run on a metal network: it’s fibre all the way which makes it very, very fast.

On demand

Most mainstream providers aren’t rolling out FTTP, however. Right now the service is mainly available on demand from a few specialist providers.

Interested businesses should be aware that, because this is such a bespoke service, there are stringent requirements to be met in order to have a connection installed.

Some FTTP providers won’t deliver services to large apartment complexes or business premises with multiple occupancy, while other serve only these types of buildings but may need applicants to demonstrate demand among residents.

In addition, the technical work to hook up a property could take a good few months from the date of order.

Take up – how fast?

A major problem with fibre broadband in the UK as a whole is that consumers and businesses aren’t taking up the product as quickly as the market perhaps needs.

Around 82,000 households in and around Bristol – exchanges in Bedminster, Bishopsworth, Bristol North, Bristol South, Bristol West, Easton and Stoke Bishop – are already able to receive fibre but it’s unlikely that a high proportion actually has the service.

FTTP is moving at an even slower pace. One high profile provider won’t even announce their very first FTTP business property for a few months.

However, there is movement. FTTP has already been trialed in parts of Bristol South, including at The Paintworks creative hub.

This post was authored by Choose. Choose covers broadband throughout the UK.

Font size