Inside Connection – What is Broadband?
You may not know it but you use broadband every day; you stream, you game and you work but have you ever stopped to think about what broadband actually is? In this post, we look at what broadband is and what the words used to describe your broadband really mean.
So, what is broadband?
Broadband is your connection to the wonders of the Internet including; streaming videos & movies, social media, video calls such as Zoom, online gaming and music streaming. Not forgetting connecting the growing number of smart devices around your home or business – all of which need instantaneous and continuous connectivity.
What’s really important with streaming videos and gaming is the speed that this data transfers, or downloads, to your device. The faster the download the better the online experience, meaning more cat videos, more winning and more surfing. Speed is impacted due to the reliability of your broadband, the amount or lack of data demand from other users within your street area and the actual type of physical connection your broadband is delivered through.
What do these mysterious FTTx codes mean? These are actually very important in deciding how fast your broadband service is so it’s probably a good idea to know what they mean when choosing your next service provider. So “FTT” means “Fibre To The” and the “x” is where the fibre goes to.
- FTTP (Fibre To The Premise) is the cabling that Zzoomm employs, utilising fibre-optic cables all the way into the residential properties and businesses, with current speeds reaching as high as 10,000 Mbps – sometimes this is also known as FTTH – (Fibre To The Home).
- FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) connects a building by copper wire to a street cabinet which is then connected to the wider UK network by fibre-optic cable, taking an in-between approach between copper and fibre. But is nothing like as fast, effective or fabulous as Full Fibre.
- ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) networks use copper cables combined with street-level cabinets that then connect to a house. This setup is the most commonly used in the UK, making up over 80% of the UK broadband infrastructure and by many of the main providers in the UK.
- DOCIS (Data Over Cable) networks use a fat copper cable (a co-axial cable) from the house to a street-level cabinet. This technology is only used by Cable TV operators.
Traditional copper wire connections, developed over 100 years ago for the first telegraphy and then voice calls, transmit data using modems but their actual speed is less than one per cent of the speed of light. Additionally copper suffers from electromagnetic interference as it transmits data via electrons and can lose up to 94% over 100 meters whereas fibre optics transmit over photons, estimated to lose only 3% over the same distance.
So what does this mean? These copper wires, unchanged since the days of Downton Abbey have been in use providing your home with broadband for a very long time. Copper wires were not built to provide broadband, they were built for making phone calls. Whilst copper is still great at making calls because phone calls require very little data to transfer, the modern use of these copper wires has led them to be pushed to their limit! For bigger files like streaming 4k movies, games or video calls they’re not up to the job, you start to have spotty coverage, data drainage and slow broadband speed.
Don’t worry, the future is bright! Full Fibre setup in the FTTP definition above) doesn’t suffer from the same problem as copper. Full Fibre is built for big files and big transfers, more streaming and more gaming, Full Fibre is built for the future. This is because it’s a fibre-optical signal, (that means it’s light) so it doesn’t suffer in the same way that traditional copper does – there’s a much bigger limit to be pushing!
Zzoomm’s Full Fibre broadband speeds start at 100Mbps – taking barely one minute to download a film. The current top speed of 10,000Mbps downloads the film in a hundredth of one second! And in a few years time, when still faster speeds are wanted for new services that we don’t even know about yet, Zzoomm can put new equipment each end of the fibre and up the speed again by 10 or 100 times.
What Else? – What setup do you get & what is your need for speed?
Upload speeds are also important. Many people or businesses need to process and transfer vast amounts of data or interact extremely quickly. They need to also consider upload speeds as well as download speeds. With Zzoomm, you can get a Power-Up to your service called MATCH which allows you to get the same download speed as upload speed. For instance, 100 Mbps average download speed with MATCH gives you 100Mbps upload as well. The same for 400Mbps, 900Mbps or even 2000Mbps. Share those holiday and food snaps like no one’s watching!
It is also important to consider the installation arrangements a broadband service provider is offering. Most internet service providers simply send a modem and a starter pack; some do install a router and sometimes an unwanted phone landline, or some just turn it on. Zzoomm installs Full Fibre directly to your home, connecting the broadband network from your front garden directly to your home with fibre optic cables. Then in your home, you can select either Double Wi-Fi which is two Zzoomm Hubs (routers) providing you with double the Wi-Fi coverage, or Double Network which means that your two Zzoomm Hubs are providing two completely separate Wi-Fi networks via an additional 100Mbps service. The installation setup choice is yours Check out the Installation Guide to select what best suits your life.
The bottom line
As your demand for internet data grows, you need to be able to browse the web quickly, stream effortlessly and download at the speed of light. Full Fibre can give you this and more.
Did you know that today only 11.5% of the UK is covered with Full Fibre broadband, congrats if you’re part of the 11.5%! The rest of us are still stuck behind on our struggling copper wires, unlike some of Europe. Latvia is out there leading the pack, where 88% of homes and businesses already have Full Fibre coverage.
Faster, better broadband means you will have less time waiting, loading, refreshing or troubleshooting and more time doing what you want when you want to (even when your neighbours copper signal drops off at 6 pm every day!). The reality is, life is TOO short to waste time with Bad Broadband.