Broadband and fibre connectivity comparison

Asset 6

The difference between broadband and fibre technologies

Posted on 7 May 2019 by Beaming Support

Want to know the difference between broadband and fibre technologies?

The terms “fibre” and “broadband” are often used interchangeably to refer to  broadband internet (FTTC or FTTP, which deliver connectivity via the public internet using varying amounts of fibre optic cabling), dedicated internet fibre (where internet bandwidth is not shared with others) and point to point fibre (which is used to connect sites without “breaking out” to the internet.)

Below is a quick-reference table – scroll down further and we’ll help you understand how each would connect your business to the internet and explain the different terminology, how each technology is set up, the speeds available and service levels available.

ADSL Broadband

FTTC Broadband

FTTP Broadband

 Fibre Leased Line

Point to Point Fibre

Best for
  • Home office
  • Micro business
  • Back up connection
  • Home office
  • Micro business
  • Small business
  • Small business
  • Medium to large businesses
  • Heavy users
  • Multiple occupancy buildings
  • Site to site connectivity
  • Growing businesses
  • Adopters of latest technology
Multi site businesses – point to point fibre is used to connect business sites & does not break out to the public internet.
Type of lineCopperCopperFibre opticFibre opticFibre optic
Uncontended (your own dedicated line)NoNoNoYesYes
Installation lead time
  • New: Average 4 working days. Can be expedited to 48hrs
  • Migration: Average 10 working days
  • New: Average 4 working days. Can be expedited to 48hrs
  • Migration: Average 10 working days
  • If building is already ‘on net’: 10 working days
  • New cabling required: 1-3 months
  • Average 30 working days
Average 30 working days
Repair time (Service Level Agreement)
  • When supplied over Beaming line; business products have target repair of end of next working day
  • Up to 2 business days.
  • With SLA3, the aim is to fix the fault by midnight if reported before 1pm or by midday the following day of reported after 1pm
  • Up to 2 working days
  • 5 hour target 24/7 including bank holidays.
  • 5 hour target 24/7 including bank holidays.
Contract minimum
  • Standard 12 months
  • Temporary available
  • 12 months
  • 12 months
  • Minimum 12 months.
  • 36 month contracts most cost effective
  • Minimum 12 months.
  • 36 month contracts most cost effective
Data usage100GB or unlimited usage packages available100GB or unlimited usage packages availableUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Connection charges
  • New activation fee applies
  • Migration free of charge
  • New activation or migration fee applies
  • New activation fee applies
  • Excess construction charge may apply dependent upon location. The first £2800 of connection charge will be paid by the government
  • Excess construction charge may apply dependent upon location. The first £2800 of connection charge will be paid by the government
Business applications
  • Low data usage such as email
  • General email and browsing
  • VOIP & cloud for smaller businesses
  • General email and browsing
  • VOIP & cloud for smaller businesses
  • All business applications
  • VOIP
  • Cloud
  • Ciritcal infrastructure
  • All business applications
  • VOIP
  • Cloud
  • Ciritcal infrastructure

 

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FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet

Also known as: Superfast Fibre Broadband, Superfast Broadband, Fibre Broadband and advertised by BT Retail as Infinity.

How FTTC connects businesses to the internet:

  • Although this is often called fibre, it is in fact copper to the premises from the green cabinet.
  • Fibre is delivered to the green cabinet (pcp – primary cross-connection point) and then copper is delivered to the DP (distribution point) and into the premises.
  • Can be delivered via underground duct or copper wires from telephone poles.
  • Uses the BT Wholesale broadband network (shared bandwidth) with multiple points of failure and asynchronous bandwidth (higher download than upload).
How FTTC broadband works

Installation:

  • Requires a PSTN line rental and VDSL broadband router connected to the telephone socket and the service is associated with a telephone number.
  • Lead time is usually within 2 weeks from point of order and can be ordered at the same time as the telephone line or added to an existing telephone line.
  • The service can be migrated to another provider.

Speeds:

  • Speeds will vary depending on the length of the copper line from the green cabinet.

Service Levels:

  • Fix time SLA – standard 2 working days repair for the broadband, different service levels available for the PSTN line.

 

FTTP – Fibre to the Premises

Also known as: Ultrafast, Fibre to the Home (FTTH).

How FTTP connects businesses to the internet:

  • Fibre to the home or office from the nearest green cabinet.
  • Can be delivered underground in ducts or overhead from poles.
  • Uses the BT Wholesale broadband network (shared bandwidth) with multiple points of failure and asynchronous bandwidth (higher download than upload).
  • There is no associated PSTN line rental and the router needs to support PPPoE (Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet) on the WAN interface.  The router is connected to the Openreach supplied Optical Network Termination (ONT) device.
What is FTTP?

Installation:

  • Requires a survey so takes longer to install than FTTC but it can be migrated between ISP’s.
  • The service does not include a telephone line or number.

Speeds:

  • Comes in different speeds for cost reasons but not dependent on line length and the speed can be upgraded if available.

Service Levels:

  • Fix time – standard 2 working days.

 

Dedicated Internet Fibre

Also known as: Fibre Ethernet service, Fibre Optic Leased Line, Dedicated Internet Access or Direct Internet Access.

How Dedicated Internet Fibre connects businesses to the internet:

  • A dedicated ethernet fibre to the business premises is delivered usually via duct (but sometimes via aerial fibre) from the nearest serving exchange.
  • The main difference between broadband and fibre is that dedicated internet fibre provides a dedicated synchronous Internet bandwidth  that is not shared with any other client.
How fibre optic leased lines work

Installation:

  • The lead time is usually 30 working days for installation provided there are no additional civil engineering Excess Construction Costs (ECC’s).
  • Installation costs vary according to the engineering work required (ECC’s) which is determined at survey by an Openreach engineer who visits the premises.
  • The service does not include a telephone line or number and cannot be migrated to another provider.
  • Openreach fibre terminating equipment is either wall mounted or rack mounted into the customer comms cabinet.
  • Customer interface presentation from Openreach has options to be either Ethernet RJ45 up to 1Gbps, Single Mode Fibre (SMF) or Multi Mode Fibre (MMF).

Speed:

  • The fibre to the premises is usually known as the Bearer and this comes in variants of 100Mbps, 1Gbps and 10Gbps.
  • Customers may choose to have dedicated bandwidth in increments up to the bearer size.
  • If bandwidth bearer capacity exists then customers can upgrade their bandwidth usually within a few days.

Service Levels:

  • Fix time – four hour response, five hour fix regardless of day or time.

 

Dedicated Fibre – Point to Point

Also known as: fibre Ethernet service, leased line or possibly private circuit.

How Point to Point connects business premises:

  • Dedicated Ethernet fibre between two business premises delivered usually via underground duct (but sometimes via aerial fibre) from the local serving telephone exchanges.
  • Typically used to link two customer buildings together at very high speed so that staff can operate at the same speeds as if they were located in the same premises.
  • There is no internet access on a point to point fibre service.
How point to point fibre works

Installation:

  • Installation costs vary according to the engineering work required (Excess Construction Costs – ECC’s) which is determined at survey by an Openreach engineer who visits the premises.
  • The lead time is usually 30 working days for installation provided there are no additional ECC’s.
  • The service does not include a telephone service or number and cannot be migrated to another provider.
  • At the A-end premises Openreach will also install their own monitoring line and broadband.
  • Openreach fibre terminating equipment is either wall mounted or rack mounted into the customer comms cabinet.
  • Customer interface presentation from Openreach has options to be either Ethernet RJ45 up to 1Gbps, Single Mode Fibre (SMF) or Multi Mode Fibre (MMF).

Speed:

  • Maximum radial distance between customer premises is 45km for up to 1Gbps services and 25km for 10Gbps.
  • Maximum route distances of fibre is 86km for up to 1Gbps services and 40km for 10Gbps.

Service Levels:

  • Fix time – four hour response, five hour fix regardless of day or time.

 

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