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. Read more