What are the advantages and disadvantages of FTTP?

Nathan Hill-Haimes


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    In this article we will cover what FTTP is, the advantages, the disadvantages, where to find out availability and the price of FTTP.

    fttp availability

    What is FTTP?

    With just a single laser, billions of bits per second can be transmitted through a fibre the width of a human hair, reflecting light at shallow angles as it travels. Analog voice data is transformed into digital data as the laser at one end flashes on and off. Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) uses fibre-optic cable direct from an ISP to a business or home. Unlike FTTC (fibre to the Cabinet), there is no use of the traditional copper wire (which is what is used for DSL connections) from a street cabinet. While the copper wire from the cabinet to the premises makes for an economical alternative, it doesn’t compare with the speeds that FTTP offers.

    How FTTP Works 500 x 300 compressed.png

    What are the advantages of FTTP?

    As mentioned, speed is the main advantage, while an FTTC connection offers up to 76Mb/s, the full fibre option reaches up to 1000Mb/s. Not all businesses need those speeds but if you plan to grow, then future-proofing with a direct FTTP might be your best choice. FTTP was designed to be easily expanded and improved upon so that bandwidth has more room for growth than the hybrid FTTC option. Perhaps you are an IT Manager with colleagues complaining about streaming issues, or you know that you are soon to expand the number of users on premise, you may therefore need to make a business case for an upgrade to FTTP. If you can sell in the benefits of FTTP to the key stakeholders and purse-string holders by explaining the scalability and resilience of FTTP, then you will get the superior bandwidth and future-proofing to keep the business operating smoothly.


    What are the disadvantages of FTTP?

    Having FTTP installed directly into a business makes for increased speed, but also increased cost. Essentially, an FTTC requires a lower installation cost as it only needs to reach your closest cabinet where it will then travel onwards to your premises via its slower copper predecessor. FTTC installation could involve digging up roads and a longer implementation time than FTTC so if time is of the essence, it might not be the quickest fix for an improvement in speed vs DSL.

    fttp availability

    FTTP availability in the UK

    While FTTP availability is not yet on par with FTTC, nearly all of the main FTTP players have been announcing major plans to expand over the next few years. As more full fibre providers continue to race for market share, your chances of getting FTTP installed at a reasonable price will only improve. In the meantime, businesses in urban areas are going to find it easier to switch to FTTP than those in rural locations.

    FTTP phase 1 rollout 400 x 600 compressed.png

    Among the top areas for FTTP coverage as of now are Hull, London, Surrey and Berkshire but bucking the urban trend is Cornwall thanks to a huge deployment by Openreach. To find out where your area ranks in terms of high-speed implementation, take a look at FTTP Availability Checker. Here you can find out what current speeds are available by district or postcode and by provider.

    In the following years, one particular region we can expect to see improvement with FTTP coverage is the North West. Infrastructure builders such as ITS are driving growth under the guise of Faster Britain in areas with underdeveloped broadband capability- such as Accrington, Blackburn and Liverpool (LCR Connect).

    FTTP vs Leased Lines

     FTTP vs Leased Line Infographic.png

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    Price Comparisons

    While you would, by now at least, expect FTTP to carry higher costs than FTTC or DSL, there can be considerable variances by supplier. While doing your research and requesting quotes, makes sure to look out for hidden costs, implementation timescales and reviews on their service. Amvia has experts on hand who can provide free FTTP advice for price comparisons to give you a ballpark before you begin deeper research into vendors.

    Implementation costs can vary most when it comes to the physical implementation. Understanding from each provider who is digging the trenches and what is included in your connection setup is essential to making the right selection.

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