What is Fibre to the cabinet?
FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet) is a type of internet connectivity that uses a mixture of fibre and copper wires. A Fibre optic cable goes from your nearest telephone exchange point to your local roadside cabinet (Greenbox / Street cabinet). Then from the same roadside cabinet, a standard copper telephone line and a VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) runs to your premises.
The two speeds that’s achievable on FTTC are 40/10 and 80/20 (Download/Upload). These speeds aren’t 100% guaranteed, they will vary depending on the number of other premises sharing your line and the distance you are from the roadside cabinet (distribution point). Extreme weather will also affect your speeds.
If you’re looking for reliability and consistent speeds then an internet Leased Line would be the technology to go for.
FTTC runs over copper telephone lines, so you will require a telephone package in conjunction with an internet package. This type of internet is perfect for small businesses who don’t require lots of speed and reliability.
FTTC vs FTTP
FTTC and FTTP (Fibre to the premises) is similar technologies, the only different is FTTP is full fibre and FTTC is a mixture of copper and fibre. FTTP is a fibre optic line going from your nearest exchange point to your local roadside cabinet. Then from that same cabinet another fibre optic line runs to your premises. FTTP is full fibre broadband, FTTC is not. The process is the same with FTTC but instead of fibre optic lines going to your premises it’s a copper telephone line.
Another quite substantial difference is the speed you can achieve with both. FTTC speeds are lower than FTTP, this is due to the lines used. Fibre can carry higher speeds compared to copper, also speed degrades over distance with copper lines whereas with fibre it doesn’t. The max speeds you can achieve on FTTC are 40/10 and 80/20, with FTTP you can achieve speeds starting from 40mbps to 1Gbps (Not guaranteed).
Availability is another factor. FTTC is widely available within the UK whereas FTTP is not. FTTC is easier to get because it uses already existing telephone like to run the connection over. Whereas with FTTP it requires digging to install the new fibre.
The price of both varies. FTTC starts from around £20 per month to £30 (depend on providers). FTTP starts from £20 to £70+. FTTP prices depend on the speed you pick and the distance you are from your local roadside cabinet.
FTTC vs ADSL
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL works by a using copper telephone lines to transmit the signal. A splitter goes into your premises and the telephone signal and broadband network signal separates. FTTC uses a mixture of fibre and copper lines.
ADSL’s maximum speed is 24mbps. FTTC maximum speed is 80mbps. ADSL’s speeds are lower because it uses full copper whereas FTTC uses copper and fibre. Both speeds can be lower depending how far you are from your local roadside cabinet.
ADSL costs anywhere from £15-£25 per month. FTTC costs £20-30 per month. Prices are different due to the speed difference and use of difference lines.
ADSL coverage is around 99% of the UK, whereas FTTC’s coverage is 95% of the UK. ADSL is easier to deploy because it is using all existing technology. Fibre to the cab is only available in areas with fibre enabled cabinets.
FTTC vs Internet Leased Lines
FTTC works by having a mixture of copper and fibre lines. Internet Leased Lines comprise of a full fibre line. As explained, FTTC runs from the exchange point to your local roadside cabinet, then to your premises. Whereas with Internet Leased Lines it comes directly from the exchange point to your premises.
FTTC’s maximum speed is 80Mbps. Leased Line maximum can range from 10mbps to 10Gbps, you can pick whatever speed you’d like. Leased line speeds are guaranteed as you’re the only user on the line. FTTC speeds are not guaranteed because you share the line.
FTTC costs £20-£30 per month (depended on provider). Leased Lines start from £150 per month. Leased lines prices depend on the distance you are from your local exchange, the speed you pick, and if there’s any Excess construction charges.
FTTC is available to 95% of the UK. Internet Leased Lines are available to 100% of the UK, its just depended if you can afford it. More rural = more expensive.
Fibre to the cabinet Speeds available
FTTC has become increasingly popular in recent years across the UK. Its likely you would have heard of this broadband service and have an understanding that its a faster service than traditional copper lines. We will be exploring all things FTTC specifically what speeds you can get on the line, how distance impacts it & what you can do if you find the speed isn’t sufficient for your business.
FTTC comes mainly in three variants which offer download speeds of:
- 80 Mbps (80 meg)
- 55 Mbps (55 meg)
- 40Mbps (40 meg)
However, you won’t actually receive these speeds. The maximum throughput speeds are 76Mbps, 52Mbps & 38Mbps. What you will get will depend mainly on distance which we explore further down the page.
What are FTTC upload speeds?
Upload speeds can be critical to business success so its important to know what you need and what you can expect to achieve. Generally, you can order the following download speeds on FTTC:
- 20Mbps (for the 80Mbps upload service)
- 10Mbps (for the 55Mbps upload service)
- 10Mbps (for the 40Mbps upload service)
- 2Mbps (for the 40Mbps upload service)
Its important to note that none of these are ever guaranteed. Many people who don’t know this discover it after ordering and installing the line and it struggling to cope, just like their previous copper broadband did. This is because FTTC lines are similar to traditional broadband as they are both shared which can impact speed & they are both dependent on distance from the cabinet.
How does distance impact FTTC speed?
The FTTC seed your business receives is highly dependent on the distance between your office and the cabinet that provides the service for you. The further away you are from the cabinet the lower the bandwidth you will get or the closer you are the faster your line will be.
How to get the cheapest FTTC in your area
Firstly, to get the best deal you need to figure out your requirements. These include the speed you need, how reliable you need the line etc. If you need consistent speed and reliability then FTTC wouldn’t be for you, you would need to go for an Internet Leased Line.
You also need to figure out how far you are from your local cabinet, the future away you are the more expensive it will be. Once you’ve figured this out you can start by going to each provider who services your area and getting a quote. This is a long and lengthy process.
One way to get the cheapest quotes would be to do a comparison with our sister company. It only takes a few minutes to fill out. Then you’ll receive a call from their friendly advisers and get your quotes. If this sounds like something that will benefit you then get your comparison done today.
What FTTC Checker is the most accurate
Every FTTC checker you go on will require you to input different details. Whether that’s your phone number, postcode etc. From our experience the most accurate FTTC checker is SamKnows. All it requires is your phone number and postcode and within a few seconds you can see what broadband services are available in your area.
Alternately, you can go to our sister company to get a comparison and they can put you in touch with the cheapest providers in your area. They will take the guess work out of knowing what providers are in your area.
There’re many providers who can give you FTTC, just to name a few:
• Post Office
• Now Broadband Etc
Not all these providers will service your area, you’ll have to contact each of them to find out if they can provide you with FTTC. Alternatively, you can use an online checker such as SamKnows to see what is available in your area.