It’s easy to get lost in all the internet terminology thrown around by providers. But if you want better, faster internet, learning all about full fibre broadband could save you a whole lot of stress. Read on below to find out how the technology works, what difference it makes to your internet speed and how you can find out if it’s available in your area.
What is full fibre?
Full fibre broadband is the future of high-speed internet! It is modern, ultra-fast broadband that uses exclusively fibre optic cables. This technology helps home and business internet connections to be faster and more reliable. So, you can surf the web without annoying load times and buffering.
How does full fibre broadband work?
Full fibre takes broadband technology (which we cover in how home broadband works) and supercharges it. Not to be confused with standard fibre broadband which uses a combination of copper phone wires and fibre optic cables, full fibre broadband uses only fibre optic cables.
Find out more about the benefits of fibre broadband.
How is full fibre connected to your house?
To install full-fibre broadband, your friendly neighbourhood engineer drills a tiny hole into your wall and feeds in the fibre optic cable. This is then connected to something called an optical modem and then into your router. The fibre optic cable then leads from your home directly to your internet service provider either underground or along telegraph poles in the same way as telephone lines.
What’s the difference between fibre and full fibre?
Full fibre broadband is also known as ‘FTTP’ or fibre-to-the-premises broadband – which means exactly what it says, a fibre optic cable directly into your home. The alternative to FTTP is ‘FTTC’, or fibre-to-the-cabinet which connects you to the internet via a cabinet normally found at the end of your street.
While fibre broadband does use fibre optic cables to connect from these cabinets to internet service providers, they actually connect to your house using old copper phone wires. These phone wires were not initially made for high-speed internet so do not perform as well as fibre optic cables and can cause speed and congestion issues at busy times of day. In addition, the longer the wire and connection are, the slower the connection can be. That means houses on the same street can have drastically different internet speeds.
Full fibre uses fibre optic cables that transfer data using beams of light which are much quicker and more reliable than the older copper wires. They also offer more reliable connections as they avoid the shared street cabinets which are the focal point for congestion.
How fast is full-fibre broadband?
While speeds will vary depending on who your provider is and where you live, full fibre can be 10 to 15 times faster than other fibre broadband services. Customers who are able to access full fibre services can benefit from speeds of up to 900 Mbps for ultrafast connections or over 1000 Mbps for gigabit broadband connections. Internet that speed would enable you to download a full HD movie in around 30 seconds. Like all internet coverage though, there are different tiers of service available. For big providers like BT, these include:
Full Fibre 100
Which has a minimum required download speed of 100 Mbps
Full Fibre 300
Which has a minimum required download speed of 150 Mbps
Full Fibre 500
Which has a minimum required download speed of 250 Mbps
Full Fibre 900
Which has a minimum required download speed of 450 Mbps
What full fibre options does Broadway currently offer?
Like other providers, we offer various offerings where our full fibre is available. We’re always working to connect more communities with fast and consistent internet. Currently, we offer three tiers of full fibre:
Ultrafast 150: with an average download speed of 135 Mbps
Ultrafast 300+: with an average download speed of 270 Mbps
Gigafast 1000: with an average download speed of 1000 Mbps
Do I need full-fibre broadband?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this – it really depends on what you use your internet for. If you’re a small household where you only use your internet for online shopping, browsing and occasional streaming then you probably don’t need full-fibre broadband. However, if multiple people live and work from home, and regularly stream movies, video call and online game, then full fibre is probably right for you.
Is full fibre available in my area?
Currently, only around 1 in 3 households have access to full fibre broadband. To see if your area is covered by full fibre, you can use the Openreach postcode checker. You can also see which areas we’re helping to get connected on our Locations page.