Superfast, fibre optic, Fibre to the Cabinet – the world of technology has again brought us an entirely new language – that of Broadband.

BT has pledged a £2.5bn investment to bring superfast broadband to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. This pledge means the laying of three million kilometres of fibre and the installation of 50,000 new roadside cabinets.

But it is happening – 150,000 premises are being connected each week and from spring this year anybody within a Fibre to the Cabinet area will be able to receive Fibre to the Premise.

What is Fibre to the Cabinet?

Put simply it is access to the Internet via a new roadside cabinet that contains fibre optics instead of the traditional copper network.  The copper network is still used for your telephone service; it is just your Internet access running over the fibre.

The equipment within the roadside cabinet is based on VDSL2 technologies and allows you to achieve downloads speeds of 80 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 20 Mbit/s.  This is big increase on ADSL speeds of 8 Mbit/s and 800Kbit/s and ADSL2+ speeds of 24 Mbit/s and 1Mbit/s.

Once BT Openreach have upgraded the equipment in the exchange and installed the roadside cabinet – those properties feeding off the cabinet are ready to go.

What does this mean for businesses?

For those in a FTTC area it can mean a whole different way of working and is much more than just faster access to the Internet.

UKNetWeb, a technical web development company in Cornwall, began to compete globally for clients as soon as they had access to superfast broadband. Using video conferencing they began to speak to potential clients like a major telecoms operator in Japan.  The technology and the improvements it brought means UKNetWeb have since employed an extra 15 staff to meet the needs of new contracts.

Video conferencing and unified communications is just one way that a business may benefit from fibre broadband.  There are many other tangible business outcomes unique to your business to be explored.

And does it have to be with BT?

Not at all – the UK broadband market is open at all layers, from the final service you receive within your business through to the infrastructure that delivers it.

Although most fibre-to-the-cabinet installations will be carried over infrastructure installed and maintained by BT Openreach there are literally hundreds of companies able to provide your broadband service including Bespoke Computing Ltd.

Will I automatically get the top speed everyone is talking about?

Unfortunately this is also a no.

In the same way that the speed of copper based ADSL and ADSL2+ broadband is affected by the distance between you and the local BT exchange, with fibre-to-the-cabinet the speed is affected by the distance between you and the roadside cabinet.  The image below illustrates this, click on it for a larger version.

Broadband speed over distance

Other factors can also affect the speed of your broadband such as the type of cable coming to your property (some cable is aluminium), whether your cables are overhead or underground, and also the management of the network being run by the Internet service provider.

That is why it is a good idea to chat with an IT provider before making any moves with regards to improving your internet connection and speed in 2013.

Bespoke Computing Ltd clients need not worry about what choices they will have to make as already monitor the developments of fibre broadband, and we will be chatting with them to discuss their options as it becomes available to them.

If you would like to have a chat about how fibre broadband will affect you and your business call us today on 0845 004 3025.