From the Peterborough CORE blog: Not all fibre broadband is equal


From the Peterborough CORE blog: Not all fibre broadband is equal

28 April 2014

‘Fibre’ – The things you need to know

When broadband replaced dial-up, it revolutionised global internet usage. Now, broadband is in need of an upgrade itself. So what’s the next step up? ‘Fibre’ is the word of the moment when it comes to broadband connections, but service doesn’t always match expectation. A cunning marketing game of smoke, mirrors and industry buzzwords has played out over recent years when it comes to the availability of true fibre-based services and connectivity, usually hidden away in the small print of a number of service provider contracts. It’s a case of ‘buyer beware’ because not all fibre broadband is equal.

Fibre to the Cabinet

In most cases, what’s branded as ‘fibre broadband’ actually still involves the use of copper cable from the cabinet into the premises. This slows data down and causes congestion; not quite the revolution in speed we are dreaming of. Despite being capable of supporting ‘super-fast’ connections, a ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ service rarely reaches its headline speeds. The more businesses connected to the cabinet, the less reliable these speed become. Where it really starts to fall down is uploading. Despite upload speeds becoming more critical to businesses, so-called fibre services are already struggling to cope. This is only set to get worse as the demands from homes and businesses continue to increase at unprecedented rates.

Pure Fibre

Pure fibre broadband is a truly future-proofed technology, capable of supporting all current and future demands for more bandwidth. Pure fibre networks have the capability to transfer data at up to speeds of 1 Gigabit, that’s 1000Mbps – around 100 times faster than standard broadband and more than 10 times faster than Fibre to the Cabinet services. These speeds are almost unimaginable to many but they are fast becoming an indispensible solution to managing your business in the digital age.

So what’s the difference?

The main distinguisher when it comes to pure fibre is the speed at which it’s able to operate. In pure fibre networks, data travels at the speed of light down the extremely fine glass fibres in the cable, each one thinner than a human hair. With nothing to get in the way, speeds are potentially limitless. The limitation in speed of a ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ network is the copper in the network. When reaching the cabinet, data is converted from pulses of light to electrical current as it passes through the copper cable for the rest of its slow journey to the customer premises.

The Peterborough CORE

With nothing but fibre in the network, The Peterborough CORE will be amongst the fastest citywide networks anywhere in the world. Cities like Hong Kong and Stockholm already have pure fibre connectivity and Google is now following-suit with its own roll outs in a number of US cities. Gigabit speed, pure fibre connectivity is on its way and the first Peterborough businesses connected will be able to feel the difference by Summer 2014. Don’t forget to register your business now, if you haven’t already, and get others to do the same.