You may have heard people talking about ‘fibre optic broadband,’ but unless you’re in the industry you may not be entirely sure what it means. The major difference between fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband and standard broadband connections is the physical lines used to deliver the connections between suppliers and households, as traditional copper lines are being replaced with higher density fibre optic cables that are capable of handling significantly larger quantities of data.
What this means in practical terms is that fibre broadband offers much faster speeds than standard broadband, which can take the frustration out of browsing websites, playing online games or downloading large files. Broadband speed has always been a contentious issue and one of the major factors that customers look for when comparing different broadband services. With the news that the average domestic broadband user in the UK downloads over 17 gigabytes per month, it’s clear that current broadband services will not be up to facing these increasing demands in the future.
Research has revealed that users on faster connections do indeed download more content on average, with those on 10 megabit per second (Mbps) connections consuming around 19 GB per month and those on faster 100 Mbps lines downloading more than 130 GB. With more than two thirds of the UK expected to be able to access superfast fibre broadband services by the end of 2014, it’s clear that the technology is finally catching up to the demand.
Fibre optic broadband is more than just a technology fad, and although its speeds may seem daunting to many people who primarily use the internet to access websites and check emails, the increasing complexity and higher definition of websites, online games and online videos will likely make standard broadband connections insufficient for the average user’s requirements within the next few years. Fibre broadband is on the verge of becoming an essential household utility, and one that has been certified ‘future proof’ due to its scalable capabilities that are increasing all the time. Fibre fibre broadband and phone packages are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for home business owners who rely on high-speed Internet to make a living.
Technology experts looking to the near future of online content are already predicting 3D holographic video and increasingly high definition multiplayer games, which will push developers to make fibre broadband ever faster. At present, fibre optic broadband is the only technology capable of handling the most advanced web content available, and as these connections become more ubiquitous in all parts of the UK, prices can be expected to drop to those of current broadband services.