What is Fibre Broadband?

What is Fibre Broadband?

It means that more of the journey a broadband signal takes to get to your home is through a fibre-optic cable as opposed to a copper one. That’s why this kind of broadband is also known as fibre-optic broadband.

There are a few ways a fibre broadband connection can reach your house but the most common way is known as FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) which is when the signal comes through a fibre cable to the local green cabinet you see on the street and then through non-fibre wires to your home. It is possible to get fibre cables even closer to your house – which is known as FTTP (fibre to the property) - but this isn’t very common so it’s generally more expensive.

What is a ‘Green Cabinet’?

These are the green cabinets you see on the street, where Openreach engineers manage which households are connected to fibre broadband. There’s a finite number of household connections in each cabinet. Sometimes, if there’s no space in the cabinet we can’t offer you Fibre broadband until space becomes available. Openreach’s fibre availability map is the most up-to-date place to find out what’s available.

Why is Fibre Broadband faster?

The internet connection uses fibre-optic to get to the cabinet – and fibre-optic wires transmit tiny pulses of light to get the signal moving. Because light moves so fast, internet travelling in these kind of wires is also faster. 

Can I get Fibre Broadband?

This depends on two things: if fibre is available in your area, and if there is space in your nearest green cabinet.

Fibre broadband is available in over 90% of the UK but Openreach manage the network so if they haven’t brought fibre to your area, most providers won’t be able to offer it. You can check whether you can get Fibre broadband, and what speeds you can expect on the line to your home, using our Speed Checker. If fibre is not available at your property, Openreach may be able to give you an idea of when it will be coming.

Fibre broadband needs an engineer to set up the connection in the green cabinet, but you don’t need to be there for this as it happens remotely and not on your premises. However, if a new line connection is needed to your property, you will need to arrange an engineer to visit at a convenient time. 

Why get Fibre Broadband?

Less interference in the wires means a more reliable connection

Higher speeds mean you can download photos, music and videos quicker

Little to no buffering when you’re streaming videos

Great if you’ve got multiple devices connected at once in your household