Fibre broadband is changing the way people access the internet and transforming the telecom industry. Although initially expensive, fibre has been getting cheaper in recent years. Fibre optic broadband offers both faster internet speeds and more reliability than other connections. It’s available throughout most of the UK, except for some more rural areas.
How does fibre optic broadband work?
Fibre optic broadband runs through cables in the ground made from plastic or glass, unlike ADSL which runs over copper telephone wires. Fibre optic broadband is capable of maintaining its speeds over long distances.
Fibre optic broadband is quicker at carrying data than traditional copper wires, meaning you can download films, movies and music at lightning speeds.
There are two main types of fibre broadband:
- Fibre–to–the cabinet (FTTC) - the most common type. Fibre optic cables are connected from a provider’s telephone exchange to your local broadband cabinet. Then copper wires connect the cabinet to your home.
- Fibre–to–the home (FTTH) - a pure fibre optic cable connects you straight from the exchange to your home. Sometimes called full fibre. This creates superfast speeds, but this method is only available in limited areas and can be expensive.
Do I need fibre optic broadband?
This depends on how you use the internet. If you only go online to check emails, browse social media, and shop, then standard ADSL broadband could be sufficient enough for your needs.
Fibre optic is for you if you stream movies often and play games online. Streaming videos, games or TV shows will be smoother, and ‘buffering' will be a thing of the past.
Think carefully about what broadband speed you need before deciding on a package. If you want consistent, reliable speeds then fibre optic broadband is worth exploring.
Consider moving to fibre optic if you…
- Watch a lot of movies online via Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
- Live in a large household with multiple devices, where everyone is connected to the web
- Game online regularly
- Work from home often
Can I get fibre optic broadband in my area?
Fibre broadband is becoming cheaper and more accessible - Ofcom statistics show that superfast broadband is available to 95% of UK homes. The bigger the town or city, the more fibre options you'll have. If you live in London for instance, you'll be spoilt for choice.
There are providers now who specialise in fibre-to-the home, such as Hyperoptic. However, if you live in a more rural area, you might not have access to it yet. You can find out if it’s available in your area by comparing fibre broadband with us - just enter your postcode at the top of the page to see if any fibre deals come up.
What can I do if I can’t get fibre optic broadband?
If you can’t get access to fibre optic broadband in your area there are a few alternatives.
Firstly, check if you can get ADSL broadband. Despite slower speeds in comparison to fibre, it’s still easily capable of providing strong speeds for most households.
If ADSL isn’t not available, you may want to consider satellite broadband. This is a great option for the minority who can’t receive both fibre and ADSL. Satellites are still able to offer a fast connection. However, the biggest downfall of satellite is its high latency which can interfere with apps like Skype and online gaming. It is also more expensive to install and operate.
What to remember when considering fibre optic
● Is fibre optic available in my area?
● What speed can I get?
● How many devices are online in my home?
● How much does my household use the internet?
● Is my current broadband fast enough?