Education: What is ultrafast broadband?
The OptaNet Education Series covers the most commonly asked questions. In this post we provide all the information you need to know about ultrafast broadband. For more information please contact 0203 475 3610
What is ultrafast broadband?
Ultrafast broadband is the term given to a broadband product that has download speeds in excess of 100Mbps.
The internet industry has created terms to help consumers understand potential bandwidth quickly. If you see ‘ultrafast broadband’ you will know that download speeds between 100Mbps and 500Mbps are available, and as this is a broadband product, it’s available ‘off the shelf’ thanks to infrastructure improvements in your area.
What other types are there?
At the moment, we have seen five levels of broadband available to the general public ranging in broadband speeds.
- Standard broadband is the lowest level and encompasses all services that deliver speeds of approximately 24Mbps and lower.
- Superfast broadband has been rolled out to most of the UK and delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. Once cabinets have been upgraded to fibre, most users make the switch from Standard Broadband to this service.
- Ultrafast Broadband is delivered using either Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) or G.fast (more on that later) and is starting to be rolled out across the UK. This low cost broadband service will be essential for businesses as it can provide download speeds up to 330Mbps, without too large an increase in monthly cost from Standard Broadband.
- Hyperfast Broadband and Gigabit Broadband are download speeds in excess of 500Mbps with Gigabit being over 1Gbps. There are very few companies who are providing these services and rollout is very limited.
What about upload speeds?
As businesses look to benefit from cloud services, upload speeds can be just as important.
Broadband products have a number of similarities and one of those is that they are all asymmetrical. This means that upload speeds are not the same as download, under the assumption that users download more than they upload. Depending on the ultrfast broadband product you choose, upload speeds are either up to 30Mbps or 50Mbps. Which is a huge increase over up to 10Mbps and 20Mbps you get with superfast broadband.
What products deliver ultrafast?
Ultrafast is delivered using one of two technologies and they’re being rolled out from 2017 and to 12 million properties by 2020.
Openreach, the UKs network infrastructure provider, has committed to this figure and so ultrafast may well be available to you now. Once the infrastructure is in place, you can choose an ISP to provide you with an ultrafast internet service. You will be able to choose either Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or G.fast. FTTP is exactly that, a fibre connection that is installed directly into your building. This is more expensive for Openreach to deliver, so 2 million premises are expected to have this by 2020, and multi-tenanted buildings will no doubt benefit first. The other is G.fast, where your existing telephone line is used but where data passes over a different frequency. Cheaper and quicker to install, this is where the next internet product boom will be over the next few years.
How much does it cost?
Unlike leased lines, where the cost depends on a number of factors, ultrafast broadband costs are set by an ISP so they’re the same for everyone.
Much like superfast broadband products now, ISPs have a set monthly price for their ultrafast broadband products and will only depend on the download speed you choose. Our ultrafast broadband products start at just £50/month. You’ll also need to consider any installation, activation and equipment costs into the order. Due to this being faster than superfast, you’ll need a router that delivers a higher throughput. Our products come as wires only, but we can also provide WiFi routers if required. Due to G.fast using existing infrastructure, it comes with free installation.
What are the benefits of ultrafast?
Although broadband products don’t come with enhanced service levels or support, some ultrafast products do.
Our G.fast products come with Premium Level Care on the phone line, meaning fixes will happen by the end of next working day (Monday – Saturday 08.00 -18.00). They will continue to follow the same as superfast, where most provide support during business hours and no uptime SLAs on the circuit itself. Regardless of whether you go for FTTP or G.fast, we will monitor your service live, from our Brighton HQ, so we are aware of any issues and will call you immediately to discuss.
What is the installation process?
Unlike other broadband services, ultrafast can be installed and ready to go in as little as 48 hours.
Fibre to the Premises is available to you if your building has been connected with fibre. So the installation process has already taken place and we can usually get you on FTTP within 48 hours. If works are required then this could extended to 4-6 weeks. For G.fast, if this is already available to you, then it’s just the case of sending out a new router (or you buying and configuring your own) and bringing this live. Install can take less than a week in this case.