Different types of broadband

Sep 13, 2022

Broadband comes in many shapes and sizes.

There are 4 main ‘types’ of broadband that serves residents in the UK and we want to break them down for you to ensure that you understand the pros and cons of each type.

Let’s explore the different types of broadband that could serve your home.

DSL broadband/Copper Wires

DSL broadband, or Digital Subscriber Line, uses existing telephone lines to provide internet connectivity. These lines are made of copper wires as they were originally brought in to reduce noise when on the phone.

It's called "digital" because it converts the internet signal into digital data that can be transmitted over your phone line. DSL is widely available in many areas and has been the most popular option for those who need basic internet connectivity.

However, the speed of DSL internet can vary depending on how far away you are from the local cabinet (the green metal boxes you see in your towns).

If you're closer to the cabinet, you'll have faster internet speeds.

If you're further away, you may experience slower speeds.

Additionally, DSL internet can be affected by noise or interference on the telephone line, which can also impact speed and reliability.

Cable internet

Cable internet uses the same coaxial cables that your TV uses to bring the internet into your home.

This type of broadband is known for its speed and reliability.

Unlike DSL, cable internet speeds are not affected by your distance from the provider's central office.

However, cable internet speeds can slow down during peak usage times when many people in your area are using the same network.

Cable internet tends to be more expensive than DSL, and the cost can increase even more if you choose to bundle it with other services, such as cable TV. Additionally, cable internet service may be limited in some areas, depending on the availability of the cable network.

Another point to note, is that the only cable broadband provider is VirginMedia/O2 who have stated that they will transition their coaxial cables to fibre optic ones over the next few years.

Fibre Optic broadband

Fibre optic broadband, or full fibre broadband, is the newest and fastest type of broadband.

It uses thin glass fibres and light to transmit data, allowing for very high internet speeds.

Fibre optic internet is more reliable than other types of broadband because it doesn't rely on copper wires that can corrode or be damaged by weather.

Fibre optic broadband provides extremely consistent and ultra-reliable internet speeds, especially during peak usage times.

However, it's biggest downfall at the moment is that it isn’t as widely available as DSL or cable internet (something that we here at Netomnia are changing at great speed).

Additionally, the cost of fibre optic internet may be higher than other types of broadband due to the infrastructure required to provide the service. But, if you catch a great deal, you could be paying cheaper prices for higher speeds!

Be sure to do your research!

Satellite internet

Satellite internet is a type of broadband that uses a satellite dish to connect you to the internet.

This type of broadband is available almost everywhere, even in rural areas where other types of broadband may not be available.

Satellite internet is generally slower and more expensive than other types of broadband due to the technology required to transmit data from your computer to a satellite in space and back down to a ground station before it reaches the internet.

Satellite internet can also be affected by weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, which can cause signal interference and impact speed and reliability.

While satellite internet is a good option for those in remote areas, it may not be the best choice for those who need fast and reliable internet connectivity for work or households that has many devices to cater for.

To Summarise the Different Types of Broadband

In summary, the different types of broadband has its advantages and disadvantages.

DSL is widely available and reliable but may have slower speeds depending on your location.

Cable internet is fast and reliable but may be more expensive and won’t be around for much longer.

Fibre optic broadband is the fastest and most reliable option but may not be available in your area just yet.

Satellite internet is available almost everywhere but will be slower, more expensive, and impacted by weather conditions.

To conclude, if you are in an area that is served by full fibre broadband, then you are in luck. Be sure to do your research and ensure that it is not ‘part fibre/FTTC’.

BT and other household names have clever marketing to try and trick you. Be sure to ring up and check!