On 28th March 2023 the day I had been waiting over 3 years for arrived my FTTP install at home!
I’ve gone from a FTTC copper line that ran at 30mbps down, 6mbps up and a 5G connection that was not really 5G to a 5Gbps FTTP line that I’m trailing for Full Fibre Fibre Heroes.
The Future is here
Full Fibre Fibre Heroes has been building a brand new XGS-PON FTTP network over the past 3 Years in a number of towns across the UK aiming to cover 500,000 premises by 2025.
If you want to see what the inside of one of their cabinets is like checkout our new video!
They do not sell directly but act as a wholesaler selling though a number of Partner ISP’s at present the top residential speed is 1Gbps.
As Fibre Heroes network is built using XGS-PON it is technically capable of up to 10Gbps symmetric per trunk line which is split to 32 homes.
This means it can support multi gig speeds.
As I have a 10Gbps home network and a 10Gbps capable router Full Fibre Fibre Heroes asked if I wanted to take part in a trial for a 5Gbps symmetric residential service and of course I said yes.
As this is a trial with the internet being provided by Fibre Heroes themselves it took a little longer to get installed from when my property went Ready For Service.
The provisioning team working with CTO Ross Duke and others had to precure a new ONT that is 10Gbps capable to support the service.
The install went smoothly and they installed it into my garage which is where my router is and shortly after the install engineer left the service got provisioned and I went from a flaky 5G broadband to a solid 5Gbps FTTP service to say its like night and day would be an understatement it really feels like the future has arrived.
Once the service went live and I got it configured on my PFSense running on a Sophos XG430 rev2 appliance I did a speed test on my PC which has a 10GbE NIC.
The results right out the gate were amazing:
The speeds as you can see above are in excess of 4Gbps down and over 3Gbps up and I have hit 5Gbps in later speed tests.
This is where it gets interesting you see when you have an internet connection with such high speeds you start to run into new bottle necks where as before it was my internet speed that was the bottle neck now its the other ends internet connection!
On speedtest.net for example you have to go though a number of servers before you hit one that is capable of supporting 5Gbps some top out at 1gbps either upload, download or both.
YouFibre test server seems to give the best results so far and i have with this manged to hit near 5Gbps up and down.
Netflix’s fast.com is a bit hit and miss with download speeds sometimes hitting 5Gbps but other times falling well short and its upload test never seems to get above 1.2Gbps.
nPerf gives some good results again near the 5Gbps mark but it is a case of picking the right server.
I will be testing some more services over the coming weeks and will update this post with results let me know in the comments if there is anything you want me to test.
Of course the bottlenecks are not just caused by the service your connecting to there are also bottlenecks inside your home.
In my case the biggest bottleneck is WiFi which does not even get close to 1Gbps let alone 5Gbps tests using my Unifi U6 Lite WiFi 6 Access point top out at ~600mbps using both my laptop and iPhone XR.
Even on a wired connection my Laptop does not quite have the processing power to max out 1Gbps internet speed tests as for speeds approaching and exceeding 1Gbps you need a decent processor as well as fast storage and of course a network card to support the speeds.
That said bottlenecks aside having FTTP broadband has improved ever aspect of my internet experience everything is more responsive and of course with the speeds there are no real limits to what I can do like there was before.
In my spare time I do some media work which involves dealing with large 4K video files that can be 100’s GB in size these are stored locally on my server along with my other files. Each night this is backed up to family members house and up until now it’s been impossible to backup all of my large media files. With the 5Gbps connection I have a much faster connection to my family members house which means no issues backing up large files overnight.
I can also now allow friends and family stream my videos from my house to theirs with no buffering.
I also live stream nature from my garden including a Great Tit nestbox which last year I struggled with my 6Mbps upload this year I will be able to stream the cameras in 4K!
I also WFH which means a fast and reliable connection is key as it is with many other people having the 5Gbps service again has made a big difference here I can have my camera on in meetings without worrying about it cutting out.
the Latency has been really good as well on the connection ~10ms which makes a huge difference to your overall internet experience.
On my 5G connection the latency in the evenings would exceed 500ms which despite the speed still being ~100mbps made it unusable.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Full Fibre Fibre Heroes for both getting me installed and for including me in this amazing trial.
Update 10/4/2023 real world testing
I have now done a video showing some real world testing of the 5Gbps internet connection: