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What is fibre to the home?

Fibre optic strands (c BT)Many new houses are now being built with fibre-optic cables running through the whole development. It’s not only much cheaper than putting in old-fashioned copper cables, it can be used for digital TV, phone lines and super-fast broadband.

These connections start from 50Mbps and run up to 1Gbps, but the maximum speed is usually limited by equipment at either end of the line – the fibre optic cables themselves have capacity to spare.

The developers often open their new networks to a variety of broadband providers so businesses and residents have a choice of service and there’s competition to keep prices low.

It’s very early days for the fibre-to-the-home movement, but the UK is set to go from 4,500 homes with direct fibre connections in June 2011, to more than 50,000 by the middle of this decade.

What to look for:

  • Is my new home in a fibre-to-the-home development?
  • Do I have a choice of providers?
  • How fast does it go?
  • How much can I download?
  • Does it include TV and phone?

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