What’s fibre and how is it different from standard broadband?

difference between fibre and standard broadband

On a more detailed scale, fibre broadband differs from standard broadband in multiple ways, so we’ve put together some key points on how it all works and what you can expect from a fibre connection.

What is fibre broadband?

Fibre broadband is a real game-changer when it comes to internet access. Whilst standard broadband relies on the old network of copper phone cables to deliver an internet connection, fibre uses a new network of fibre optic cables that allows far greater speeds. This is because fibre optic cable can carry much more data than a copper cable without it deteriorating, which means that you and other people in your home can stream movies, listen to music and play games with ease.

How does fibre broadband work?

Each of those fibre cables we mentioned contains multiple tiny reflective tubes. When you use the internet, such as sending an email or posting to social media, light carries your data through these tubes at an astonishing rate. Thanks to fibre transporting data so quickly, you can achieve much higher internet speeds than with a standard broadband connection.

Does speed matter that much?

When it comes to using the internet, you’re constantly downloading and uploading data. An action as simple as sending an email, watching a YouTube video and checking your bank accounts online requires data to be transferred in order to work, which is why speed is very much a factor.

If you have a standard broadband connection, this exchange of information can be slow and inconsistent. As a result, even the simplest online tasks can take a while to carry out, plus larger content like movies, music and videos will keep pausing and stuttering whilst the data loads. With fibre broadband, you’ll enjoy much better speeds and the annoying delays you experienced with your old connection will become a bad memory from a distant past.

Do I have to get fibre broadband?

Whilst it’s very much your choice whether or not you take out a fibre broadband package, it’s worth remembering that copper connections will be phased out in the near future. This will make fibre broadband not only beneficial but also necessary.

Fibre broadband is being rapidly rolled out across the UK, including rural areas of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, so you can use this postcode checker to find out which providers are available in your area.

What are the other benefits of fibre?

If a superfast internet connection isn’t enough of an incentive to switch to a fibre broadband package, there are many other advantages that it brings:

  • Smoother streaming: Watch videos and listen to music without any lags.
  • High-quality video calls: Whether you’re having a Zoom call for work or chatting with friends and family, fibre makes video calls crystal clear.
  • More reliable: Due to it being advanced technology, fibre is a lot more reliable and capable than standard broadband.
  • Stronger signal: The quality of the data doesn’t deteriorate whilst travelling through fibre tubes, which allows for a stronger signal over larger distances.
  • Stability: Fibre is also far less likely to unexpectedly drop the connection, which makes the online experience more reliable and stress-free.
  • It’s the future: Standard broadband is on its way out and fibre broadband is very much here to stay, so switching now is a great idea.

Will fibre make a difference for me?

The only occasion when a fibre connection won’t make much of a difference is a household that does very little online. If you send emails and visit the occasional website but that’s pretty much it, a standard broadband connection will probably suffice.

However, if you have more than one person in your home and you all enjoy using the internet for different things, a fibre broadband package will speed everything up. Things like enjoying movies and music, uploading photos and videos to social media channels, online shopping, playing games and making video calls will all have noticeably greater levels of speed and stability.

Stream with ease

With superfast fibre broadband, you can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, BritBox, Disney+ and many other streaming platforms without any problems. Rather than the TV programme or movie pausing for a few seconds on a regular basis, it will run smoothly from start to finish. Whilst this is great in general, it’s especially beneficial if you like watching 4K Ultra HD content, which is becoming increasingly available across streaming platforms.

In fact, more movies, TV shows and live sports are being filmed in 4K and even 8K, so a strong internet connection is crucial. Netflix recommends a minimum connection speed of 25Mbps, as anything less probably won’t be able to handle 4K and you may even have problems watching lower resolution content if multiple people in your home use the internet at the same time.

Fibre enables smart homes

Modern homes seem to contain more and more technology with each year that passes. From robot vacuum cleaners and video doorbells to digital security alarms, home assistants like Alexa, and everyday objects that are now internet-capable such as the lights, thermostat, washing machine and fridge, the average home requires constant access to a strong internet connection.

When there are multiple devices in your home using the internet in some way, you require faster speeds in order for everything to work. A few years ago our homes contained computers, laptops, smart TVs and smartphones and that was pretty much all that needed to access the internet. Now that everything including the kitchen sink can come as an internet-capable model, it’s important that homeowners choose fibre broadband so that they don’t have to deal with sluggish speeds, error messages and unresponsive devices.

Fibre can make your home safer

If you do have security devices connected to the internet, you’ll definitely need a fast and reliable connection. Many houses have a high-resolution video doorbell, intruder alarm, CCTV system, door and window sensors, smoke detectors, leak sensors, smart locks and other clever pieces of internet-connected tech that monitor and protect the property around the clock.

Slow and intermittent internet speeds simply aren’t reliable enough to keep all of these devices running at peak performance, which is why a fibre broadband connection can help to keep your home safe against criminal activity, fires, leaks and other disasters.

Get connected

If you like the idea of being able to access websites, stream movies, play games and shop online without any fuss, use our handy postcode checker to find out which providers are available in your area.

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