What is Fibre Broadband?
FTTC? LightSpeed? BT Infinity?
- Fast download speeds of up to 40Mbps
- Typical speeds: 36Mbps off peak, 16Mbps peak.
- Unlimited off-peak use (12-8am)
- WiFi compatible
- Fully-featured and powerful webmail
- Virus and Spam protected email
- Fast, Reliable connections
- Mac-specific support
- Geographical support numbers
- Line rental & call pkgs available
- Next-day swap-out warranty
- UK-based support directly from us
- Free onsite Installation
- ...and a whole lot more!
Traditionally your old copper telephone line carries your broadband from your house to the exchange. It's susceptible to noise and in turn that noise can significantly affect it's maximum speed. The length and quality of this copper cable directly affects the actual speed you get. A 4km cable looses much of it's speed capability and might only be able to support 1Mbps. The rest of the journey of the data is usually over fibre anyway, from BT's exchanges and onto our network.
This animation, from the Superfast Cornwall program is a great way to explain how Fibre works.
Fibre to the Cabinet
FTTC (fibre to the Cabinet) cuts the length of the copper side of the equation to a few hundred metres at most, and therefore allows much faster speeds. There's no loss of speed on fibre - it can span the oceans and not loose any speed. In fact, that's exactly what it does do.
What is "fibre"
It's glass/plastic cables that transport light through them, instead of electrical current like copper wires. With copper, to gets the 1's and 0's the modems either end pulse electrical signals, very fast. With fibre, because light travels faster than anything else, it's basically pulses of light. It's a little more complex than that but that'll give you the idea.
Why not bring fibre right to my home
FTTP or Fibre to the Premises is much better, but much more expensive to roll out. BT would then have to dig up your street and garden to get the fibre to you. So it's more economical to just take it to the end of your street and use the existing copper from there. Some new existing streets. industrial estates, office blocks and new developments will be getting FTTP more and more.
Because of the different tolerances now available with fibre, a new protocol called vDSL is used. It's capable of much higher upload and download speeds - far higher than the current 40Mbps. We'll be seeing 100Mbps LightSpeed FTTC products in the not-so-distant future.
Is LightSpeed the same as BT Infinity?
BT Infinity is just the name BT Retail give to their fibre products. We call ours LightSpeed. ISP's usually buy or rent services from BT Wholesale and Openreach - separate companies to BT Broadband and BT Retail. They too buy from themselves... all very complicated. It's only the "last mile" that is the same with most ISPs - the vast majority of the service is very different. We think LightSpeed is much better....