What is full fibre broadband?

So many phrases get thrown around in the broadband world, but what do they all mean?

  • Superfast / Fibre to the Cabinet: speeds between 30-80Mbps
  • Ultrafast / Full Fibre / Fibre to the Premises: speeds up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps)
  • Gigabit-Capable: this refers to any technology that can provide download speeds up to 1Gbps. This is typically achieved through FTTP technology, however there are other ways in which these speeds can be reached, such as 5G.

Moving From Superfast To Ultrafast 

Over the last few years, Superfast Essex has rolled out superfast broadband. But now, access to gigabit-capable broadband is on the rise and we’re installing full fibre for the majority of our remaining rollout. If you’ve been told:

'You can now access full fibre' or 

'Full fibre is coming to your area'

– click through on the links above and find out if you can access ultrafast broadband today! Or, if you're after more information about gigabit-capable broadband and what we're doing to help, you can watch the video below!

Government goals for gigabit-capable broadband

The government wants 85% of UK homes and businesses to have access to gigabit-capable speeds by 2025. Across Essex, commercial network providers are already upgrading existing superfast broadband to full fibre, so you may see more broadband work happening in your area, even if you can already get superfast speeds.

Here is more information on the government’s ‘Project Gigabit’, which is a £5bn investment to reach home and businesses with next generation gigabit broadband technologies.

What broadband technologies are there?

Fast broadband is typically achieved through a full copper connection (ADSL). Copper wiring is run from the telephone exchange to 'street cabinets'. From here, further copper wiring takes broadband to your home. Typical download speeds for ADSL broadband are 8-10Mbps.

Superfast broadband is normally a part fibre, part copper connection based on fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology. It works by running fibre optic cables from the telephone exchange to 'street cabinets' – those green boxes you may have seen on your street. From there, existing copper wires connect broadband to your home. You can also achieve superfast broadband through some wireless technologies. Download speeds for superfast broadband can reach 80Mbps.

Ultrafast broadband is a full-fibre connection based on fibre-to-the-premises or home (FTTP) technology. Free from all copper, FTTP uses fibre optic cables for the entire journey from the telephone exchange to your home. There are other ways you can achieve ultrafast speeds, such as 5G. Download speeds for ultrafast broadband can reach 1000Mbps.

What download speeds do I need?

There are many factors which can affect what broadband speed you should have – from how many devices you have connected to what you're using the internet for.

You can check what broadband speed would be best for your connectivity needs below, but if you're streaming TV or playing online games on multiple devices, you're likely to want ultrafast broadband!

Ultrafast / Full Fibre (100+ Mbps): Enjoy high quality video calls, stream movies and shows in 4k on multiple devices at the same time, download HD boxsets, play online games and upload videos to social media with no delay.

Superfast / Fibre (30 – 80Mbps): Everyone in your household can get online at the same time, streaming shows in HD and playing games online.

Fast / ADSL (1 – 24Mbps): Perfect for everyday browsing, sending emails and updating your favourite social media sites.

You can find further information on what speeds you'll likely need from which.co.uk!