The following examples should give you an idea of the costs and benefits of upgrading to the government-subsidised “full fibre” FTTP products.
You can get a good idea of your current connection speed (your current bandwidth) at the independent website thinkbroadband.com‘s speed test.
Please contact me if you can improve the following examples. Thanks.
Bradford Abbas has had an optic fibre connection to the Yeovil exchange for several years now.
The new government subsidised programme would enable us to upgrade from FTTC to FTTP … read on … giving substantially better connection speeds at a modest extra cost.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
The cabinet is connected to the exchange with optic fibre; your premises are connected to the cabinet with copper wire, so connection speeds vary: they are much slower the further the copper wire has to travel to your premises.
There is one cabinet in Bradford Abbas, at the junction of Queens Road and Bishops Lane.
FTTC products’ bandwidths in this section are merely a theoretical maximum. You’d have to check your phone line with a supplier to determine a connection speed that they could actually provide. Anecdotally, FTTC download speeds in Bradford Abbas are around the 20Mbps mark; uploads 4Mbps.
- Co-op: Fibre Superfast; 38Mbps; unlimited downloads; 2year contract; includes line rental; £28p.m.
- Co-op: Fibre Superfast Plus; 67Mbps; unlimited downloads; 2year contract; includes line rental; £33p.m.
- Sky: Superfast; 59Mbps; 16Mbps upload; £19.95 one off cost; 18 month contract; £25p.m.
- Sky: Superfast Boost; 59Mbps; 16Mbps upload; £19.95 one off cost; 18 month contract; £30p.m.
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
Essentially you have a fibre connection direct to the exchange. One outstanding advantage of FTTP is that connection speeds are not dependent on the distance the optic fibre has to travel. (i.e. all customers buying the same package will get the same bandwidth, and the actual bandwidth should be pretty much the same as the theoretical bandwidth.)
- BT: 145Mbps; 30Mbps upload; £9.99 one off cost; 2year contract; £39.99p.m. initially then £47.99p.m.
- BT: 500Mbps; 73Mbps upload; £9.99 one off cost; 2year contract; £49.99p.m. initially then £57.99p.m.
- BT: 900Mbps; 110Mbps upload; £9.99 one off cost; 2year contract; £59.99p.m. initially then £67.99p.m.
OpenReach is the wholesale arm of BT and has a separate corporate identity from BT Retail.
At present Openreach's full fibre network covers 2.1 million UK premises and aims to reach 4 million by March 2021. After that, they have an ambition to cover 15 million premises by around 2025. Until recently, the fastest consumer tier (not business) on Openreach's national network was 330Mbps (50Mbps upload). On the the 23/3/2020 they refreshed the portfolio offer, adding two new top tiers i.e. 500Mbps (75Mbps upload) and 1000Mbps (115Mbps).
Essentially ADSL is “copper to the exchange”
- BT: 10Mbps Average speed; unlimited downloads; £19.99 one off cost; 2year contract; £26.99p.m.
- Co-op: 11Mbps; unlimited downloads; 2year contract; includes line rental; £22p.m.
- Sky: 11Mbps; unlimited downloads; £9.95 one off cost; 18 month contract; £25p.m.
- EE: 10Mbps; unlimited downloads; £10 one off cost; 18 month contract; £21.50p.m.
- John Lewis: 10Mbps; unlimited downloads; no initial cost; 1year contract; includes evening and weekend calls; £20p.m.
It is a little difficult to make direct comparison between providers as there are slight differences in detail, presentation and offers. A number of providers sell Broadband as part of a 'bundle' and added incentives e.g. with line rental, some calls, tv etc.
Clearly these are just lists typical examples of Broadband costs - as at the end of September 2020. The lists are not exhaustive, there are other suppliers, and should be verified with the individual providers.
What can you do with your bandwidth?
… per individual user. If you share your premises with others who will also be online, then divide the speeds by the number of users before considering the typical uses below.
|Broadband Download Speed||Typical Use|
|0.5 Mbps (Mega bits per second)||If speeds are constitent should be sufficient for audio streaming, email and very basic web browsing.|
|1 Meg (Mbps)||Basic video streaming should work and standard web pages.|
|2 Meg (Mbps)||Standard definition (SD) video from BBC iPlayer should be possible.|
|5 Meg (Mbps)||Should allow High Definition (HD - 1080p) video streaming to run smoothly.|
|8 Meg (Mbps)||Should be able to support video streaming and other activities at the same time without buffering.|
|15 Meg (Mbps)||Connection will support a few video streams and other activity at the same time.|
|25 Meg (Mbps)||Should be able to to stream pre-recorded Ultra HD video (UHD - 4k) smoothly.|
|40 Meg (Mbps)||Should be able to to stream live Ultra HD video (UHD - 4k) smoothly.|
|Broadband Upload Speed||Typical Use|
|0.1 Mbps (Mega bits per second)||Enough to send simple text emails.|
|0.4 Meg (Mbps)||Online gaming should be possible, remember gaming is very latency sensitive.|
|0.8 Meg (Mbps)||Webcam video streams over Skype etc should be reasonable quality|
|2 Meg (Mbps)||HD Webcam streaming may be possible.|
|10 Meg (Mbps)||Uploading 200MB of holiday video to the cloud will take around 4 to 5 minutes|