What is full fibre broadband?

Oct 14, 2022

Internet connectivity can be confusing, because legacy network providers have made it difficult to understand the difference between dial-up, xDSL, fibre, and other types of internet connections.Most of us use the internet every day to work, play, or connect with family and friends online.

The internet is essential in modern society, and you should choose the right speed in your internet package that will support your online activities. We recommend that people choose full fibre broadband services if they are available, as they offer the fastest and most reliable internet connection. Here is everything you need to know about full fibre broadband and why you should be using it if you can.

So, what is it?

Full fibre broadband is a type of high-speed broadband that uses fibre optic cables made from special, flexible glass barely the width of a human hair, to transfer data at consistent speeds irrespective of distance. Legacy service providers use standard copper wires that have been used for decades for telephone calls, or copper coax-cables, the kind of cable used to connect a TV to an aerial.

Fibre optic cables are better at transferring data at higher speeds over longer distances than copper wires or coax-cable as they obey different laws of physics, they are not subject to the effects of impedance or crosstalk, for example. This means your family can simultaneously play online games, download videos faster and stream multiple videos in 4K resolution.

A fibre optic connection is more reliable than a copper one, which means it is ideal for busy households or businesses where multiple users are connected to the internet and downloading/uploading data or streaming videos or playing games all at the same time. Full fibre (or fibre optic) broadband utilises modern 21st Century technology to ensure maximum internet speeds and optimal availability.

Full fibre uses optical fibres to directly connect your home or business to the internet, without using any form of copper wire or copper coax cable in the network. Optical fibres are used to protect and transmit a laser beam which carries your internet traffic. Ultrafast broadband is defined by Ofcom as any connection which has (download) speeds higher than 300Mbps and is generally considered to top out around 1,000Mbps. A real “full fibre” connection will provide symmetrical services, so that the upload speed is just as fast as the download speed and while 1000Mbps (1Gbps) services are increasingly common, the next step up in speed is already here at 10,000Mbps (10Gbps!).

Currently, many households and businesses use a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) network. This uses a copper wire or copper coax cable from your street side cabinet to your premises, and isn’t really a fibre optic service at all.

What are the benefits of upgrading to full fibre?

Full fibre is the fastest and most reliable broadband internet technology available. The increasing demand for streaming services and increasing use of smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) means we need, consume and produce more data than ever before - and this demand is growing. A full fibre broadband connection will enhance your online experience and make it easier to download videos, play online games, and use other internet services. It also means you can share files faster, explore the internet without limits, and stream without buffering caused by the network.

And because full fibre is inherently impervious to distance, it doesn’t matter where you live, your online service needs will receive the same speeds.

Most businesses rely heavily on their digital networks to complete their daily operations. Companies that upgrade to full fibre will benefit from the increased efficiency of their cloud-based software, and high-speed optical internet connectivity will improve employee productivity, along with supporting flexible working practices.Stats by Ofcom reveal that eight million UK properties now have access to full fibre broadband. Homeowners and businesses should take advantage of this future-proof, distance-proof, reliable and fast internet connection to ensure a better online experience.