Asset 6

What’s the difference between superfast & ultrafast broadband?

Posted on 6 August 2021 by Beaming Support

Following the national stop-sell in September 2023, FTTC is no longer available for new orders. To find out what we recommend as the best alternative for your business get in touch.

There are two types of fibre broadband. You may know FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) as superfast broadband, fibre broadband or “traditional” fibre broadband, while FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) is sometimes called ultrafast broadband, full fibre broadband, FTTH (Fibre to the Home) or next gen fibre broadband.

As a user, the main differences you’ll notice between superfast and ultrafast broadband are that:

  • Ultrafast broadband provides faster speeds than superfast broadband
  • Ultrafast broadband usually costs more than superfast broadband

As an internet service provider for businesses, we help companies make informed decisions about their connectivity needs, so we won’t just leave it at that. In this article we’ll give an overview and detailed explanation of the differences between FTTC and FTTP broadband so that you can choose the right technology for your business purposes.

At a glance – the difference between superfast and ultrafast broadband

Best for
  • Home office
  • Micro business
  • Small business
  • Small business
Type of lineFibre optic to the local cabinet, then copper to the premisesFibre optic
Uncontended (your own dedicated line)NoNo
Installation lead time
  • 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
Repair time (Service Level Agreement)
  • Up to 2 working 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
Contract minimum
  • 12 months
  • 12 months
Data usage100GB or unlimited usage packages availableUnlimited
Connection charges
  • New activation or migration fee applies
  • New activation fee applies
Business applications
  • General email and browsing
  • VOIP & cloud for smaller businesses
  • General email and browsing
  • VOIP & cloud for smaller businesses


What’s the difference between superfast and ultrafast broadband?

Fibre broadband – both superfast and ultrafast – gets its name from the technology used to deliver data at the speed of light through fibre optic cables, but only with FTTP does data travel its entire journey through fibre optic cables. This is explained and illustrated below.

FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet

Also known as: Superfast fibre broadband, superfast broadband, standard fibre broadband, traditional fibre broadband.

How FTTC broadband works

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 (you’ll usually see this somewhere on your street or nearby).
  • 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).


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

What would you use it for?

 General email and browsing

  • VOIP & cloud for smaller businesses


  • Requires a PSTN line rental and VDSL broadband router connected to the telephone socket and the service is associated with a telephone number. Note that PSTN lines will become obsolete in the UK within the next few years – learn more about that here.
  • 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.

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), next gen fibre broadband.

What is FTTP?

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.


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


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

What would you use it for?

  • Small business processes that require higher bandwidth such as sharing large files or collaborating online
  • General email and browsing
  • VOIP & cloud for smaller businesses

Service Levels:

  • Fix time – standard 2 working days.


Find out more about FTTP:

Can I upgrade to Ultrafast broadband?

I can’t get FTTP in my area, what can I do?

Should businesses upgrade to FTTP?

How much should I spend on business broadband?

If you think your requirements exceed what’s offered by fibre broadband, have a look at these articles which compare more fibre optic connectivity:



Get more information or a quote

Beaming’s team are experts in connectivity and networking, so they can help you choose the right connection for your business. Use the form below or call us on 0800 082 2868 to get advice tailored to your requirements.



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