What is Full Fibre (FTTP, FTTH, FTTB)?

The Jargon can make understanding the different types of broadband technology challenging we make it easier to understand.

Put simply Full Fibre Broadband is where fibre optic cables that use light signals to deliver your internet all the way into your home and business. 

This means you can get much faster speeds than standard broadband with 900mbps being standard top package but increasingly multi gig upto 10Gbps is becoming available!

Full Fibre Broadband truly is the best way to get internet into your home and business.

Broadband in the UK

There are a few different types of broadband technology in the UK each with different capabilities some are like Del & Rodney’s van from Only Fools & Horses where as Full Fibre is like a Rocket .

Expand each section below to learn more about these broadband technologies:

FTTP= Fibre to the premise

FTTH= Fibre to the home

FTTB= Fibre to the building

The above and Full Fibre are the same and is where the broadband is delivered via fibre optic cables right into your property. 

Each fibre strand can be a thin as a human hair!

Because the broadband signals are delivered using light it is capable of delivering ultrafast speeds over long distances.

It is the most reliable, consistent and fast broadband in the UK.

You can learn more about the many benefits of Full fibre further down this page.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is a hybrid fibre and copper broadband service.

Fibre optic cables deliver the broadband to a green street cabinet like shown below.

From the street cabinet the broadband is then delivered via old copper cables to your property and your router connects to a telephone socket.

The max speed you can get on this service is 80mbps down and 20mbps up.

These speeds are a best case and in reality most people get far lower and non consistent speeds due to the length and quality of the ageing copper cables.  

You can think of this broadband type like Del & Rodney’s van from Only Fools & Horses!


This is a less known hybrid fibre broadband service.

It is similar to FTTC except it can support speeds up to 330mbps down and 30mbps up by pushing the limits of copper cables even more.

This service has now been discontinued by many providers in favour of Full Fibre as G.fast was even worse than FTTC in reliability.  

ADSL is one of the oldest broadband types still in use in the UK.

It is delivered all the way via copper cables from the exchange into your property.

It supports speeds up to 24mbps down and 2mbps up which is the best case if you live very close to the Exchange.

Typically speeds out in suburban areas range from 2-10mbps down.

Virgin Media O2 currently deliver their broadband using three different methods learn more about this on our blog.

Mobile Broadband uses Mobile phone signals to deliver broadband into your property.

Speeds can vary depending on the provider and location and what service you can pick up.

5G is the fastest and can support ultrafast speeds over 1Gbps.

Being a wireless service it is not the most reliable nor consistent and can be effected by congestion.

It can also suffer from high latency which can effect internet performance particularly for services such as online gaming.   

Before considering this option you need to research it carefully and test to ensure you can get a decent service.

You can see our own review here of Three’s 4G and 5G based home broadband 

Fixed wireless access broadband or Wireless Internet Service Providers deliver broadband using powerful wireless masts.

You have a wireless aerial on your house that points towards the transmitter and has to be line of sight to pick up the signal.

Speeds depend on the provider typically are around 40mbps down and 10mbps up but could be higher but usually not ultrafast.

As with any wireless technology speeds can be inconsistent and the service can be unreliable especially in bad weather.

Also being wireless latency can be high which can impact things like online gaming. 

Traditional Satellite broadband as per the name is where the broadband is delivered via satellite and requires you to have a dish on your house with line of sight to the satellite in space.

Speeds are usually around 15-30mbps down and 3-6mbps up.

Many packages have data caps which in this day can be very costly and constricting.

It is very expensive you can be paying aroundd £25 per month for a basic 10GB capped data plan to over £100 for over 75GB data plans you also typically have to pay for the equipment and install.

Latency is the worst out of all the Broadband types listed here therefore the overall experience will be poor and online gaming would be near impossible.

It naturally will suffer reliability issues especially during bad weather like when you loose your Sky TV signal during a rainstorm.


This is one of the newest broadband services and is a Low Orbit satellite broadband service. 

The most well known one is Elon Musk’s Starlink service.

Unlike traditional Sattelite broadband services like Starlink offer faster speeds upto 500Mbps down and 50Mbps up and much lower latency around the same as a FTTC connection.

There are no data caps on the plans.

Although like traditional satellite broadband services its expensive starting form £89 per month and £500 for the equipment. 

This service would suit people who can not get any other decent broadband service.

Broadband Speed:

Below is a comparison of the speeds of different broadband services in the UK: 

Full Fibre (Max Speed)
10Gbps+ both directions
Virgin Media Cable (Max Speed)
1Gbps down 100Mbps up
Starlink (Max Speed)
500Mbps down 50mbps up
Mobile Broadband (Average)
100Mbps down
Fibre to the Cabinet (Max speed)
ADSL (Max Speed)

The benefits of Full Fibre

Full Fibre gives you access to incredible speeds that make a real difference.

All full fibre networks support download speeds of at least 900mbps many are now doing multi gig products up to 10Gbps!

You can even get symmetric speeds with some providers which means the download and upload speed are the same!

With Full Fibre connections if you pay for 500mbps down 50mbps up that’s exactly what you get unlike with other services where speed you get can vary!

Once the fibre infrastructure has been installed it can be easily upgraded in the future to offer faster speeds making it truly future proofed.

Full Fibre is a brand-new network that uses fibre optic cables which do not suffer from the reliability issues of copper cables or flaky wireless signals where anything from a new connection to some wind and rain can take down your connection.

With FTTP you get a consistent reliable service whether your next to the exchange or 10 miles away (providing no one cuts though the fibre cable!).

As well as improved line speeds with FTTP you also get lower latency which is the time it takes for the data to get from you to the server the other end.

Typically FTTC has a latency of ~30+ms whereas FTTP can be as low as  ~2ms typically its around 10ms depending on where you are in the UK.

Jitter is also lower on Full Fibre networks.

This speeds up browsing and gives you the best gaming experience where latency is critical. 

Having a FTTP connection installed into your property (or even available to it) can increase both the value and attractiveness of your property.

This is because when looking for new homes one of the key things people look for is the internet speed which is only becoming more crucial. 

How Much does Full Fibre cost?

The prices of FTTP packages varies depending on the provider and network as do the packages and speeds available. 

Usually, the prices for lower speed packages are the cheapest for example a 100Mbps package can be between £20-£45 per month and a gigabit or 900Mbps package can vary between £30-£250!! 

New customers as always usually get the best deals and if the network is not live in your area by registering your interest and doing a pre order you can snag a great deal. 

For those able to get FTTP on the Openreach network there are some good deals to be had from family run internet provider Aquiss.

Installation costs in a lot of cases are Free especially if you sign up early but can cost £150 typically or higher depending on the provider and your location. 

In terms of which package is right for you this will depend on the cost of the packages and what speed you require. 

If for example you can get a Gigabit 900mbps connection for say £30 or less, then that is a great deal and you should probably go for it! 

Typically, though packages can be like:  

100 Mbps Package
£25 per month
300 Mbps package
£32 per month
500 Mbps Package
£35 per month
1 Gbps Package
£45 per month

How Full Fibre works

Fibre optic cables are made up of glass strands that transmit data as light at very fast speeds and can transmit at different wavelengths to increase capacity over the same cable.

A typical FTTP network in your area will start from a fibre hub which is a building which brings in the incoming internet feed along long fibre cables from the main backbone of the internet usually at multi gigabit speeds.  

The fibre hub may be a new building or cabinet (see our video above) for smaller networks or even use an existing telephone exchange.

From the hub the incoming internet feeds are split and sent over fibre optic cables across your area.

The Fibre cables will be split and eventually making there way down your street and into your home or business this may be using existing telephone Poles/ underground ducts or by digging new ducts underground and or poles. 

There are three main FTTP technology’s  in use in the UK read more bout them here

A CBT or Customer Block Terminal this is where the fibre cable from your home or buisness is connected to.

A smaller fibre optic cable is then brought into your home or business usually by drilling a small hole near your existing telephone socket (in most cases you can arrange for it to come in at a different location)

There is then a box known as an ONT (optical network teminator) that converts the fibre optic light signals into electrical signals for connecting a traditional network cable into your router which will be enough to support up to 1Gbps connection.
Your devices then connect as normal to the router. 

For more details of how FTTP works and is delivered see here .

To see what a typicall FTTP install looks like and what to expect see the below video we made:

An example of an ONT which is the box you have when you get a full fibre connection which converts the light signal form the fibre cable into an electrical one that can connect to your router

Full Fibre considerations

The price of an FTTP package and installation can vary if your lucky it can cost you less than what your currently paying for your internet.

For new network deployments in a lot of cases you can snag free install and other sweeteners to pre order.

Some providers will charge more, and it could work out more expensive than what you have now though you usually would be getting a faster package. 

A lot of people don’t plug a landline phone in these days so this one would not apply.

If you do however wish to keep your landline telephone complete with number you will have to pay extra and it will be transferred to a Fibre based voice over IP service which is not a huge deal and eventually we will all be on it.

One thing to consider is any equipment you have that relies on a traditional landline such as Alarm systems, care services (call bell) etc.

In some cases you may need to keep and pay for a traditional copper landline as well as the new FTTP. You can discuss this with your internet provider who will be able to give the full range of options.

Unless your already lucky enough to live in an area that already has FTTP deployed and live you will have to wait maybe a few years for a network to reach you.

If you place a pre order with an FTTP provider before the network is live take any go live/install dates with a pinch of salt my current FTTP journey unfortunately I have learned this and been waiting over 3 years now!

This may be a bigger issue for some people but its worth keeping in mind that with FTTP installs currently you will have both a Optical Network Termination box/Modem which terminates the incoming Fibre optic cable and converts it to electrical signals which then connects to your Router and if needed telephone.

You will need to find space and power for this where the fibre comes into the house as well as the router.

The placement of your router if using this for WiFi will effect the speeds of WiFi devices around the house.

You can extend the distance between the ONT modem and your router using a longer network cable which up to 100M will not degrade performance. 

You can see a video we made showing a typical FTTP install 

With a pure FTTP connection if you also have your house phone running though this service and you have a power cut you may loose both your internet connection and telephone.

Some ONT Modems come with a battery backup option if this is critical for you ensure you discuss this with your provider before signing up.

You can of course at your own expense buy a suitable UPS to run critical equipment during short power cuts. 

Bear in mind that although your internet provider should have UPS themselves to protect their equipment this will only last for so long and during longer power cuts even if you keep your router going you may still loose internet as was seen in the storms in Feb 2022.