Gimme Fibre Day, the world’s first annual celebration of fibre optic broadband kicks off today, with the aim of touting the benefits of pure fibre broadband connections.
The FTTH Councils Global Alliance, a group of industry bodies dedicated to promoting FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) wants to push for greater take up of the technology.
While the UK’s superfast plan will see millions of homes connected to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), FTTP is only available in a small number of places at the moment. With FTTC, the so-called last mile short distance is completed by a copper connection, so it’s not a pure fibre solution.
Tests have shown that FTTP lines can deliver speeds in the regions of tens of gigabits while it’s thought that FTTC could deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps at the very most. While FTTC will be enough for the short term, Gimme Fibre Day is all about encouraging people to think ahead to the future and call for greater availability of FTTP.
BT’s commercial network rollout and the BDUK contracts mean that those connected to FTTC will be able to upgrade to FTTP in the future, but right now this is expensive and not available to non-business customers.
In central London you can get gigabit FTTP from Hyperoptic and several thousand Bournemouth premises can sign up for FTTP from Gigler. Rural ISP Gigaclear is setting up a number of gigabit fibre networks across parts of the UK and DIY projects B4RN and Fibre GarDen are bringing FTTP to some remote corners of the country.
The day has been launched to coincide with the birthday of Nobel Prize winner Sir Charles Kuen Keo, who is credited with the development of fibre optic data transmission.
At 14:00 UK time, CEO of the Swedish Urban Network Association Michael Ek will chair a discussion on fibre optic networks, specifically looking at the challenges Nordic countries have faced. Sweden’s national broadband plan is similar to the UK’s in that it aims to provide download speeds of at least 2Mbps to every property in the country, with 90 per cent of homes and firms able to get 100Mbps by 2020.
A livestream of the discussion will be available here.
Image: Highways Agency