Fibre Optic Broadband – What and Why?
If you are tired of a slow broadband connection then fear not, a new service is on its way. It is not something new but fibre optic broadband is still in its infancy in terms of how many people use it and how many people can potentially use it. You may have started to see fibre optic services appearing on broadband comparison sites but you may not know what it is or why it is important in the future of the internet.
Fibre optic broadband is a new way of delivering an internet connection to your home. The ADSL broadband connection that you are currently likely to use will transmit its signal through copper wires. The problem with doing this is that there are issues with interference. This is the reason why your broadband speed may drop at peak hours. Fibre optic broadband does not transmit its signals through copper wire. Instead it sends light waves through fibre optic cabling, which is less susceptible to interference and will result in a higher quality connection. This means that it will be able to provide faster download times with less deviation from the advertised expected speeds, regardless of how many people are using the internet.
At the present time there are different types of fibre optic broadband that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are using. The majority of fibre optic connections in the UK are Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), which sends signals through fibre optic cables to cabinets that are located on streets. The connection will then be transferred to copper wiring as it completes the journey to your home. Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) takes the signal through the fibre optic cables to your building and from there it makes the short journey by copper wire to your home. This type of connection is likely to occur in blocks of flats or shared buildings. Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is the fastest way of transmitting fibre optic broadband. It takes the signal straight from the exchange to the home without transferring to copper wire, which means that there is less room for interference.
The up side to fibre optic broadband is the increased download speeds and general quality of the connection that you will receive. ADSL broadband will offer up to a maximum of 24Mbps, although most people are more likely to be receiving between 2 – 8Mbps. The potential speed of fibre optic broadband is around 100Mbps and this is estimated to increase to 300Mbps by the end of 2013. It is easy to see why there is such a large focus on developing this area.
Increased speeds and quality will bring many advantages. You will not have to wait for online videos to buffer and you will be able to download your favourite TV shows and music in an instant. It will also help when you are uploading pictures to Facebook or sending emails with large attachments. There will be less time for you to wait while pages load up and you will be able to surf the web with a lot more efficiency. Another major advantage is that there is less interference. If you live at the end of the exchange you may get extremely slow speeds with your ADSL broadband, especially in the peak hours. This may also be the case if you have a family, with possibly 3 or 4 people in the same household using the internet. With fibre optic broadband this would not be a worry and there should be little to no drop in the speeds you’ll receive.