Choosing a business broadband connection
Fibre broadband for business
Fibre broadband uses the latest fibre optic technology to provide faster speeds and more reliable internet service.
Types of fibre broadband connections
There are generally two types of fibre broadband connections:
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) speed
FTTC uses fibre optic cable to connect the telephone exchange or distribution point to your phone line in the street cabinet that serves your premises. From the cabinet, your signal travels to your premises via traditional copper lines.
FTTC can typically achieve maximum 80Mbps download speeds, and 20Mbps upload speeds, although the actual maximum speed of your connection will depend on the length of your phone line to the street cabinet.
Fibre to the premises (FTTP) speed
FTTP connections provide end-to-end fibre optic connection from the exchange or the service provider's fibre network to your premises. They can deliver the fastest speeds, reaching download speeds of 1000Mbps and upload speeds of 1000Mbps. Availability is improving as telecom providers continue to invest and build out their fibre network across Northern Ireland.
At present, only a small number of providers offer packages using the hybrid G.Fast technology as it is only available to a limited number of FTTC subscribers around the UK.
G.Fast uses fibre optic cables from the exchange to the street cabinets, where a device is fitted that increases the maximum broadband speed users can get via their existing copper cables to be greater speeds than standard FTTC technology.
G.Fast can deliver speeds of up to 330Mbps download and 50Mbps upload, depending on the length and quality of the phone line between the premises at the street cabinet. It operates best over a short run of copper cable, ideally less than 350 meters from the cabinet.
Benefits of fibre broadband to business
With faster speeds and increased reliability, fibre broadband connections can make your business run more efficiently and be more profitable. It can help you:
- Get more done. Faster speeds mean you and your staff can do more bandwidth-heavy tasks simultaneously (eg send and receive large files, images and video) without experiencing slowdowns.
- Reach new markets. Fast, reliable speeds make online marketing easier and enable you to instantly communicate with customers in your area and across the world using social media, email marketing or via an online shop hosted on your website.
- Stay in touch with people who matter. Connect with customers and suppliers quicker and in new ways, eg through VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephony and video conferencing. See how to get the most from your business phone system.
- Make use of cloud computing. Take advantage of hosted applications, such as instant data backups, to reduce equipment, software and licensing costs. Pay only for what you use. Read about cloud computing.
- Work remotely. Work from home or on the go, with the same efficiency as if you were working from the office.
- Cut costs. Online data storage can save you space and money on physical storage systems
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
The government is providing voucher funding to help eligible businesses experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas. The vouchers are worth up to £3,500 to help cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband. Read more about the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.