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Get the lingo on all things fibre

Tech Tips
23rd August 2023

Get to know your FTTP from your FTTC

FTTC, FTTP, FTTH, PTP, PON… The technical acronyms are endless but what do they mean?

It’s important to learn the difference between true Full Fibre and the other services out there, so we can make the best decision for our broadband needs, and our budgets! 

First, let’s talk terminology

Fibre optic uses strands of optically pure glass to transmit data as pulses of light. These pulses travel at the speed of light, providing incredible speeds and bandwidth potential – literally lightning fast!  

Different networks use fibre-optic in different ways. Keep reading to find out more… 

Exchange-only-line or EOL 

This is a copper system that transmits data through electrical signals, resulting in slower speeds and higher lag. These are often older lines that were installed before fibre-optic technology became widespread.  

Fibre-to-the-Cabinet or FTTC 

Although fibre-optic is used between the data centre and the street cabinet, this network relies on traditional copper for the last-mile connection – drastically slowing speeds! 

Fibre-to-the-Premises or FTTP (PTP) 

Lastly, we’ve got FTTP, otherwise known as FTTH, FTTB, or simply Full Fibre. This network uses fibre-optic cable, direct from the data centre to the home – meaning lightning-fast speeds and reliability.  

How will I know the difference between FTTC and FTTP?

In an attempt to attract customers, some providers use misleading terms like ‘fibre-optic broadband’ when only providing a partially fibre connection (FTTC). Earlier this year, Ofcom proposed to put regulations in place that would stop broadband providers from using the terms Fibre or Full Fibre, unless they’re providing an FTTP service – with fibre direct to the property. Until these regulations take effect, be careful! 

To navigate the Megabit minefield, be sure to ask the provider if the connection will be Full Fibre to the property and check independent sources or reviews to gain better understanding of the service quality. 

Grain Full Fibre broadband

Our broadband network is designed with the future in mind. Not only do we offer Fibre-to-the-Premises, but our Point-to-Point (PTP) architecture means each and every home or business gets their own dedicated fibre-optic cable – straight into the router! 

While some providers offer something called Passive Optical Network (PON), which splits a single fibre between multiple properties, our approach guarantees a superior broadband experience for each connected customer.  

  • High speed and symmetrical upload and download speeds: FTTP offers very high data transfer rates, allowing for seamless video streaming, online gaming and other bandwidth-intensive activities. 
  • Low latency: Fibre-optic cables provide low latency connections, making it ideal for real-time applications like online gaming and video conferencing.  
  • Futureproof: FTTP is a futureproof technology capable of supporting higher bandwidth demands and technological advancements for years to come. 
  • Independent infrastructure: Having our own network means our prices aren’t driven by other companies. We have full control to continue offering amazing affordability & service to our customers. 

We hope our technical blog and helped and answered you questions, check your postcode to see if your home can benefit from the latest Full Fibre broadband technology. 

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