Full Fibre business broadband.
What’s the best connectivity for you?
Once there was just broadband, but these days internet connectivity comes in lots of different flavours. If you don’t get the right one for your business then you risk not having the capacity you need, when you need it. That can mean files take an age to download and video calls stutter and freeze, as well as an inability to make best use of the latest cloud-based tools that can help your business grow.
On the other side of the coin, choosing the wrong connection could mean paying for more bandwidth than you need. Not every business needs the latest ultrafast internet. If all you do is basic browsing and email, standard connectivity is fine.
So, what’s right for you? Here, we explain what each of the various flavours are, their benefits and what kind of businesses they best suit.
ADSL is the most basic broadband connection now available. It’s been around for a long time and is getting a bit long in the tooth, but for some businesses it is still enough to meet their needs.
As the diagram shows, ADSL data travels along copper telephone wires all the way from the exchange to the street cabinet, and from the street cabinet to your premises. Copper wires are slower than fibre optic cables, so speeds and bandwidth are limited. Average download speeds are around 10Mbps.
ADSL is pretty reliable, but not as stable as more modern fibre alternatives, and the actual speed you experience largely depends on the distance between you and your closest exchange. The further away you are, the slower the speed.
Small and micro-businesses with limited users and basic internet needs, such as browsing, email and basic Voice over IP (VoIP) calling, ADSL is a good, low cost option.
FTTC stands for ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ and it means that a fibre optic cable replaces the copper wire from the main exchange to your street cabinet. The signal then reverts back to copper from the cabinet to your premises.
Fibre is faster and more stable than copper and, depending on your connection, average FTTC download speeds can be as much as 70Mbps. The copper part of the journey means that the actual speed you receive depends to some extent on the distance the signal has to travel. Nevertheless, FTTC is a significant step up from ADSL, in terms of speed and stability, and often at little extra cost.
SMEs with a number of employees who all use the internet at the same time, or for those who use their connection extensively for communications, file sharing and collaboration. FTTC lets you fully exploit many cloud-based services, alongside video calls and ecommerce.
Full Fibre (FTTP)
BT is investing £1.2bn in rolling out Full-fibre FTTP across the UK, and with good reason. FTTP stands for ‘Fibre to the Premises’, and it means internet data is carried from the exchange all the way to your office or workplace via fibre optic cables. That means it’s lightning fast, with download speeds currently available of up to 1 Gbps (that’s 1000 Mbps and this maximum speed is likely to increase over time).
It’s also extremely stable and being a long way from your local exchange doesn’t make a difference to the speeds you experience. FTTP is the gold standard of business broadband and it can be pricier than slower alternatives, but the cost is dropping all the time.
Larger businesses and those with multiple users, exploiting a range of data-hungry applications and services. FTTP future proofs businesses and lets them innovate with the latest online technology and services.
Ethernet Leased Lines
Ethernet leased lines give your business an uncontended connection to the internet, which means nobody else can use it apart from you. The upshot is that you get exactly the speed you pay for, even at the busiest times of day. You also benefit from symmetrical speeds, which means uploading and downloading are equally quick. Plus, because only your data uses the connection, Ethernet leased lines are extremely secure. The speed you experience depends entirely on the price you pay, up to a current maximum of around 10 Gbps. Having your own line does push up the price, though.
Multi-site and international businesses that absolutely depend on uncontended bandwidth at any time of day, and that require the extra security and resilience of a dedicated connection.