October 1, 2020
The Different Types of Business Broadband

The Different Types of Business Broadband & Connectivity

Read time:
5 Minutes

Choosing the right broadband package for your business can be a tricky task. There are so many different types of broadband packages available, and lots of jargon used to describe these packages.

We’re here to help you cut through the noise and understand more about which business broadband solution will fit with your requirements, and help you make an informed choice about what’s on offer.

There are four different types of business broadband:

  • Leased Lines
  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
  • Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
  • Copper Broadband (ADSL)

These different broadband variations all offer your business something slightly different—and it is important to choose the right one.

Leased Lines

A leased line is by far the fastest, most reliable form of broadband connectivity available to businesses. Using a totally dedicated fibre broadband connection, your business receives reliable and hyper fast internet connectivity.

Leased lines are a full fibre connection. This means that you have a dedicated fibre broadband line that runs from your premises, right to the nearest available fibre broadband connection.

Business leased line diagram
Leased Line Diagram

Unlike other forms of business broadband (such as FTTP & FTTC as below), leased lines are not shared between multiple premises. This means that your businesses broadband speeds will not be impeded by ‘peak time’ usage.

Is a leased line right for my business?

Chances are, your business doesn’t need a leased line. They are often overkill for SMEs. However, if your business matches any of the following criteria, then a leased line might be the right option for you:

  • Heavy broadband usage
  • Huge reliance on broadband connectivity
  • Doing lots of data-heavy tasks (uploading/downloading etc)
  • No fibre availability to your business

Benefits of a leased line

You don’t become the leading form of business broadband connectivity without many benefits. Leased lines are one of the highest spec internet solutions on the market, and these benefits include:

  • No geographic restrictions for installation (they’re available anywhere in the UK)
  • Hyperfast speeds up to 10Gbps
  • Synchronous speeds mean that your upload will be the same as your download speeds
  • Having a dedicated leased line means that you won’t suffer during peak times
  • You’ll have full control of your speeds to suit your business

For more information about leased lines, view our business leased lines page.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

Another option that your business may want to invest in is fibre to the premises. Fibre to the premises (often called ‘full fibre’ or FTTC) is exactly what it says on the tin: a fibre connection connecting your business directly to the nearest street cabinet.

Unlike a leased line, fibre to the premises is a shared connection, which means that other premises in your area are sharing the same circuit. This sounds like a negative, but in reality, almost every broadband connection is shared, and this will have little to no impact on your speeds.

Fibre to the premises diagram
FTTP Diagram

As the UK moves closer to digital transformation, the Government are pushing the rollout of FTTP across the nation, which means that many new premises may already have availability for fibre to the premises.

Is fibre to the premises right for my business?

Fibre to the premises is often a great solution for small businesses and SMEs. It is relatively low-cost, but provides great and reliable speeds. However, the main barrier to entry is the availability of FTTC. There is a fairly small percentage of premises that have access to an FTTP connection, and these are often in inner cities or on purpose built industrial estates.

Benefits of fibre to the premises

As you might expect, having a fibre optic broadband line directly to your premises offers a great range of benefits to your business, including:

  • Super fast broadband speeds up to 300Mbps+
  • More reliable than traditional fibre (FTTC)
  • No speed drop-off over distance (if you are far from the cabinet you will still receive high speed)

Fibre to the premises is a great option for many businesses. If you’re unsure about the FTTP availability in your area, give one of our team a call and we can run some coverage checks for you and see what options are available to your business.

For more information about fibre to the premises, visit our fibre broadband page.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

Fibre to the cabinet, also known as FTTC or ‘fibre broadband’ is the most common form of internet connectivity. Fibre to the cabinet is what most people call ‘fibre broadband’. Chances are you already have availability for FTTC, with 95% of the UK covered when it comes to fibre broadband.

Fibre to the cabinet diagram
FTTC Diagram

Fibre to the cabinet uses two different technologies to provide your business with internet connectivity. From your local telephone exchange to your local green street cabinet is a fibre optic connection; from the cabinet to your premises is a copper cable. This copper cable is shared between your business and others nearby.

The main issue with fibre to the cabinet is that speeds and reliability can drop off depending on your distance from the local green street cabinet. This isn’t an issue for most businesses, however for those in remote or rural location, it can mean that the speeds are reduced—which can hamper your business.

Is fibre to the cabinet right for my business?

Fibre to the cabinet is most likely the best broadband connectivity solution for your business. It’s wide availability and low cost make it the perfect option for most SME’s and small businesses. The chances are you already have some form of FTTC connection, but there may be better, faster or more cost effective options on the market, so it can’t hurt to shop around.

Benefits of fibre to the cabinet

As the UK’s leading form of fibre connectivity, FTTC is a great option for many businesses. With some great benefits to be had, switching to fibre should be top priority for those businesses not already using it:

  • Fast speeds from 30Mbps to in excess of 100Mbps depending on location
  • 95-98% UK availability for fibre to the cabinet
  • Low monthly cost
  • Lots of different options, speeds and packages on the market

With such a vide variety of options available to your business, the only tricky part is deciding which provider to go with. As an independent provider, we can shop around for you to get your business the best deal possible.

For more information about upgrading your business to fibre to the cabinet, visit our fibre broadband page.

Copper Broadband (ADSL)

Copper broadband, also known as ADSL is the slowest form of business broadband. It uses copper cable connections from the exchange to the street cabinet, and from the street cabinet to your businesses premises.

ADSL diagram
ADSL Diagram

For some businesses in rural locations, ADSL is the only form of broadband available. This can be an issue as ADSL does not provide very high broadband speeds. Businesses that rely on broadband heavily, or that are big data users may opt for a leased line over a traditional ADSL connection.

Is ADSL right for my business?

We would never normally recommend ADSL to any business. The slow speeds and looming ISDN switch off means that ADSL is never normally a good option for your business. However, in some cases it is all that is available. Another option for those struggling with ADSL and without the budget for a leased line may be a 4G router. These solutions use the UK’s 4G network to provide your business with internet, as a posed to a physical fixed ADSL line.

Benefits of ADSL

As we discussed, ADSL is pretty slow and outdated. It is very rare that any business choses an ADSL connection over a fibre connection (if there is a fibre connection available) however, there are a couple of benefits to ADSL:

  • They are a good redundancy measure for other types of broadband
  • ADSL is very low cost
  • Every on-grid property has access to ADSL, which makes it the widest available broadband connection type in the UK.

If you’re looking to upgrade from ADSL, or you’re struggling with ADSL speeds, get in touch with one of our team and we can discuss possible options for your business.

So there you have it. That’s a list of the main types of business broadband connectivity. From leased lines to ADSL. For more information about any of the broadband solutions in this article, or to discuss which broadband option is best for your business, get in touch with our team today.

If you have any questions, or would like some more information about how Bytes Digital can help your business, email hello@bytesdigital.co.uk give us a call on 03331 301 021.

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