The short answer is yes, BT Full Fibre is much better than conventional fibre. If you compare the lowest tier fibre package, BT Fibre Essential, with the top package, Full Fibre 900, at 900 Mbps it’s approximately 25 times faster than the average speed of the 36 Mbps offered by BT Fibre Essential. There’s a good reason for this. Full Fibre uses a fibre connection all the way from BT’s servers to your premises where it connects through a 15cm x 13cm external junction box outside your house and feeds into the open reach modem or ONT box. That, in effect, makes the line capable of higher speeds and allows faster package tiers (bear in mind that the line and package limit are separate things – so your package will determine the upper limit you download and upload, while the line may in fact be capable of higher speeds). The older fibre connections use fibre for most of the route and then it transitions to a slower copper connection between the roadside exchange box and your premises. That in effect slows down your connection. That’s the simple explanation, but there’s a lot more to it than that – see below.
The primary difference is in the extent of the fibre optic cabling and the resulting speed and reliability of the internet connection. Full fibre offers the best performance by providing a complete fibre optic connection directly to the premises, whereas standard fibre still relies on some older infrastructure.
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BT’s Full Fibre is faster than their standard fibre offering for several reasons:
BT’s Full Fibre uses fibre optic cables all the way to your home. Fibre optics use light to transmit data, which can carry more information at far higher speeds than the electrical signals used in copper wires.
Standard fibre, or Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), uses fibre optic cables only to the street cabinet, with the remainder of the distance to your home covered by traditional copper wires that are significantly slower.
Fibre optic cables have a much higher bandwidth capacity than copper cables. This means that Full Fibre can support a much higher volume of data at any given time, leading to faster speeds.
It sounds like a big word but it’s actually quite important. Signal loss over distance (attenuation) occurs much less in fibre cables compared to copper. Moreover, in Full Fibre connections, the signal can travel long distances without degrading, ensuring high speeds are maintained up to the point of entry into your premises.
With FTTC, the copper section of the journey can cause significant signal degradation, reducing speed, especially as the distance from the cabinet increases.
Fibre optic cables are immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can affect the signal in copper cables. This lack of interference in Full Fibre contributes to a more stable and faster connection. Copper cables can suffer from ‘crosstalk’ where signals in adjacent cables interfere with each other. This is not an issue with fibre optics.
Full Fibre can be thought of as future-proofing your connection, allowing for even faster speeds with technological advancements without needing to replace the infrastructure. It’s much easier for ISPs like BT to upgrade the network at the exchange or push higher speeds through the existing fibre than it is to replace copper wiring.
Because of these factors, BT’s Full Fibre is capable of providing gigabit speeds, which are much faster than the maximum speeds available on their standard fibre offerings.
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