The Digital Derbyshire programme currently utilises two main methods to bring fibre to an area - fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) or fibre to the premise (FTTP).
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)
What is FTTC?
The fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology sees the fibre connection go from the telephone exchange to the green roadside cabinet on your street.
The connection then goes from the green roadside cabinet to your premise along the existing copper or aluminium lines. The length and quality of these lines has a direct impact on the speeds that you might be able to achieve.
This method is how broadband speeds have been made available to the majority of properties in Derbyshire.
How fast is FTTC?
The FTTC technology is a mixture of fibre and copper or aluminium. You may be able to achieve a download speed of up to 80Mbps, but this is dependent on the proximity to the fibre enabled green roadside cabinet.
Our advice would be to use BT's cabinet checker to see the potential speed you may get if you upgrade your current broadband service to receive fibre broadband.
Who can I buy FTTC from?
Ordering fibre broadband is easy, but it doesn't happen automatically.
There are over 500 broadband companies that provide services over the fibre network.
Fibre to the premise (FTTP)
What is FTTP broadband?
FTTP technology is where a fibre cable runs directly from the telephone exchange into your home or business.
How fast is FTTP?
Because the connection is 100% fibre you can currently get download speeds of up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps.
Who can I buy FTTP from?
There are some differences in the process when ordering FTTP. Not all internet service providers (ISPs) will offer the service, so you might not be informed by yours that it is available. If your ISP does not offer the service, you may need to consider changing your ISP if you wish to access the increased speeds.
Those providing a FTTP service in Derbyshire include:
Does FTTP cost more than FTTC?
Although the high-end speeds offered by FTTP may be more expensive, you can order fibre packages at a similar price paid by FTTC customers. You'll be paying for the speed you order, regardless of technology.
Why are some areas in Derbyshire getting FTTP?
FTTP is being provided in areas of the county where the more commonly used FTTC does not provide the best outcome because of geographical or technical restrictions.
The technology will cover a very small part of the Digital Derbyshire programme.
Where is FTTP currently available in Derbyshire?
Digital Derbyshire has rolled out FTTP to some properties in the following areas as part of either the first or second phase:
- Weston Underwood
- Dalbury Lees
- Weston on Trent
- North Wingfield
- Lower Hartshay
- Belvedere Ave, Chesterfield
You may see wires hanging from a telephone pole in your area. This doesn't necessarily mean that work is incomplete as these wires will be used when the first person in your area takes a service.
You can check what speeds are available at your property using the BT broadband availability checker. If you see speeds of 'up to 330Mbps' then the service is available at your home, and you should contact your chosen supplier.
How will my FTTP connection be installed?
Unlike a FTTC connection, FTTP installation requires a broadband engineer to bring the fibre cables all the way to your home or business.
Step one - place an order
Not every ISP offers FTTP at the moment. So it's important that you investigate which suppliers can provide the service. When placing an order with your chosen ISP, they will provide you with a date when an engineer will come out to carry out tests or even a survey, should one be necessary.
Step two - survey
In the early stages of an order, a site survey may be required to assess what work needs to be undertaken to install the fibre connection. No work will be carried out without your permission and you agreeing to any costs that may be associated with this, for which you are liable. In some cases, additional works may be required to bring the fibre cable into your premises. You may need to attend on the appointment date. This should be confirmed by your ISP.
Step three - engineer appointment
Fibre optic cable is run via underground ducts or telephone poles to your property and connected to a small box on the wall. The engineer connects the fibre optic cable to a small box (approximately 15cm x 10cm x 3cm) which will need to be fixed to the outside wall of your property. The box will be installed at a height that can be worked on from ground level.
There may be a requirement to perform some work inside the property. The interior work is needed to extend the fibre optic cable inside the property. A special fibre optic modem known as an optical network termination device is connected. The engineer will need access your property on the appointment date.
There may be a short interruption to your telephone service during this work. If you have an alarm on your phone line, please let your ISP know that your line may go down for a few minutes, which could trigger a false alarm on any security system linked to your telephone line.
To find out more about a FTTP broadband solution please watch the BT Big Build video.