How it works FTTC is a technology which delivers speeds of up to 76Mb. The service differs vastly from ADSL, as ADSL is a completely copper (aluminium in some cases) whereas FTTC has Fibre Optic cabling between your Local Exchange and Green FTTC Cabinet that you might see in the street. The copper part of the network is between your cabinet, telephone pole and the cabling up and into your property. This is the layout of the FTTC network:
FTTC is generally only made available to users who live within 1.5km, in some circumstances 2km from their cabinet. The shorter the distance you are from the cabinet, the faster speeds you’re likely to get. Unlike ADSL, the speeds don’t gradually get lower and lower the further away you are from the cabinet, you’ll hit a certain point where the speeds drop drastically, this is due to the higher frequency used on FTTC. A good example of rough estimates can be seen below:
Whether or not you can actually get FTTC will depend on whether BT Openreach has made plans to enable your exchange and install a cabinet within a close enough vicinity to your property. You can find further information on this here. The location of the cabinet is dependent on many things such as planning permission and accessibility for power equipment to be installed. If you’ve just had a FTTC Cabinet installed close by, it’s worth keeping an eye on the availability of this service here. What speeds should I expect?
When you’re signing up, you will have been presented with a speed estimate, this is generally sound, however, there will be times where the estimate can vary, very much dependant on line conditions; each and every line is different. We aim to provide you with a service that is around the speed of the estimate you were provided with. It’s important to remember that the estimated speeds are not a guarantee and is a guideline and is very much an estimate. If, in the event, you’re getting lower speeds than your estimate, we’d like to know so we can help. We’ve plenty of helpful guides to help you get the help and support you need. What’s the future to FTTC? We hear quite a lot of different ideas around what to do with FTTC to improve speeds further; this could be by implementing Vectoring and Physical Retransmission (G.INP) as well as offering different products based on speed (100Mb, 120Mb or 160Mb for example). Nothing has been confirmed at this stage as to any product changes but trials are in the early stages for the testing of Vectoring and G.INP. What is Vectoring and G.INP? Vectoring is a noise cancelling technology that cuts out the noise and/or interference to provide a much better quality FTTC service. The problem currently, is that copper cabling which runs alongside the fibre creates quite a lot of noise and interference which can have an adverse effect on FTTC sync rate and throughput. Think of Vectoring in the same kind of way as noise cancelling headphones! BT Openreach are currently in Phase 2 of their trial of Vectoring, which is so far proving to be very successful. We do not hold any dates or expected time frames for this to be released as of yet. Phase 2 of the trial includes Physical Retransmission, commonly known as G.INP. G.INP is a method designed to eliminate spikes/bursts of electromagnetic interference. This can make some lines less prone to erroring, which can ultimately make such lines more stable. As the phases come to fruition, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date on the progress of this trial.