For families living under one roof, slow internet is a problem. When everyone comes home from work or school in the evening and tries to connect across multiple devices at the same time, your internet speed suffers. Kids need a broadband connection to do their homework, parents need to connect to online services or work from home. Don’t forget about entertainment, either – streaming films or online gaming can slow things down too.
You want to be able to get work done, to let your kids do their schoolwork, and stream to your heart’s content – without hearing any moaning about the slow connection. Sound like a familiar problem? Then you should consider fiber optic internet.
What is Full-Fibre Internet?
Until recently, all internet connections to homes in the UK were delivered via copper phone wires, called ADSL. Within the last several years, there’s been a push to roll out fibre-optic broadband all over the country, to replace ADSL connections. Fibre internet is connected via fibre-optic cables made of glass or plastic, which allow more data to be transmitted than copper wires. For this reason, fibre broadband is much faster than ADSL.
Internet service providers (ISPs) provide different types of fibre cabling for your internet connection. They might use a combination of copper wiring and fibre-optic cables to deliver service to your home. Or they might use full-fibre connections, which utilise fibre-optic cables all the way to your residence.
What to Look for in Full-Fibre Broadband
Before you make the switch to full-fibre broadband, you’ll want to do your research. What equipment is needed for full-fibre? Is switching to fibre expensive? Are there any providers in your area? You should ask yourself these important questions, as well as consider the following four factors.
1) Type of fibre
Fibre broadband is available as FTTH, FTTB, FTTC, and FTTN. Each is wired differently and provides various broadband speeds.
- FTTH (fibre to the home) runs fibre-optic cables straight to your house. Delivering speeds up to 900Mbps, it’s the fastest fibre service available. It’s usually the most expensive, however, and not everywhere in the UK can access it.
- FTTB (fibre to the building/basement) runs cables to your building, or premises, sometimes called FTTP (fibre to the premises). FTTB fibre is the service provided to people living in large flats or multi-home buildings.
- FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) runs cables to the cabinet on your street. Copper wires then complete the journey from the cabinet to your residence. FTTC is slower than FTTH or FTTB, but it’s still faster than ADSL and more widely available throughout the UK.
- FTTN (fibre to the node) is the same as FTTC, but instead of being 300 metres away, the cabinet could be several kilometres away.
2) Broadband speed
As you can see from the different types of fibre broadband available, not all fibre is the same. Speeds depend on several factors and vary based on provider and location. If you want fast internet to keep your family happy as they surf the web, you should check two things. First, which ISPs offer fibre broadband in your area. Second, what type of connection do they provide? Keep in mind that ADSL connections provide speeds between 10Mbps – 11Mbps, FTTC fibre provides 35Mbps – 66Mbps, and full-fibre provides 1Gbps (1000Mbps).
3) Usage needs
Of course, these speeds don’t mean anything if you don’t know how much bandwidth your home internet activities consume. Before switching to fibre or full-fibre, you should do a rough calculation do see what your broadband speed requirements are. For example, the minimum for most online video games is a download speed of 3Mbps and upload speed of 1Mbps per player in the house. Although, for better performance, between 15Mbps – 25Mbps is better.
What about streaming and working? The minimum download speed for streaming videos in standard definition is 3Mbps, but if you want to stream in high-definition or 4K, you need at least 25Mbps. If someone in your family works from home, then you have further broadband considerations, like using videoconferencing apps. The bare minimum for working from home would be download speed of 25Mbps – if just one person is connected. If you’re working at the same time your family is doing homework, streaming, or gaming, then you should bump that number up to 50Mbps. To keep everyone comfortably productive and happy, though, 100Mbps is best. And if you’ve got a smart home system or a large household full of internet users, then consider 200Mbps.
Another fibre consideration, possibly the most important one, is your location. The type of fibre connection you choose might be limited based on your area. Some forms of fibre, like FTTC, are widely available throughout the UK. Others, like full-fibre or FTTH, are only accessible in certain areas. You can search for your postcode on the Vision Fibre Media website to see which of our fibre options is available near you.
Choose Full-Fibre Connectivity You Can Rely On
Let’s face it, for your busy family, a speedy internet connection is a necessity. Full-fibre internet from Vision Fibre Media can help you meet those needs. Our residential broadband is among the fastest fibre available, allowing your household to work and play without interruption.