Internet Connections – What Is Fibre Optic?

This article is going to clarify exactly what fibre optic broadband is, an internet connection that is pretty new to the world. We all see that it’s fast, however other than that we don’t know a great deal about this new connection.

Did you know a fibre optic cable is in fact thinner than a single human hair? At extremely high speeds, virtual information is transferred via plastic or glass cables. Now are you ready for some technical information?

We thought we were the bee’s knees when we first had ADSL broadband. Before that we had to dial up to access the internet. The internet landscape has now been changed forever now that fibre optic broadband has been introduced.

There is a fast and optimistic future for the internet because of fibre optic broadband. Faster internet speeds were something we could only dream of years ago. By the end of the year, it is estimated that broadband speeds will be tripled. This is up from the current maximum speed of 100Mbps and the maximum speed of 24Mbps on an ADSL connection.

Some people have said there is no demand for fibre optic broadband. Others have said that fast internet speeds are not suitable for smartphones and other handsets. So this is when the real debate begins.

Fibre optic broadband is a great choice for people who like to watch TV and films on download music online. The only disadvantage of the connection is that it is now as low-priced as standard ADSL broadband.

How Fibre Optic Broadband Works

Greater distances can be covered because of an improved frequency. This comes as a result of better bandwidth which ultimately leads to faster internet speeds.

There is less interference on the line of a fibre optic connection. Pulses of light are used to direct the information, whereas copper cables were used on ADSL broadband which meant it is a great deal slower than fibre optic.

Pros of Fibre Optic Broadband

Download Quicker – By the end of 2013, it is anticipated that speeds of 300Mbps will be available. The current maximum speed of fibre optic broadband is 100Mbps.

Upload Faster – Once the new speeds are rolled out it is likely that upload speeds will be faster. 30Mbps is the current maximum upload speed.

Used By Numerous – If numerous people are using the same connection at the same time, the connection will not be slowed down.

Cons of Fibre Optic Broadband

Price – £20 a month is considered the average price for a fibre optic connection; however this will depend on your supplier and the offers they have on.

Obtainability – Soon enough fibre optic broadband will be available across the UK. However, until now fibre optic broadband is only available in heavily populated areas.

Fibre Optic Broadband – The Different Kinds

Fibre optic connections still use copper cables. However, there are three kinds of fibre optic broadband; FTTC, FTTP and FTTH.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) – A copper cable is used to link every house to a local exchange. However, that exchange will receive the information from a fibre optic connection.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) – The premises will be receiving a fibre optic connection. However, a copper cable will be used to give each separate area access to the internet.

Fibre to the Home (FTTH) – A fibre optic connection will be running all the way to your home.

FTTH is the fastest connection, followed closely by FTTP. However, the easiest connection to maintain is FTTC, which is the main reason why it’s the most widely used throughout the UK today.

How fast is fast?

It is possible that you may not be receiving the maximum speed of fibre optic broadband. For example, although fibre optic broadband states it can deliver upload speeds of 30Mpbs, some users may be receiving 20Mbps or possibly even 10Mbps. It’s the same story for the actual speed of the connection.

Fibre optic broadband is not a one size fits all speed. The distance between your home and your local exchange plays the biggest part in determining your actual speed.

However, you will be able to get upload speeds of 30Mpbs if you are lucky enough to live in an area with FFTH or FTTP broadband.

Downloading films and music are just some of things that are accelerated by having a fibre optic connection. However, it is difficult to determine just how much faster they will be as not every user will have the same speed.

The Future of Fibre Optic Broadband

There is reduced signal in rural areas, meaning it is difficult to establish fibre optic broadband there. However, developers are looking at establishing a Fibre through the Air (FTTA) connection. This will use the signal from CPEs, receivers, modems and aerials to make one signal. In order to increase the signal capacity, developments will need to be made to connect the single fibre wavelengths. However, this is a long way off and rural areas will have to wait a while before fibre optic broadband is available in their area.

Up until now, there has only been one rural area in France that is receiving fibre optic broadband through an FTTA connection.

Strata Communications has additional information about fibre optic broadband.

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