- Nearly half of Britons are confused by broadband speed terminology
- This is not facilitated by some providers using incorrect names for broadband deals.
If you don’t understand the difference between broadband, fiber optic, and fiber optic internet, you’re not alone.
Research shows that many Britons don’t know what these terms really mean, although many of us like to pretend we do.
Regulator Ofcom found that while 73% of internet customers say they are comfortable understanding internet jargon, almost half (46%) mistakenly believe they have high-speed fiber broadband when they actually don’t.
Confusing and often misleading advertising from ISPs has not helped Britons understand the different types of broadband.
Get Connected: Today’s broadband operates at different speeds depending on the technology it’s based on.
Internet customers will soon be able to get clearer information about this in line with Ofcom’s plans.
But for now, we will explain the difference between all types of broadband and how to determine which type you currently have.
What is the difference between standard, fiber and fiber broadband?
In a word: speed and material. Standard broadband relies on copper wires to carry the signal to your property.
This form of Internet connection is called Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line or ADSL for short.
A layer above this level is Fiber Broadband which, as the name suggests, uses fiber optic cables to carry broadband faster to the nearest outdoor cabinet and then copper cables to your home.
Street cabinets are green boxes that you can see in your area that are used to distribute internet to homes.
The fastest form of fiber optic broadband is known as cable. This uses fiber optic cables to connect broadband to outdoor cabinets and then Virgin Media cables to connect to the property.
One level above fiber optic broadband is full fiber, which uses fiber optic cables all the way to your property. This broadband is the fastest and most expensive.
At present, broadband broadband access is mainly chosen by families in which several people watch movies, play games or work from home at the same time.
Fiber optic broadband is sometimes referred to as “fiber to the cabinet” and full fiber is referred to as “fiber to the premise”.
Find the fastest and cheapest broadband and see if you can save
Broadband, TV and phone contracts are notoriously sticky, with customers often letting deals run for years while providers raise prices.
But you can get faster broadband, a better TV package, and better phone service while saving money every month.
It’s always worth comparing prices to see if you can save, especially with the cost of living crisis.
This is Money has partnered with Broadband Choices to offer readers the ability to easily find the best and cheapest deals for their broadband, mobile and TV services.
Can you save? Compare broadband internet, TV and phone deals
According to comparison company Uswitch, almost all homes (99.9%) have access to a standard ADSL broadband network, and 96% have access to a fiber optic broadband network. Many of the remaining 4 percent of homes are in rural areas.
Exactly one third (33%) of properties have access to fiber optic broadband. Less availability of full fiber is because this form of the Internet depends on being able to run fiber to your door, which is not yet possible everywhere.
By using free online tool from Openreach.
It is also worth mentioning two other ways to get broadband access: mobile and satellite.
These two forms of broadband are rarely confused with anything else due to their specialized nature.
Mobile broadband access depends on the user having a USB dongle that provides web access to the device you connect it to, or a dedicated mobile broadband router.
At the same time, satellite broadband, which is extremely rare, requires the installation of a satellite dish in the home.
What’s the confusion with fiber and total fiber?
The main problem is that the terms “fiber” and “full fiber” are loosely used by broadband providers.
Ofcom notes that “the term ‘fiber’ is used inconsistently across the industry.”
This means that some providers mistakenly use the term “fiber” in their marketing materials when they really mean “fiber”, since no fiber optic cable is connected directly to a potential customer’s home.
Ofcom Communications Director Selina Chadha said: “It is critical that customers are provided with the right information to help them choose the best broadband service for them.
“But some of the industry jargon used to describe the underlying technology that powers their broadband service can be vague and inconsistent, meaning customers are left confused.”
How do I know what broadband I have?
The best way is to talk to your broadband provider and check the literature they sent you.
This type of connection is used for ADSL and fiber optic broadband.
But there are ways to find out what type of internet you have.
Standard broadband and fiber broadband use routers that plug into the main telephone jack on the wall, while full fiber broadband routers plug into a special box inside your property called an optical network terminal.
Internet speed is also a sign of how much broadband you have.
Optical network terminals are used for fiber optic broadband.
ADSL broadband access is typically between 6 and 25 megabits per second (Mbps).
Fiber optic broadband speeds range from 30 to 80 Mbps.
For cable broadband, these speeds range from 30 to 500 Mbps.
All-optical broadband can reach speeds of 1000 Mbps.
You can check your broadband speed with free online tools.
How do broadband speeds work?
To further confuse the situation, many broadband deals are advertised not only on the basis of…
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