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Video: what is fibre to the home broadband?

Fibre to the home isn’t all that common in the UK, but those fibre-crazy folks at the Fibre To The Home Council Europe have produced a video explaining its benefits.

The UK’s fibre-optic broadband focus is mainly on fibre-to-the-cabinet: the ultra-fast fibre-optic cables go to street-side cabinets from where the old-fashioned telephone wires can be used to deliver up to 100Mbps into homes and businesses.

BT Openreach has recently upgraded its FTTC top speed for broadband providers to 80Mbps, and plans to put it in reach of 40 per cent of the UK population by 2015.

Virgin Media’s broadband uses a better approach where the phone line is replaced by a coaxial copper cable which can carry up to Gigabit speeds (1,000Mbps) – even if Virgin’s top speed today is 120Mbps.

It’s vastly cheaper than putting fibre-optic cables right to our doorsteps, but the direct approach is taking off for new buildings, from towering office blocks to new housing developments, where it’s cheaper and easier to use fibre instead of copper.

Countries with more recent building spurts in Asia and Eastern Europe have been able to put fibre all the way to the home and office and feature high in the FTTH Council’s connection charts. Ironically, the superfast fibre connections are often heavily shared, so they users end up with the same experience as we’re getting with fibre to the cabinet.