We know how much small businesses rely on their connectivity to keep running. But how do you know which broadband technology is available to you and your business? Below we provide guidance on the different types of business broadband.

Full-fibre broadband  

Full-fibre broadband, also known as fibre to the premises or FTTP, is the next generation of broadband that can bring ultrafast internet speeds to businesses.

‘Full-fibre’ describes a broadband service that only uses fibre optic cables, end-to-end. Fibre optic cables are made of thin strands of glass or plastic that transmit data using light.

Full-fibre broadband offers a more consistent and reliable internet connection compared to the other types of broadband connections available to businesses in the UK.

It will remove many common business owner frustrations like video buffering when streaming and working from home. Full-fibre also allows you to stream data-intensive video at 4K with reduced latency or lag, and effortlessly support multiple devices being used at the same time.

Part-fibre broadband  

Part-fibre broadband, also known as fibre to the cabinet or FTTC, typically provides speeds of between 25Mb/s and 65Mb/s, and the fibre part of the connection only goes as far as your local street cabinet which can be several streets away.

The distance from the local cabinet to your home is then connected by traditional copper wires. Copper wires, depending on the distance they travel, will begin to slow your connection down.

Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

1. Fibre Optic Cables: These cables are made of thin strands of glass or plastic that transmit data using light. They can carry large amounts of data over long distances at very high speeds. In a “part-fibre broadband” setup, fibre optic cables run from the local exchange to a local street cabinet, which is often located on a street corner.

2. Street Cabinet: The street cabinet is a small, green box that you might have seen around. It acts as a hub, where the super-fast internet from the fibre optic cables stops. The cabinet is usually located within a few hundred metres to a couple of kilometres from homes and businesses.

3. Copper Cables: From the cabinet, the internet signal travels the rest of the way to individual homes and businesses using traditional copper telephone wires. These copper cables are shorter and cover the final leg of the journey and are not as fast has fibre optic cables .

SoGEA Broadband: SoGEA stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access. Up until now, to deliver broadband to a home or office you needed to have a traditional phone line installed. 

SoGEA broadband doesn’t run over a phone line; SoGEA is a dedicated line that delivers a broadband connection. 

Like FTTC, SoGEA broadband is a part-fibre broadband connection that uses a combination of fibre optic cables and traditional copper wires to deliver internet services to homes and businesses.

The benefit of SoGEA broadband is that it will future-proof your business ahead of the Big Switch Off of the old copper PSTN network, explained in the final section below.

Copper broadband

Standard copper broadband and phone connections have been around for decades and are no longer a viable option for most businesses.

The copper based public switched telephone network or (PSTN) is an analogue system which connects people using specific phone numbers. 

Copper connections are expected to be switched off in 2027 and replaced with better performing fibre optic connectivity. Openreach started the copper switch off when they began rolling out fibre connectivity in major cities ten years ago.

Your business would benefit from switching to full-fibre broadband - especially if you have multiple devices undertaking different tasks on the same broadband service.

Worried about getting ready for the copper switch off? Find our more in our blog.

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