The Future is Fibre
Full fibre describes an internet connection that is entirely served by a fibre optic cable, from the exchange all the way to your house. This is known as Fibre To The Premises (FTTP).
Full fibre will future-proof our internet and allow homes to experience internet speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps).
Most of the UK’s internet is powered by good old-fashioned copper wiring. It has been there for almost 100 years and while it has served us well enough, it is now becoming hopelessly out of date with the requirements of the modern age.
We are a nation that expects to watch Netflix in HD, be able to download a 4K movie in seconds or start playing an online video game without it crashing. This expectation is only going to grow and copper cables just won’t cut it anymore.
Boris Johnson pledged to bring ‘gigabit-capable’ broadband to every home by the end of 2025. As part of that plan, the government has also committed £5bn to help those in the hardest to reach 20% of UK premises (mostly rural) gain access to 1Gbps, although it will take a couple of years to establish the framework and legislation before work can begin.
At the start of January 2020, some 11% of UK homes and businesses had access to a “full fibre” network, which is up from 5.47% a year ago and represents coverage of around 3 million premises (it is now over 14%).
The majority of that (2 million +) has been delivered by Openreach (BT) as part of their aim to cover 4 million premises by March 2021, then 15 million by around 2025.
HUAWEI – HOW WILL THE BAN AFFECT THE ROLL-OUT?
The UK Government’s recent decision to ban UK mobile providers from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31st December and remove all 5G kit from their networks by 2027 may have implications for our broadband.
As part of its recommendations, the National Cyber Security Centre has said that Openreach and other broadband infrastructure providers should “transition away” from purchasing new Huawei equipment for use in full-fibre networks, ideally within the next two years.
Openreach believes it would struggle to meet the prime minister’s 2025 target of “gigabit broadband for all” if it has to replace existing Huawei broadband gear.