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What Does FTTC and FTTP Mean?

When shopping for fibre broadband, you may have come across the terms FTTC and FTTP… but what do they mean? 

FTTC and FTTP may sound like very technical terms but the main difference between the two is in their performance. FTTP can deliver much faster speeds than FTTC, but what about costs, providers and availability? We explore it all within this article, so read on! 

Two types of fibre broadband 

There are two types of fibre broadband in the UK: Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Each service offers different speeds and connections. 

FTTC delivers data along fibre optic cables to your home’s nearest cabinet, and then from there transmits data along copper cabling to your home. The copper cabling slows down the connection, meaning that with this type of fibre service, you can usually expect downloads speeds of up to 76Mbps. 

However, FTTP transmits data via fibre optic cables all the way to your property, which gives you some of the fastest internet speeds available of up to 1,000Mpbs or 1Gbps. That’s faster than Usain Bolt on skates! With this connection type, there is also less interference and therefore it is more reliable.

FTTC is more common within the UK 

Despite the faster speeds of FTTP, the majority of UK households with fibre broadband have a Fibre to the Cabinet connection. This is likely down to availability and price. 

FTTC is available to around 97% of UK homes, whereas only 12% have access to full fibre or FTTP. Plus, it is much more expensive to get FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) installed. However, as the service is rolled out to more and more homes across the UK, the price should start to lower within the next few years. 

Which providers offer FTTC? 

There is a much longer list of providers who offer FTTC within the UK. These names include: 

  • BT 

  • Sky 

  • TalkTalk 

  • Plusnet 

  • Vodaphone 

  • EE 

  • NOW Broadband

Which providers offer FTTP? 

There are fewer providers of FTTP, and some of the names are less known within the consumer broadband market. Providers of FTTP include: 

  • Hyperoptic 

  • Zen 

  • Gigaclear 

  • BT 

  • Vodaphone 

Do you need FTTP? 

The thought of full fibre broadband may sound appealing, but most people don’t really need this level of connection. You can still browse social media, send emails, watch Netflix, stream TV shows and play your favourite online game without FTTP. 

However, the faster your fibre connection the less time it takes to download and upload media. For example, with a 1000Mbps or 1Gbps FTTP connection, you could download a TV episode in 18 seconds, download an entire film in 40 seconds or upload 100 high-resolution photos in just 2 seconds. 

If you opted for 32Mbps internet speeds, which would most likely be FTTC, it would take 1 minute 52 seconds to download a TV show or just under 3 minutes to download a movie. 

Is the time saved worth the much higher expense? We’ll let you make your mind up on that one!

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