What is FTTC Broadband?

May 19, 2023

What is FTTC Broadband?

FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband is a type of internet connection that uses a both fibre optic cables and traditional copper cables to deliver high-speed internet to users.

The "Cabinet" in FTTC refers to the green/grey street cabinets that are typically seen in your town and act as distribution points for the broadband service.

How Does FTTC Broadband Work?

In an FTTC setup, fibre optic cables are used to connect the telephone exchange to the local street cabinet, which is usually located within a few hundred metres of homes or businesses.

From the cabinet, the last part of the connection is made using existing copper telephone lines, which carry the broadband signal to individual premises.

Speeds Achievable with FTTC

While speeds can vary depending on various factors, such as distance from the cabinet, typically, FTTC can offer download speeds ranging from 30 Mbps to 80 Mbps.

Upload speeds are usually lower, sitting around 10 Mbps. These speeds can barely support activities like video streaming, online gaming, and large file downloads.

Reliability of FTTC

The reliability of FTTC broadband is generally good, but it can be influenced by the quality and condition of the copper cables.

Since the final connection from the cabinet to the premises is made using copper, the signal can be susceptible to interference and degradation over longer distances.

In most cases, the performance is stable with minimal disruptions.

Pros for Homeowners

Widespread Availability

FTTC broadband is more readily available in many areas, making it accessible to a larger number of homeowners.


FTTC is often cheaper than other high-speed options, such as FTTP. The value per Mbps though is arguably better on an FTTP contract so be sure to do your research!

Cons for Homeowners

Speed Variability

The speed experienced by homeowners can depend on their distance to the cabinet. Those closer to the cabinet may enjoy higher speeds, while those further away experience reduced speeds.

Copper Cable Limitations

The reliance on copper cables for the final connection means that the signal quality can degrade over longer distances, potentially impacting overall performance.

Pros for Businesses

The pros and cons for businesses are similar to those for homeowners, but with a few additional considerations.

Faster Data Transfer

FTTC allows businesses to transfer large amounts of data quickly, improving productivity and efficiency.

Potential Limitations

For businesses with demanding internet requirements, such as heavy data usage or those relying on real-time communication, the speed limitations of FTTC may not be sufficient.

In such cases, a higher-speed option like FTTP might be more suitable.

Difference between FTTC and FTTP

While both FTTC and FTTP involve fibre optic cables, the main difference lies in the last leg of the connection.

FTTP or Fibre to the Premise provides a pure fibre optic connection all the way to the premises, enabling faster speeds and higher bandwidth capabilities.

FTTC Broadband

FTTC broadband offers homeowners and businesses a significant upgrade from traditional copper-based connections.

With faster speeds and widespread availability, it strikes a balance between performance and cost-effectiveness.

While it doesn’t match the speeds and reliability of FTTP (or full fibre broadband), FTTC is currently the most popular choice for many.

But with FTTP currently being rolled out at great pace, be sure to check if you are within our build plan!