Internet Connections – What Is Fibre Optic?

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fiber optic broadband

Super-fast internet connections are now available thanks to fibre optic broadband. However, when it comes to knowledge about the connection all we seem to know is that it is fast and it’s new. This article will tell you all you need to know about fibre optic broadband.

Be prepared for a little technical knowledge. Virtual information is transmitted at very high speeds via cables that are made from either plastic or glass. Did you know that a single human hair is actually wider than a fibre optic cable?

The introduction of fibre optic broadband has transformed the internet forever. However, there was a time when we had to dial up to access the internet. And then came the ADSL broadband connection and we thought we were the bee’s knees.

Currently 100Mbps is the maximum speed that can be reached on a fibre optic connection. 24Mbps was the maximum speed on an ADSL connection. However, these speeds are estimated to treble by the end of the year. There were times when we could only dream about faster internet speeds. Thanks to fibre optic broadband the internet has an optimistic and rapid future.

This is when the real discussion begins. As some say that laptops and other handsets such as smartphones are not suitable for fast internet speeds. While others have said that there is simply no demand for it.

Fibre optic broadband doesn’t come cheap and that is the main disadvantage of the connection. It’s great for downloading music, watching films and TV shows online. So if you’re one of those people who like to catch up on things later, then fibre optic is an excellent choice for you.

How Fibre Optic Broadband Works

Faster internet speeds are possible because of improved bandwidth. This provides an enhanced frequency which means larger distances can be covered.

ADSL broadband is a lot slower than fibre optic as it uses copper cables to direct the information, whereas fibre optic sends the information as pulses of light. There is also the fact that a fibre optic connection doesn’t the same amount of interference on the line.

Pros of Fibre Optic Broadband

Download Faster – 100Mbps is the current maximum speed on fibre optic broadband. However, speeds of 300Mbps are expected to be reached by the end of 2013.

Upload Quicker – Uploads are faster than ever before at 30Mbps. This will likely increase when the new broadband speeds come into play.

Used By Many – The speed of the connection will not be reduced even when there are several people using it at the same time.

Cons of Fibre Optic Broadband

Cost – Depending on the month and your provider, a fibre optic connection can cost you as much as £20 a month.

Availability – Currently only areas that are densely populated have access to fibre optic broadband. However, it will be rolled out across the rest of the country soon.

Fibre Optic Broadband – The Different Types

FTTH, FTTP and FTTC are the three types of fibre optic broadband. Copper cables are still frequently used in fibre optic connections.

Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) – A local exchange receives the information via a fibre optic connection. However, each home will be connected to the exchange by a copper cable.

Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) – Each separate room will receive their internet via a copper cable. However, there will be a fibre optic connection running straight to the premises.

Fibre To The Home (FTTH) – Your home will receive a fibre optic connection straight to your door.

In the UK, the highest percentage of fibre optic connections is through FTTC. This is mainly due to the fact that they are easier to maintain. However, as you would expect it is a bit slower than FTTH and FTTP.

How fast is fast?

Although the current maximum speed of a fibre optic connection is 100Mbps, it is likely that your speed will be slower than this. Currently, 80Mpbs and 40Mbps are the most common actual speed of fibre optic broadband. Users on these speeds should be receiving upload speeds of 20Mpbs and 10Mbps respectively.

Your broadband connection will be determined by the distance your between your home and the cabinet providing the broadband. Therefore, not everyone will receive the same speed.

If you are lucky enough to live in area with an FTTP connection, you should be able to upload at speeds of 30Mbps.

So how much faster will things be with a fibre optic connection? Some of the things that are accelerated with fibre optic broadband are sending e-mails, downloading music and films online.

The Future of Fibre Optic Broadband

It will be a few years yet before fibre optic broadband is available in rural areas in the UK. Progress has been made to unite single fibre wavelengths to increase the signal volume. One signal will be created from the aerials, modems, receivers and CPEs. This will be known as FTTA (Fibre-Through-The-Air). This may be the only resolution as the complex geography in rural areas means that signal is reduced.

Rural areas in France are now accessing a FTTA connection provided by Bluwan. However, it is not available in all rural areas yet.

Strata Communications has extra information about fibre optic broadband. This item was written by Brian Madden, you can link with me on Google+ by visiting

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