Fibre broadband explained – how fast is ultrafast?

If your broadband is groaning under the demands of customers who want to stream video, upload chunky business documents and check their social media, it may be time to think about upgrading to fibre broadband for faster speeds.

What is the difference between fibre and standard broadband? Fibre optic is a high-speed service providing a big performance upgrade on standard ADSL connections.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) uses old copper telephone wires. It’s cheap and has huge coverage in the UK but because it was never designed for data it can be grindingly slow and the further you are from a telephone exchange, the slower it gets.

Fibre broadband is much faster with less degradation. The good news is that it is now available for venues across the country at affordable rates.

It is remarkable that not so long ago a download speed of 2Mb was seen as impressive – yet now 1000Mb or more (known as gigabit broadband) is available to businesses wanting to offer their customers a first-class service.

Attracting and retaining customers means offering them fast, reliable broadband so that no matter how many people you have using it, everyone can work and play without their downloads taking an age and their video clips endlessly buffering.

Fibre optic broadband also means your business systems can run flawlessly, whatever your staff need to do.

How are broadband speeds measured?

The jargon for measuring broadband speed is bits per second (bps) – how fast data is transferred in and out of your premises. This is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps/Kb), megabits per second (Mbps/Mb) and gigabits per second (Gbps/Gb).

Gb is quicker than Mb, and Mb is quicker than Kb, so the bigger the number, the speedier the connection.

There are three levels of broadband speed:

  • Standard = ADSL with a download speed up to 10 Mbps.

  • Superfast = FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) and HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial): This is broadband with a speed above 24Mbps. With FTTC, fibre cables only go up to your nearest street telephone cabinet and the same copper wires used by ADSL take the service into your venue. HFC uses fibre optics to a street cabinet then coaxial cable instead of copper to take the connection into individual premises.

  • Ultrafast = FTTP (Fibre To The Premises: usually referring to a speed of 300Mbs to 1Gbps, although it may also be used for broadband packages with speeds faster than 80Mb. FTTP is also known as ‘full-fibre’ broadband and brings a fibre link right into your venue rather than relying on copper wiring. Speeds are hugely improved. Currently most gigabit broadband needs a FTTP full-fibre connection.

For industries such as the hospitality sector, FTTP is recommended. The faster your broadband speeds, the more streamlined service you can provide to your customers, be they business clients running their company from your garden or parents enjoying a leisurely meal while the children stream a movie. And the faster you can run your business operations, from trouble-free EPOS system uploads to online meetings … even when you have a venue full of people all on the internet at the same time.

Whilst ADSL and FTTC are readily available, FTTP is not always offered by standard broadband providers, which is where the experts from Marston’s Telecoms come in. Where available, we can connect you with gigabit broadband, giving your venue a speed of 1Gb+ and the vital competitive edge that comes with it.

Make sure your broadband pulls in more customers rather than putting them off.

Contact the Marston’s Telecoms team today by calling 01902 283 300 or emailing and benefit from the knowledge and experience of a team of hospitality tech specialists currently managing over 1,000 pubs, hotels and restaurants throughout the UK.