FTTH: Fibre to the Home explained

FTTH will get you the fastest internet connection, but only if you're fortunate enough to gain access to it.

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Fibre to the Home (FTTH) may be the best connection available, but it’s up to luck whether you have it since you don’t get to choose what connection your property has when it comes to your broadband. Today more than 100,000 properties across Ireland have access to Fibre to the Home (FTTH), and that number is ever-increasing. Read on to find out what you need to know about FTTH.

What is FTTH and how does it work?

Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is the way the internet was intended to work everywhere: by using high-speed fibre optic cables connected directly to your house. If you’re lucky enough to have it, it’s the best connection you can get.

FTTH operates by connecting your house all the way to the web using only robust, high-speed fibre optic cables – delivering speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. Where other connection types like Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) rely upon older intermediate copper wire or cables, FTTH doesn’t, thereby reducing signal degradation and other issues.

Signals are sent through these fibre optics to a connection box attached to your building. Typically, a modem will then be wired to this box, allowing your devices superfast access to the Internet. In practical terms, this typically means you can connect multiple devices, play HD games, stream Netflix and download films without slowing down your connection.

What equipment will I need?

Since the fibre optic cables and connection box will already be set up as part of the internet network installation at your property, you only need a modem that’s capable of supporting superfast fibre broadband – and devices like computers or mobiles that can connect to it.

If you don’t already have a suitable modem, your Internet service provider will sell their recommended one to you when you purchase a plan.

What should I look for when comparing FTTH plans?

With so many plans available on the market, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing the right one for you.

  • Speed. With FTTH, you have the freedom to choose any speed that suits you since all tiers should be supported by your high-quality connection. It’s important to compare not just maximum speeds, but also the typical speed a provider promises when there’s heavy network congestion in the evening.
  • Data. Faster speeds mean you’ll tear through data quickly, too. Unlimited data plans are common but not guaranteed, so make sure you have enough for your streaming and download habits.
  • Extras. Plenty of providers give the option of entertainment bundles, phone call inclusions and more. If there’s a particular service or entertainment feature you want, there’s likely a plan out there that offers it.

Frequently asked questions

Can I change my connection to FTTH?

No. The connection type your property has is fixed and can’t be changed. If you don’t already have FTTH, you won’t be able to switch to it.

Will I need a new modem for FTTH?

This depends largely on whether you’ve been connected to superfast broadband before. If you haven’t, you’ll likely need a newly compatible modem, which you can get from your provider along with your plan.It’s also possible that you might need to upgrade your modem to one capable of faster signal processing if you’re raising your connection to the highest speed tier. Check with your provider to find out.

What happens to my home phone on FTTH?

You’ll still be able to get a landline number from some broadband providers after switching to the new network. However, this will be linked to the fibre network, which means that if the network goes down or you have a power outage, you won’t be able to make any calls.

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