When is fibre broadband, really fibre broadband?

Fibre this, fibre that, it appears fibre is a hot topic at the moment…but why now?

Fibre broadband has been a hot topic recently and a recent decision (or indecision) by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has left the broadband industry in chaos over the use of just one word. Fibre.  

It seems simple enough and you would think is a fairly specific term that could only mean one thing. Fibre. But you’d be wrong. 

Back in 2008 when the Internet world ran on copper, the term ‘fibre broadband’ slowly crept into existence. Back then, we were glad to get anything that went faster than 2Mb and so it seemed acceptable. The fact that it still describes a copper connection that could still be affected by the same issues that basic copper broadband has always suffered, is a problem. 

However today, when an alternative can be fibre all the way with no copper, means customers are left thinking they have fibre broadband, when in fact, they don’t and some business are suffering unnecessarily thinking that there is no alternative and not investigating all the options available. 

fibre broadband, colleagues working around a computer, collaboration

And, because the term Fibre Broadband is being bandied about so freely, we have to refer to a true fibre connection as Full Fibre Broadband – but even this doesn’t really help customers who just hear ‘fibre’ and think it’s all the same.

Terminology is important in this industry, but more importantly to the customer. They need to know that they can trust in providers in order to compare like for like services.

Cityfibre, another ‘Altnet’, is leading the charge to get this sorted, having won a challenge in the High Courts to get ASA to reconsider. Good for them! It’s great news for all of us in the industry deploying Full Fibre and we certainly aren’t ready to take on ASA (and possibly the likes of BT, Sky and TalkTalk who use the Fibre Broadband terminology quite extensively).

It is about time it ISPs change their stance on fibre broadband, providers say ‘fibre’ and yet most of what businesses and residents use is not really fibre broadband. Most use a hybrid system, FTTC, or Superfast broadband where fibre comes from the exchange to a cabinet on the side of the road and then that cabinet is connected to the normal phone cabinet and then it is copper wires from there to the customer. While it is certainly better than what we had before it’s still not as great as we want to make it.

Smug note, Spectrum Internet have been using the term ‘full fibre broadband’ for years and year when we talk about our ultrafast fibre broadband (that is fibre all the way to the premises), and we use ‘superfast broadband’ when we talk about our FTTC / hybrid solution. Spectrum Internet 1 – large ISP’s 0.

fibre broadband cta to our full fibre timeline