Having to choose which type of connection will best suit your business can be overwhelming, even for business owners running their companies for years. On the other hand, if you are an IT Manager and about to discuss a budget for an upgrade, you may have to break it down in layman’s terms, so the decision-makers know what exactly stands behind each connectivity option.
In this blog post, we will run through what FTTC, FTTP, and ADSL connections are, what are the differences, and what each technology means regarding its capability for a business.
What is fibre optic cable?
A fibre optic cable is a network cable that constrains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing, each fibre is only slightly thicker than a human hair. They are designed for high-performance, long-distance data networking, and telecommunications. Compared to more standard, copper wired cables, fibre optic cables deploy most of the world’s internet, telephone systems, and cable television. Fibre optic cables can send immense amounts of data at high speed across long distances. This is attained by using light instead of electrical pulses.
Advantages of fibre optic cables:
- Fibre optics support a higher capacity. The amount of bandwidth a fibre cable can carry is much bigger than that of a similarly thick copper cable.
- Light can travel for much longer distances over a fibre cable without decreasing its strength.
- Reliability - Fibre optics are immune to changes in temperature, severe weather, or moisture, all of which can decrease the connectivity of copper cable. Furthermore, fibre does not transfer electric current, so it’s not affected by electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can interrupt the transmission of data. Fibre optics also don't present a fire hazard as copper cables might do.
What is FTTC?
FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) is a combination of traditional copper and fibre optic cable. The fibre optic cable is located in the local telephone exchange to a distribution point (that is commonly called a roadside cabinet) – hence it's called fibre to the cabinet. Once the fibre optic cable reaches the cabinet, it connects the copper wire and transfers to the designated premises of a building. FTTC is the usual choice for businesses as is the most economical. Installation of the fibre optic cable directly to your building requires a lot of ground digging, even a total infrastructure implementation. The copper wires offer a cheaper way of getting fast internet into your building premises at a lower cost. Additionally, FTTC has the advantage of DLM (Dynamic Line Management), an automated system that helps manage and monitor connectivity and quality of speed.
Advantages of FTTC:
- Widespread availability – FTTC is more accessible because the fibre optic cabling only requires to be laid to link street cabinets to the nearest placed telephone exchange that preserves the copper connections for the last few meters of the service. This is a very economical solution for local telecoms and authorities as there is no need to invest a lot of money in the installation process.
- Faster speeds – FTTC will enable your business to receive significantly faster upload and download speeds than that available via standard ADSL broadband. Faster speeds of your internet connection enable to support a larger number of Internet users or volume of data transfer, which for SMEs is necessary, especially when undergoing a period of expansion and growth.
- Better Access to Cloud Services – FFTC is able to deliver much higher upload and download speeds. This means that FTTC can increase business productivity, unlock all of the benefits of cloud computing, meanwhile reducing overall costs.
What is FTTP?
FTTP is Fibre to the Premises and uses optical fibre to designated business premises, unlike FTTC, where copper is taken from the street cabinet. The difference is a significantly faster connection, consistency, and reliability. FTTP is the best option for those businesses that rely on cloud computing systems and VoIP. Another great advantage of FTTP is that you shouldn’t experience any issues during network-peak times.
Advantages of FTTP:
- Ultra-fast connection – the most perceptible benefit of FTTP is a super-fast Internet connection which ensures that all your internet traffic runs consistently, no matter the time of day or night. This specifically helps businesses with employees based around the world or working from home, where virtual meetings can be run and delivered seamlessly, as well as meetings with partners, clients, or bigger, more spread virtual conferences.
- Reliability – FTTP provides a much reliable and consistent connection than FTTC, thanks to its ultra-fast speed and power.
- Increased productivity – having FTTP will help to increase business productivity, especially for enterprises that rely on Cloud computing, Cloud storage, VoIP phone system, and teams working simultaneously on a variety of software applications at one time.
What is ADSL?
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and is the most commonly available type of broadband internet connection. An ADSL connection is the slowest compared to FTTC and FTTP, but also the cheapest to run. Furthermore, as fibre and cable aren’t yet available everywhere, especially if in rural locations, ADSL can be the only option to have in these locations. There are two types of ADSL technology – ADSL1 and ADSL2+, which is faster than ADSL1. ADSL will be phased out in the coming years.
Advantages of ADSL:
- An affordable and easy-to-install connectivity option.
- Lower maintenance costs.
- Traditional infrastructure – ADSL does not require extensive groundworks and investments, as it uses the traditional copper cabling to connect.
- Available in almost all geographic locations
FTTC, FTTP & ADSL - which is best to choose for your business?
If your business has multiple users and looking for a stable, reliable Internet connection, is best to consider Fibre to the premise, especially if your business relies on cloud-based storage or based SaaS software, as well as if you want to utilize VoIP within your business. ADSL on the other hand, until now still holds most of the UK overall market. You need to note, that the main difference of using ADSL is the speed, consistency, and reliability.
As an example, we have given the approximate expected download speeds for each connection type:
ADSL: 5-24 Mbps
FTTC: 40 to 80 Mbps (please note that distance from the cabinet can significantly impact the speed)
FTTP: Up to 1 Gbps
If your business is currently expanding and you are looking to leverage the connectivity of the Internet, cloud-based software, VoIP, and network applications, then upgrading to FTTC or FTTP is worth considering. Implementation costs may vary, that’s why doing some research and requesting quotes is very important. With no hidden costs, our IT specialists can advise which type of connection will best suit your business, the timescale of implementation, and maintenance costs. You can reach out to us with any inquiries, from IT infrastructure, cloud software installations, to cybersecurity solutions.
Choosing the right Internet connectivity can undoubtedly help to improve your business productivity, connectivity, and reliability. Your business should be focusing on growth, without extended costs. That’s why ADT Systems is here to help! Let us know about your business IT infrastructure, ask our opinion – and our friendly team of specialists will help!
ADT has been providing expertise and great customer service since 1993, we have plenty of great advice that we can share with you! Call us on 0330 333 7439 or simply drop us an email at email@example.com We have many interesting News posts that are worth reading, so, please take a look!
ADT Systems Team