If you’ve suffered from dismal downloads and choppy streaming, there might be better news for your broadband. UK regulator, Ofcom, has just announced a huge boost to the UK’s fiber optic infrastructure with 11 million homes now able to access much faster internet speeds.
This figure is up from just seven million a year ago, showing that the deployment of better FTTP technology is accelerating.
If you didn’t already know, FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) makes things much better because it means the best possible broadband is brought straight into homes.
A lot of properties may have a fast cable down their street, but the last route to the router uses aging copper cables that can only support peak downloads of around 70 Mbps. This is compared to over 1 Gbps using full fiber technology.
As a quick guide, downloading a Full HD movie using copper lines will take about 10 minutes. Switch to the best fiber and it will be reduced to just 40 seconds. In addition to being fast, FTTP can also handle more traffic, which means things don’t slow down at peak times of the day.
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Ofcom’s latest autumn update on connected nations suggests that 37% of UK households can now benefit from full fibre. This is an increase from 24% a year ago.
The number of properties unable to get “decent” broadband speed (10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload) also fell 38% from last year to 83,000.
While this boost is welcome, there is still a long way to go before the UK government’s goals are met.
The original manifesto commitment was to deliver gigabit broadband nationwide by 2025. This goal was revised in November 2020 to a minimum of 85% of premises by 2025.
Of course, to get those faster speeds, you’ll need to talk to your internet service provider as they’ll need to upgrade your plan before things pick up speed.
The higher the download speed, the more you will pay, so be sure to only upgrade the power you really need.
A single person who just wants to send a few emails and stream a weird show on Netflix shouldn’t need more than a 30Mbps connection.
However, a house full of gadgets with people trying to stream in 4K, download games and make Zoom calls will need much faster speeds.
A busy family that doesn’t want a slow connection should consider upgrading to at least 200 Mbps or higher.