What is fibre broadband?

Crackly and squeaky dial-up is all a thing of the past and you can now get online pretty instantly with lightning fast speeds. Fibre broadband delivers faster speeds than its slower ADSL cousin as it uses more sophisticated glass or plastic wires. In some cases the entire connection is through fibre-optic cabling which promises ultra-fast speeds.

What is the difference between broadband and fibre?

Speed and cabling, in a nutshell. Fibre is a type of broadband which uses newer technology to connect your home to the internet which means it is able to offer faster speeds while standard ADSL connections are still made entirely through copper wires which were not designed for speed.

Fibre broadband download speeds.

Broadband speeds can still vary hugely these days, from standard ADSL with average speeds around 11Mb to superfast fibre or even next-generation ultra-fast with max speeds of 350Mb. Essentially there are four main categories, with the difference being the type of connection used and the speeds each are capable of:

  • Standard speed - with max speeds of 17Mb.
  • Fast fibre-optic - top speeds of 38Mb or 52Mb.
  • Superfast fibre-optic - max speeds of 76Mb.
  • Ultra-fast fibre-optic - usually with top speeds of 350Mb and above.

Do I need fibre broadband?

While a lightning-quick package may sound tempting, it'll come at a premium, so make sure you really need the extra speed. Fast fibre is best if you're a heavy user - so if you do lots of streaming, online gaming or downloading, or have multiple users in your home - you may find it's well worth it, as doing lots at the same time slows you down. If you just use the web for basic tasks such as emails and the odd bit of browsing then standard with average speeds of around 11Mb should be fine.