What is Gigabit Internet?
Gigabit internet, as you could probably guess by the name, is internet that runs at 1 gigabit per second – 1Gbps. It comes in 2 different variants a 1GB Internet Leased Line, or 1GB FTTP. The popularity has exploded in recent years, helped by the fact the government launched the gigabit voucher scheme to help businesses with install costs of higher bandwidth connections.
Gigabit internet makes downloading and uploading data more efficient. For example, with 1Gbps you could download a full HD movie in a matter of minutes, or a song within seconds, or download a computer game within minutes.
Gigabit FTTP is available for general people and businesses & is the fastest home broadband you can achieve; it has ultrafast speeds and is one of the best broadband connections you can get. Its also a cheaper service than a leased line option.
Unfortunately, Gigabit FTTP isn’t available everywhere, 1gbps broadband speeds can only be achieved by FTTP technology. Open reach announced they have plans to make it available to 4 million more homes by 2021. But that doesn’t mean that if there’s fibre in your area, you’ll be able to get Gigabit internet. You’d have to look around and see what ISP’s provide Gigabit internet in your area.
Luckily, the other type of Gigabit internet you can get anywhere in the UK. Leased Lines can be implemented anywhere with the UK. Other then the speed (1GB) there are a few other factors that can impact price. Such as, distance from the exchange, ECC’s (excess construction charges) etc.
How does Gigabit Internet work?
FTTP is a full fibre connection. It works by a full fibre connected cables going from the telephone exchange point to your local fibre enabled street cabinet. Then from that same street cabinet another fibre line goes to your premises, hence the name Fibre to the Premises.
Leased Lines are also full fibre but that way the fibre gets to you is slightly different. Leased Lines start from the exchange point, the same as FTTP. But rather then the fibre going to the local street cabinet, it goes directly to you. That means the line isn’t shared and you’ll receive all the bandwidth.
FTTP and Leased Lines can confuse businesses and many are on fttp connections & believe its a leased line. They do sound similar in the way that they are both full fibre and that they go to your premises.
However, Leased Lines are a dedicated, uncontended services. Whereas FTTP is a shared, contended service. This will mean you get more reliable speeds and service on a fibre leased line compared to an fibre to the premises connection.
Gigabit Leased Line vs Gigabit FTTP
As stated in the above paragraphs, Gigabit FTTP and Gigabit Leased Lines are quite different. Here are a few of the differences:
- Speed- Even though both are advertised as Gigabit internet, only one is guaranteed to give you full Gigabit internet speeds. Leased Lines are guaranteed to give you the speed you request at all times and remain consistent because they are completely uncontended. FTTP is a shared service, so you’ll have to share the bandwidth with other users on the line. In terms of upload and download FTTP is asymmetrical, meaning that the download will always be slightly more then the upload. Whereas Leased Line are symmetrical, meaning the download and upload speeds will be the same.
- Availability- As stated above, FTTP isn’t available everywhere in the UK, even if it is in your area this doesn’t mean you can get Gigabit internet. It depends what providers service your area and how many subscribers are on the line. Leased Line are available anywhere in the UK, this is because there is no need to pass the fibre through a cabinet, it just goes directly to your premises. Meaning you can get a Gigabit internet service wherever you are in the UK.
- Price- Gigabit FTTP starts from anywhere between £60-£100 per month, depending on provider. Gigabit Leased Lines start from around £400-£750 per month, although prices depend on your location. One way to get the price down for Leased Lines is the Gigabit Government Voucher Scheme. The Government will give you a grant of £2,500 towards the cost of a installation for Gigabit connections. This grant is available to businesses in the UK who fit the criteria.
- Reliability- With Leased Lines, since you’re the only person on the line the reliability is second to none. Leased Lines are guaranteed to never drop out and keep your speeds consistent at all times. Whereas, with FTTP since multiple share your line it can sometimes drop out or the average speed will decrease. If consistent speeds and non-existent drop out rate is important for your business then Gigabit Leased Lines are you for.
- SLA- Both services will have an SLA (Service Level Agreement), Leased Lines SLA’s are business grade quality. For example, the fix time for FTTP is around 2 days, whereas its around 4 hours for Leased Lines. Also, in Leased Line SLA’s speed is guaranteed, whereas in FTTP it isn’t. If your speed drops below a certain level or the fix time isn’t met in Leased Line SLA’s, then you could be due compensation.
- Contention Ratio- With Gigabit Leased Lines there is no contention ratio as you’re the only user on the line. Whereas, with Gigabit broadband there will be multiple users. For example, if there is 20 other people using the line then the contention ratio will be 20/1. Having a higher contention ratio will lower the speeds you receive.
- Installation time- The install time for Gigabit FTTP is around 10-15 working days (or up 30 day’s if problems occur). This can vary though depending on provider. Gigabit Leased Line install times are around 45-90 days, again this will depend on provider and if they come up with any problems, i.e. having to go over a train line which will take longer.
- Contract Length- Gigabit Leased Line contracts normally start from 12 months, 36 months, and 60 months. Whereas, Gigabit FTTP normally is 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months. If you go for a 12 month contract on a Leased Line you will have to pay install charges which could rack up to thousands of pounds.
Considering data use is increasing & businesses are relying more on cloud based applications, there is little comparison. Leased lines are dedicated and guaranteed with business grade support. Although FTTP will be suitable for small businesses with a small budget & are still a step up from traditional broadband. They can never provide the same level of service & reliability a leased line does.
We would recommend FTTP for home use & a leased line for any businesses, especially those reliant on their internet.
Gigabit Internet Providers UK
There are quite a few of Gigabit Leased Lines providers, these include:
- Virgin Media Business
- BT Business
- And so many more
Not all FTTP ISP’s can provide Gigabit internet. The market leaders for fttp include:
- Virgin Media
All those FTTP providers have adverts offering speeds up to 1 GB. It’s unclear why there is far more providers that can supply Gigabit Leased Lines compared to Gigabit FTTP.
How to get the best Gigabit internet deal UK
Since each Gigabit UK internet service is different there is different factors you need to consider. For Gigabit fibre broadband you’d need to see what providers are servicing your area, how far you are from the local roadside cabinet, and if you can reply on non-consistent speeds and a somewhat unreliable connection.
For Gigabit Leased Lines, you’ll need to consider how far you are from the local exchange, your top end budget, what you can afford to pay for ECC’s if they arise, and how rural you are. Another thing that could help bring the price down is the Gigabit Government Voucher Scheme, as explained above.
Once you’ve figured out your requirements, you next go to every provider, explain to them your requirements, get the quotes, and compare them manually. This is a tedious and lengthy process which can easily be avoided.
We are the leading comparison site for business connectivity & compare both Gigabit FTTP broadband services and Gigabit Leased Lines services. Just fill in the webform, wait for a call from one of our helpful advisers, and receive your free and impartial quotes the same day.
Comparing trusted providers in one place saves numerous phone calls and grants you access to wholesale discounts only available through our site. Wr are confident we can find you the right solution at the right price.