Is fibre broadband really fibre?

It is very easy to be confused by technology and for most end users the latest broadband trend is not helping. You will probably have seen all the advertising by Broadband companies offering their latest and greatest fibre broadband products but what do you really get?

For those that don't already know, fibre optic cable is usually a very thin glass cable coated in plastic that carries light along its length. A single strand of fibre can carry many thousands of Megabits per second over very long distances. Telecommunication companies and internet service providers have been using fibre optic cable for many years but its use has grown massively in recent years due to the falling costs of the technology.

Ideally all businesses and homes would have fibre connectivity. Real fibre connectivity would mean that you could currently have internet speeds of hundreds or thousands of Megabits per second or more to your premises. The reason why this doesn't usually happen is that these fibre optic cables have to be dug into the ground from the telephone company all the way to your home or business premises.

The cabled solution that is generally available to you is what is called FTTC or Fibre To The Cabinet. FTTC is a hybrid solution where the telephone company installs fibre optic cable to the boxes you see on the roadside which then connects to some network equipment and converts the light passing down the fibre cable to an electrical signal which is then passed down your old copper telephone wires and eventually enters your house to your socket on the wall. You then have a small piece of network equipment which converts this into something your computer or other device can understand.

As you can imagine, the costs of real fibre are much higher than the cost of FTTC. An average FTTC connection is between £15 and £50 pounds per month and usually does not have an installation charge. The cost of a real fibre circuit can be anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds up to thousands of pounds per month and can cost tens of thousands of pounds to install.

The difference in performance between the two technologies is massive. FTTC usually offers download speeds up to 80 Megabits per second with a much slower upload speed, some companies claim higher speeds. Normally these speeds are not guaranteed and do vary at different times of the day. A real fibre connection on the other hand can offer much higher speeds, many times what can be offered by FTTC and the upload speed would usually be the same as the download speed.

So, in our opinion, the answer to the question "Is fibre broadband really fibre?" is no.

Benefits of Quality Broadband for Businesses

The speed and efficiency at which your internet connectivity works can have a huge impact on your day to day business.

The relationship between internet connectivity and business is now more important than ever, so it’s vital to ensure that your business has quality, fast broadband, so you know that you’re getting the most out of your day.

Whether you’re a start-up business, small or medium enterprise, or a large corporation, internet speed and reliability can make a massive difference to the way daily tasks are carried out.  A quality internet connection allows employees to work more effectively, send and receive information more quickly and increase productivity and time management.

Taking full advantage of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be done with a speedy connection, allowing businesses to grow their following and communicate with customers old and new.

More and more businesses are now starting to take advantage of cloud storage, which is only really possible with a quick and reliable connection.

With high speed broadband; files can be uploaded and downloaded to cloud based storage solutions with ease. Slow internet speeds can cause file transfers to become interrupted and time out, leaving an employee to start all over again.

Cloud storage can also save businesses money – they no longer need to allocate a large proportion of their budgets to ICT hardware and software, instead storing files off-site and taking advantage of reliable, hosted applications software.

Sending and receiving files is not a problem with a quick connection, so you won’t be waiting hours for file transfers such as invoice runs or software updates, which can take minutes rather than hours.

Communicating with colleagues and customers is revolutionised with a speedy and dependable internet service, expanding the way employees communicate inside and outside of the office, making it easier and quicker for tasks to be completed and information to be shared.

With a quality connection, businesses can be connected to customers and employees not only throughout the country, but the world.

More businesses are now starting to communicate through VOIP programs (Voice over Internet Protocol) allowing them to hold meetings and web conferences through video calls.

Communicating through basic online programs like Skype to speak to customers and colleagues, rather than traditional phone calls can also save you money on telephone bills.

If your business requires a lot of travel for conferences and meetings, these could be held over video conferencing facilities like Apple’s Face Time, in turn saving money and time due to less travelling, leading to greater production and profitability.

If you offer any type of online customer service, your company will never suffer from slow responses due to speed issues.

Whether your day is made up of uploading tender submissions, liaising with clients or working with large files, a faster and more reliable internet connection can really make a difference.

Idaq Networks’ ultra-fast wireless connectivity can provide all of this and more to businesses throughout Sheffield and Rotherham; meaning less stress, more work and a successful business.