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Broadband vs Fibre
Thinking about upgrading your broadband? Then you’ll need to choose between a standard ADSL phone line connection and superfast fibre. So what’s the difference, and which is the best fit for your business?
What is standard ADSL broadband?
Standard ADSL broadband was the next generation after dial-up, with improved speed and a split in the line, so your broadband and telephone connections can work at the same time. These connections bring data into your business through copper telephone lines. A later version of this technology was ADSL2+.
What is fibre optic broadband?
Fibre broadband uses fibre optic cables. The cables are made up of thousands of thin fibres which carry information in the form of light photons (not the electrons pushed down copper cables). As a result, fibre can carry more data at faster speeds than a traditional broadband connection.
In the UK, fibre is only used in the part of the line running to business premises; the remainder runs over the copper telephone line. This technology is known as FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet).
Does my business need fibre optic broadband?
It depends how often you use the internet and what you use it for. A fibre optic broadband contract will cost around £200 more than ADSL over 18 months, but the connection speed is much faster.
With ADSL2+ you can get a connection speed up to 17Mb, while FTTC broadband can give you download speeds of up to 80Mb. Even if your business can’t receive the very top speeds offered, you’ll usually notice a big difference from ADSL connections.
If your web use is pretty basic – one or two devices surfing the internet and sending a few emails – it's hard to see the immediate benefit of fibre broadband. But basic broadband is set to be phased out within the next few years. Upgrading now gets you ahead of the game.
Fibre optic broadband is really easy to integrate with other features and systems you might use for your business, including online data back-up, cloud-based systems and work-sharing tools.
But also, with extra speed comes extra reliability. You’ll upload and download files much more quickly, and using a number of different devices at once won’t have as much impact on your broadband speeds.
And if your business relies heavily on online activity and sales, then more reliable broadband speeds may help you to manage things more efficiently.
Added bandwidth advantages
The added bandwidth you get from fibre means you can have a lot of processes running in the background. Data backup systems can run almost continuously without hampering your internet browsing.
You can hold live conference video chats with many people at once without losing image or sound quality. This will also help when you want to connect staff in different places through video calling, shared document storage and other digital means.
What broadband speed could your business get?
Internet speeds, and the availability of fibre, depend greatly on where you are. Try our quick and simple-to-use speed checker to find out the broadband speed you can expect.