Fibre broadband is becoming more popular in the UK, you might be curious about what kind of broadband you can get in your area. Fibre broadband is also known as fibre optic broadband, however, it isn’t available for all houses or areas in the UK yet. According to Ofcom, 94% of homes and businesses in the UK have access to superfast broadband.
A broadband network can come in different forms, fibre cables, copper wire, 4g or 5g mobile internet or satellite. You probably won’t be able to access all of these in your area as different services are run by different companies.
Type of broadband
Each area in the UK will have access to some kind of broadband, and most UK homes or businesses will have access to an either fibre optic or copper wire. Below is a quick summary of each one.
Fibre or fibre optic broadband
This is the most popular form of getting broadband or an internet connection. The level of speed can depend on your area, more rural areas tend to have a slower internet connection or no fibre broadband. This is mainly due to the slower roll-out of fibre and it’s harder to reach these areas.
The type of fibre broadband most people have is ‘fibre-to-the-cabinet’, which is available to 96% of homes in the UK. A fibre cable will go all the way to the green cabinet near your home, from there, it will be a copper wire to your house. It’s faster than complete copper wire broadband but not as fast as full-fibre broadband. The average speed you get from this kind is between 30-70Mbps.
A full-fibre connection will have no copper wire and you will be able to get super-fast speeds of 1Gbps and above. Fibre optic broadband is the fastest internet connection available, it uses pulses of light to transmit information.
This type of broadband is provided via existing BT phone lines and it’s the most widely available connection in the UK. It stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL). ADSL comes from the phone exchange and is owned by BT fixed line access network made out of copper wires. These are the telephone lines in the street.
The information you receive comes from these phone lines, they are sent via a digital signal and split into phone and internet signals via a micro filter which is a small plastic box that you can plug in.
It’s the oldest and slowest form of broadband, but it comes at a similar price to fibre broadband. The speed of the internet connection when using ADSL comes from the distance from your local phone exchange, the signal get’s worse over distance.
Mobile broadband is transmitted over phone networks, so there are no cables, it’s completely wireless.
You can use mobile broadband in a few ways, including a USB dongle, which you can connect to your device while on the move. Or using a mobile broadband router, which is basically a portable wifi router that runs on the phone network.
The speed of the connection depends on the area, 3g, 4g and 5g are available around the country. 5G is fairly new so it’s not that widely available, you more likely to find it in major cities. Your connection speed also depends on your mobile network, so it’s worth doing some research into your area and network before committing to anything.
Another way of using mobile broadband is to use your current mobile phone, you can use your hotspot on your phone to connect to other devices. This basically turns your phone into a mobile router. This does burn a lot of mobile data, so be careful!
This is one of the newest ways to get broadband, it’s been around for a while but it’s become more popular with new businesses like Starlink and OneWeb. Previously this type of broadband was very slow and only used when absolutely necessary in very remote locations. But recently satellite internet connection has vastly improved.
SpaceX owns a company called Starlink has led the way in this technology. They have hundreds of satellites in low earth orbit beaming down super fast internet.
The price of this kind of broadband is currently very high the UK-based company OneWeb is catching up fast, so in the new future prices will drop and become more affordable for everyone.
Two-hour HD movie download
What kind of broadband can I get?
Depending on your needs as a household or business will depend on the type of broadband you should get. It also depends on your location. The first thing you should do is get in touch with us and we can tell you what kind of broadband your area has, we can find you the fastest kind as well as the best deals. Get in touch via our email here, firstname.lastname@example.org or just call us, 0333 322 3434.