The Ultimate guide to Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) in 2022
There’s been a considerable amount of innovation in terms of how we connect to the internet. If you’re looking to sign up for an internet package for your home or workplace, you’ll no doubt be aware of the latest gigabit broadband deals and advertisements for fibre broadband. One of the more common, and often confusing, terms used is FTTP and FTTC. These are two different types of broadband available to you, and they’re both very popular in the UK.
In this article, we’re going to demystify these terms to help you better understand the landscape of broadband and what’s the best option for you. So read on to find out about broadband with the ultimate guide to FTTP.
What is FTTP?
FTTP is an abbreviation for Fibre to The Premises. This basically means that broadband is directed into the premises (usually your home or business) rather than through a cabinet that covers multiple premises. Consider it a direct line to the internet, which removes a lot of the issues associated with using broadband that travels through a cabinet. When fibre broadband travels via a cabinet, it’s known as FTTC or Fibre to The Cabinet.
FTTP tends to be a much faster and more reliable method of internet delivery than FTTC. This is because it uses fibre optic cables throughout the connection, allowing for incredibly fast internet speeds that exceed 1000 megabits per second. This is coupled with the fact that you essentially have a direct connection to the internet, so you don’t have to worry about issues like contention or peak periods of use.
How fast is FTTP?
Although by all metrics FTTP broadband is a much faster option for broadband, FTTC technology has done a great job of levelling the playing field in terms of internet speed. Innovations such as GFast allow FTTC broadband to reach very high speeds that are comparable to FTTP. However, this technology isn’t available everywhere and FTTP is still a much faster option.
There’s another issue when determining the overall speed of FTTP when compared to other broadband options. Companies that offer FTTC broadband are starting to use multi-core cabling to deliver incredible speeds that are comparable to FTTP. This, coupled with FTTP providers using the Openreach network, now means that full-fibre speeds of up to 900 megabits per second are achievable if your area is serviced by the network.
Even more confusing is that many companies that offer FTTP also provide standard speed broadband packages, so it can be hard to get a good idea of what solution best suits your needs. With all of that said though, below is a general indication of the most common broadband speeds you’d expect to receive with the different technology:
FTTC: 35 Mbps – 75 Mbps
GFast: 330 Mbps
FTTP: 50 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps
As you can see, in some cases – such as the minimum speeds for FTTP – you might actually be better off using FTTC if it’s available at a high speed in your area. Typically, though, FTTP is almost always going to be the faster option.
How to Check if FTTP is available?
The best way to find out if you have FTTP in your area is to look at a fibre map or FTTP checker. These are online tools that check your postcode to see if the Openreach network is available in your area. You can use this online tool from Openreach to view availability in your postcode.
Thankfully, fibre broadband has now become widespread throughout the UK, with over 95 % of households ready to receive super-fast broadband. The two biggest network providers are Virgin Media and BT FTTP, both of which offer tremendous speeds of up to 900 Mbps in some regions. This isn’t universal yet, unfortunately, with many rural and remote areas still struggling to receive a solid fibre broadband connection.
When will you get FTTP?
There isn’t a hard and fast rule about when FTTP is going to be available to everyone. Openreach, for example, has created a map to show their progress and aims. They estimate that by 2026 their network will connect over 25 million homes across the UK, with promises of adding beyond that over time.
You can get a good idea of when Openreach FTTP will be available in your area by taking a look at the Openreach Full Fibre Programme Build, but it won’t specify exact date ranges.
How is FTTP installed?
Once FTTP is available in your area, installation isn’t too difficult. Here are the steps that Openreach take when installing FTTP:
- You find a suitable location around the property with the engineer to connect an FTTP line.
- The engineer either uses an existing hole from a phone line or creates a new hole for the FTTP line.
- The engineer then installs a junction box on the outside wall before connecting the fibre cable to it. This cable then runs underground or to a telegraph pole.
- The engineer then feeds the cable through the wall and installs an optical network terminator to the inside wall. This is where the internet router plugs into the FTTP line.
How much does a standard FTTP Connection cost in 2022?
At the moment, there’s a healthy amount of competition between providers to offer competitive rates for an FTTP connection. The current rates vary between £30 to £60 per month, but these prices vary depending on your location. The best way to determine accurate pricing for your property is to use a comparison tool like the one provided by Compare Fibre