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Full-fibre broadband

Have you won the postcode lottery?

The government have announced six pilot areas in the UK will be the first to receive full-fibre broadband.

£10million will be spent linking businesses, schools, and hospitals to the super-fast technology.

The experimental rollout began earlier in September.  The six pilot areas are:

  • Aberdeenshire
  • Bristol
  • Coventry & Warwickshire
  • Greater Manchester
  • West Sussex
  • West Yorkshire

What is full-fibre broadband?

It’s different to most of the fibre broadband which is in service in the UK.

In most cases the high-speed fibre cables are connected to roadside cabinets.

broadband cabinet

Image credit: Martin Hoscik / Shutterstock.com

By contrast Full-fibre broadband connects directly to each building.

This makes full-fibre broadband much faster and able to provide data at around 1gbps.

At the moment only 2% of premises in the UK have access to the technology.

However, the government are investing £200million in the project.  The aim being to attract private investment to speed up a nationwide rollout.

It is planned for full-fibre to be available across the UK by 2021.

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How fast is it?

It is seriously quick.  A full-HD movie can be downloaded in a few seconds.

Which is great news for those places which have access to full-fibre.

It won’t be received so well by those in areas of the UK which are still struggling to receive any form of broadband.

Or those of us still relying on powerline adapters and range extenders.

Why is the government pushing full-fibre broadband?

The scheme is part of the government’s wider ‘Superfast Broadband Programme.’

The target of which is to provide superfast broadband to 95% of UK premises and basic broadband everywhere.

installing broadband fibre cables

Image credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

According to the Gov.UK website broadband is, “revolutionising our quality of life, from how we work and how our children learn, to how we spend our leisure time, how we do our weekly shop, and how we engage with public services.”

It’s hard to argue with any of that.

What are the government saying?

Naturally enough they are pretty pleased with themselves.

Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Full-fibre connections are the gold standard and we are proud to announce today the next step to get Britain better connected.

“For our economy to thrive, it is vital we make smart investments to ensure our digital infrastructure is world class and fit for the future.”

Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock MP, said: “We want to see more commercial investment in the gold standard connectivity that full fibre provides, and these innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen.

“To keep Britain as the digital world leader that it is, we need to have the right infrastructure in place to allow us to keep up with the rapid advances in technology now and in the future.”

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Craig Ellyard

Token old guy in the office and lifelong Hull City fan with all the psychological issues that brings. To relax I enjoy walking my two Labradors, as well as running and cycling.

14 comments

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  1. Anonymous 7 September, 2017 at 08:05

    WTF has “Or those of us still relying on powerline adapters and range extenders.” got to do with the incoming broadband?
    What happens to it once it is in your property is your responsibility.

  2. Anonymous 7 September, 2017 at 08:31

    I live in a very affluent street in south London. Big houses, rich people. The only fibre supplier is Virgin, and they only arrived 6 months back, and they are horrendous to deal with to try and get connected.
    The point is though, BT Outreach who are responsible for laying the fibre infrastructure, are only interested in laying cable into new developments, where they get the most subscribers. For example, the new blocks going up around East Croydon. They’ll get hundreds of subscribers from that, but a mere 20 or so from my street so they ignore us.
    If they ignore us, in a prime bit of London, how long do you think they’ll ignore the deeper rural areas?
    All it’s really going to do is line a few rich men’s pockets even more than before.

  3. Anonymous 7 September, 2017 at 09:06

    In line with this initiative are the government making it compulsory for all new build housing to include fibre along with telephone lines so that they don’t have to retro fit anything in a few years at a far higher cost?

  4. Anonymous 7 September, 2017 at 10:13

    We’re on a new development in west Yorkshire and have been fighting to get any kind of fibre for 4 years. Eventually had to pay Openreach to upgrade the cabinet ourselves at a cost of £6k. They’ve now got 8 months to complete the work so fingers crossed they’ll just do this for our streets since they’re upgrading the system anyway!!!

  5. Sharon 7 September, 2017 at 10:30

    The problem I have: If this is what the government want for us, to all be connected to the internet for improve our lives etc, then why are we still being charged so much for broadband, especially as the line rental charge is going up and up. We’re being charged twice and there are vulnerable people out there who just can’t afford all the charges that rack up every month.

  6. Cj Sutton 12 September, 2017 at 08:52

    “It won’t be received so well by those in areas of the UK which are still struggling to receive any form of broadband.

    Or those of us still relying on powerline adapters and range extenders.”

    What? You can tell this was written by a non techy who doesn’t understand the basic of networks or connectivity….

  7. John de Rivaz 12 September, 2017 at 09:03

    The problem I see is that if you upgrade your internet connection, BTOR are issued a ticket to disconnect your existing service and once they have done that issued another ticket to connect the replacement. The delay between the two is usually two or three weeks, but there have been cases where it is months even years.

    This is absurdly inefficient and as far as I can see totally unnecessary. If you get a new washing machine, for example, the fitter removes the old one on the same visit as installing the new one. Surely the same should apply with the machine at the telephone exchange. A fitter could install the fibre to the premises and the fibre to Ethernet and wi-fi unit, and only then switch the services, so the subscriber is only off line for half an hour at the most, not half a year.

  8. Anonymous 12 September, 2017 at 10:39

    I am an openreach engineer and it annoys me at the remarkable amount of misguided people just jab at OR. OR offer FTTP (fibre to the premisis) to all developers as standard, if they take it up then that’s up to them, so this ‘they’ll get subscribers’ is quite frankly laughable. When FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) really kicked off OR or BT at the time livened up old fibre that was laying in the ground (meant for schools, hospitals, government buildings etc) meaning that certain areas got it before others, not who has the most subscribers. Also in regards to the disconnection side of things this is also laughable. We have instructions or jobs that mean we swap jumpers in the cab to fibre supplied by the new supplier and a new E side that contains your dial tone (phone number). If your CP fails to do it quick enough or supply OR with the correct information within a deadline that they told you, who’s fault is that? OR have an obligation to supply ‘super fast internet’ to 95% of U.K. Homes and businesses by 2020. This is achievable and will be achieved. FTTP is in great demand but with only so much infrastructure inplace and only so many local authorities happy with road diversions and the such the delay doesn’t directly lie with OR. Rant over.

  9. Roger 12 September, 2017 at 13:56

    The complete FTTP infrastructure has been installed in my village well over 17months now, every time I checked availability it reported a couple of months, then would get rolled back by months. I got so fed up complaining when it got rolled back last time to December that they escalated my enquiry to a higher level. Next day it was suddenly available? So why install the equipment when it’s going to just sit there doing nowt! Don’t they want the increased income?
    And then the problem of being in a grade II listed building arose! External install was due yesterday but nobody turned up for that, still waiting for new date because indoor connection is due on 19:09:2017. Wish me luck. Woe is me!…lol

  10. anom 14 September, 2017 at 18:35

    should be free to unemployed people to look for work, seeing nobody virtually advertises jobs in papers now.

  11. Tay 29 September, 2017 at 10:10

    There is such a misconception about fibre these days, many think their original virgin connections are fibre, some think infinity is fibre.
    Wrong, all use copper to delivery to the premises, stop believing what you see on the side of a van most of it is bollocks.
    The newer ultra high speed connections (they are running out of the hyperbole now it seems) might well be fibre.

    I’ve got 200mb cable delivered over copper and infinity delivered over copper. It’s about time telecoms providers fessed up about what connects to your house, not the local street cab for infinity or the street for cable.

    FTTC is essentially infinity and cable, FTTH or FTTP is fibre to your house.

    They do have fibre backbones but that is shared with the thousands maybe ever 10’s of thousands of customers any in many cases businesses too.
    Im also fed up with people and providers quoting wifi speeds, as somebody already mentioned it has nothing to do with what internet connection they delivered unless you have WiMAX or something along those lines

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