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What is fibre broadband and how does it work?
Find out more about fibre broadband and where you can get it.
Fibre broadband is a form of superfast broadband and is increasingly available from a range of broadband providers. As the name suggests, it uses fibre optic cables to transmit data at the speed of light for a faster, more reliable connection.
How does fibre optic broadband work?
Fibre optic broadband uses plastic or glass cables to transmit data to your home. This differs from the standard copper wires used in regular broadband connections for landlines and ADSL connections. Each tube is about as thick as a human hair. Data travels as flashes of light through the tubes, bouncing off the reflective walls.
It’s super-fast compared to conventional copper wires. Other than the fibre installation, you won’t need any special equipment or software.
How fast is fibre broadband in Ireland?
Fibre broadband is significantly faster than standard ADSL broadband. A connection that delivers fibre the whole way to the home can offer typical speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. Packages vary according to the provider.
How does fibre optic broadband get to my house?
There are two types of fibre, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), sometimes known as Fibre to the Home. FTTC is what’s known as superfast broadband. This is where fibre optic cables run from the telephone exchange and the phone cabinet on your street. Copper cables then connect this cabinet to your home.
FTTP is ultrafast broadband and refers to where fibre optic cables run all the way from the telephone exchange to your home. This makes for much faster fibre broadband.
Where can I get fibre broadband?
A number of broadband provider websites will tell you instantly if fibre is available in your area. Packages vary and you’ll find a range of claimed speeds, monthly prices and contract lengths available so, as always, it’s worth shopping around. To test the speed of your current web connection, use our internet speed tool.
Do I need a phone line for fibre broadband?
Technically, you don’t need a phone line to get fibre-optic broadband. However, you may find it hard to compare no-landline broadband packages available with fibre.
What are the pros and cons of fibre broadband?
Pros include that fibre optic cables transmit data much faster than copper ones. They are also resistant to interference and so have a lower bit error. They tend to corrode less. It’s relatively easy to install new fibre in Ireland. Fibre is considered secure because the cables don’t radiate signals; this means it’s impossible to eavesdrop on the transmission passing through. A physical break leads to a total system failure making breaches easy to spot. As popularity is increasing, the cost is coming down. There are a few cons of fibre networks. Notably, because they’re smaller and lighter.
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