Fibre Broadband

Fibre Optics is the fastest!

Fibre To The Home (FTTH) is much, much faster and far more reliable than the outdated DSL broadband technologies (ADSL/VDSL) – the faster your broadband the more you will be able to do online.

Unlike broadband down your telephone line, the signal over fibre does not lose strength the further away you are from the telephone exchange or street cabinet. Fibre can go up to 20km before your broadband connection begins to lose strength. Therefore, fibre access gives customers the bandwidth they are paying for as there is minimal or no degradation along their broadband connection.

Fibre access networks have lower latency, which means no noticeable delay in exchanging information. This is important for applications that depend on real-time communication and high-resolution images such as video calling and online gaming. 

A whole range of benefits from Fibre

You can download HD movies in minutes, stream High Definition content with no lagging, enjoy smooth video calling; all with multiple users connected in your home at the same time.

Online gamers prefer FTTH because it gives them unique advantages – lower latency and much faster upload speeds. They can see the effect of pulling the trigger about a third of a second sooner than their online competitors using VDSL connections. As more people join in, the requirements increase: multiplayer games need higher network bandwidth to accommodate as many players as possible at any one time.  

FTTH is future proof technology, in order to increase your bandwidth requirements all we need to do is change lasers in our central office. Soon headline speeds of 500Mbps/1Gbps/2Gbps download & upload speeds will be common place, this can only be achieved through FTTH. We are still to discover all the applications superfast broadband can bring, imagine what the future may be like... 

FTTH for Reliability

The spinning circle on the computer screen has become synonymous with a slow or broken Internet connection. Everyone is aware that broadband over telephone cables (ADSL/VDSL) can be unreliable. And everyone knows that once a fault is experienced, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find the source of the problem.  

FTTH is different. The rare problems in an all-fibre network are easily detected with equipment that can pinpoint the cause and even the location of the fault remotely, sometimes even before a customer knows there was a problem and usually without the need to send out a technician. Fibre networks are robust and immune to electrical interference - there’s less to go wrong in the first place.

The different types of Fibre broadband technologies

There are multiple types of fibre broadband technologies, the following demonstration shows how much fibre is involved in each kind 

What is FTTH?

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Fibre To The home (FTTH) is a broadband solution which uses a fibre optic cable all the way into the client premises.  This means, a fibre optic cable runs from our central office and terminates in your home. With FTTH your full broadband line is supplied by fibre optic cabling. 

What is FTTB?

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Fibre To The Building (FTTB) is a broadband technology where the fibre cable goes from our central office directly to the building that you live in. The rest of the distance is covered using a TV coaxial cable. Normally, there will be no more than 50metres of TV coaxial cable in your connection.

What is FTTC?

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Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) involves running a fibre optic cable from the telephone exchange down to a street cabinet which then connects to a telephone copper wire to provide your phone line and broadband. This is VDSL broadband technology. The distance of copper wires can run as far as 300-500metres.

What is FTTN?

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Fibre To The Node (FTTN) uses fibre optic cable up to a node or street cabinet, at this point (in the node or cabinet) the fibre cable terminates, and the remainder of the distance is covered via copper telephone wires. FTTN broadband networks can have large distances of copper telephone wires to supply their clients with internet, these distances can reach up to 500m.

Your signal strength quickly begins to lose strength over copper wires and therefore over these distances the actual speeds you are paying for will never be achieved. The following table (reference to  Fibre Broadband Guide) illustrates the percentage of signal loss/degradation over distance when you have an FTTN broadband connection.

Distance to cabinet / node (metres)

Download Speed

Upload Speed

% speeds degradation at this distance 

100m

100 Mbps

25 Mbps

5%

150m

80 Mbps

20 Mbps

10%

200m

65 Mbps

18 Mbps

20%

300m

45 Mbps

17 Mbps

30%

400m

42 Mbps

16 Mbps

45%

500m

38 Mbps

15 Mbps

60%

600m

35 Mbps

14 Mbps

70%

700m

32 Mbps

11 Mbps

75%

800m

28 Mbps

10 Mbps

80%

900m

25 Mbps

9 Mbps

85%

1000m

24 Mbps

8 Mbps

90%

1250m

17 Mbps

5 Mbps

95%

1500m

15 Mbps

4 Mbps

98%

This table shows the degradation of your broadband connection depending upon how much copper telephone wire is involved down your line.  Very high degradation rates (45/60%) are shown when having an FTTN broadband connection at 400/500m. This means, you will actually only be achieving 55% or 40% of the advertised broadband speeds you are paying for. Therefore, if you have a 20Mbps broadband package and you’re broadband line has 500m of copper telephone wires, you will only actually be achieving 8Mbps download speeds. This is why it is important to have as little copper telephone wire down your broadband line as possible in order to be achieving the actual speeds you are paying for. With FTTH this is not the case, because with a fibre optic cable supplying your broadband connection the signal does not degrade up to 20km from the central office. The following video illustrates the differences between the broadband technologies Fibre To The Home (FTTH), Fibre To The Node (FTTN) & ADSL:

* All facts and figures are based on information gathered from:  FTTH in your Community/FTTH Speed Tool