What technology you have connecting your home to the World Wide Web will drastically affect the speed at which you can access broadband internet.
Up until recently almost all internet infrastructure would have been via ADSL, essentially the old phone cable networking which has been with us for generations. While the internet was a luxury that not everybody needed low speeds and a limited network were sufficient, but now that it’s considered a utility, and a part of the basket of goods by which the retail price index is measured.
Today, with the unrelenting demand for faster and faster broadband the old copper cables can’t cope. The technology was originally designed to transmit the human voice to other people (relatively) nearby. The human voice operates at around 50Hz and most phone calls people make were to friends and neighbours who live nearby. However, by introducing the internet to the equation the phone lines now need to deliver data at 2.45GHz all over the world.
To overcome the limitations a number of solutions have been invented. First among these is Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC). FTTC is based on fibre optic technology, taking advantage of the fact that by using light instead of electrical impulses to transmit data it can deliver speeds many times that which cable alone can provide. FTTC is something of a compromise in terms of data speeds and convenience of installation. Fibre optic lines are installed as far as the kerbside cabinets you find at the end of most streets. From there they use the existing copper wires to connect your home to the web. That copper leg does slow the data down, however, because the rest of the data’s journey is fibre optic, the overall system is much faster than copper cable alone. FTTC involves using existing connections to the home, so there is no digging up pavements or installing new overhead lines to each property.
To get Full Fibre – also known as Fibre To The Property (FTTP) – your ISP needs to be able to install the fibre optic cable from the servers at the local exchange all the way though to your home, then into your router. At this stage the data will be converted from pulses of light into a wireless signal which can be broadcast throughout your home. Because the installation does depend on the fibre optic line travelling right into your home the process is more difficult and time consuming. But the speeds which you as an internet user far outstrip copper cables or FTTC.
While light and electricity travel at the same speed, electricity can only carry a limited number of frequencies down a line. To make it travel long distances the message needs to be boosted, repeated and amplified. Each time that happens there is a cost, both financially, and to the quality of the information which is being sent. Fibre optic cables on the other hand can go many times as far as a copper wire before there needs to be any intervention. Copper cables can be prone to interference or noise created by strong magnetic fields or electrical currents, and copper is a valuable metal. Entire countries have been knocked offline after cable thieves have stolen the cables which connected them to the rest of the world. The glass used to build fibre optic infrastructure is expensive compared to any other type of glass, but each strand is finer than a human hair, and is completely useless to anyone but the data industry, meaning there’s no market in stealing it to sell it on.
Because installing FTTP is costly and time consuming you might find that your home isn’t due to get Full Fibre for some time to come. In the meantime you may be stuck with slow ADSL (phone line) broadband which can be as slow as 15-18 Mbps. Not much fun if you want to do anything which uses a lot of data like stream a movie or download music.
If you find yourself in that situation there are solutions which you don’t have to wait for. If your home isn’t due for connection to FTTP soon but has good mobile phone reception you should be able to get a 5g mobile broadband router. This uses the GSM mobile phone network instead of phone lines, and while it’s not as fast as fibre, or the capacity of Wireless, it is a great solution for getting online if you’re used to getting low internet speeds over landlines.
For other areas, or for people who need much more data than a 5g phone connection can deliver, there is Wireless Broadband which doesn’t depend on telephone masts, but uses the ISP’s dedicated wireless broadband transmitter and roof mounted wireless receivers to ensure that you can get between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps.
With Briant Broadband if you take up our Wireless Broadband service because you can’t get FTTP in your area when you want it you have the option of taking up our wireless, then, if you still want to upgrade when Full Fibre is available to your home, you have the option to upgrade your service plan to the lightning fast fibre speeds without admin fees, installation costs, or line rental.
You can check if you already have Full Fibre in your area by checking on our homepage. Simply choose the package which suits you. If it’s available today you can book right now. If not you can submit your contact details and we’ll get in touch to talk about your options.