What’s the difference between copper and fibre networks?

Reading Time: 8 mins

Posted on: November 29, 2023

When it comes to understanding what fibre internet is, it’s important to know the difference between copper and fibre internet. So, let’s start with the basics and take a look at what copper and fibre actually are.

What is copper internet?

This is the ‘legacy’ network, and it’s literally copper wiring that transmits data to and from you home for your internet. However, the signal on copper degrades over long distances, leading to slower internet speeds for those further from local exchanges (those green boxes at the end of your road). It can also be susceptible to environmental factors, such as electromagnetic interference, which will impact the performance of your internet.

What’s fibre internet?

This is the latest technology. It’s fibre optic cables that transmit data through very thin strands of glass or plastic using pulses of light. This is the modern standard of high-speed internet and signal doesn’t degrade over distance. So, no matter where you are, if you have a fibre optic cable right to your home, then you’re going to get highly reliable internet that is callable of streaming 1000’s of megabits, or even terabits, of data.

With this information we think it’s obvious what the benefits of getting full fibre internet are, but we understand that not everyone feels the same about fibre as we do. So, we’ll try and rein in our enthusiasm a bit and explain the benefits to you. Here goes…

Ultrafast speeds that will make your life sooooooo much simpler

Not only can you get amazing amounts of data streaming all at once, you can also get symmetrical speeds with fibre optic cables. That means your download and upload speeds are nearly identical, and that’s a game changer

It’ll make activities like video conferencing, online gaming, and uploading large files much quicker and easier. Working from home has never been better!

Check your speeds using our speed test button here.

So much reliability you’ll forget buffering was even a ‘thing’

Not only do the speeds make full fibre internet more reliable, but fibre optics are also far less susceptible to environmental factors and signal interference than copper. So, your whole family can stream seamlessly, all at the same time, all without a glitch.

It’s the future.

No, really, you’re going to need a full fibre connection very soon. There’s more and more demand for higher bandwidth on the current networks, and a full fibre connection offers a solution to this. It is simply the case that partial fibre networks (where the fibre doesn’t go all the way to your home) and old copper networks are starting to struggle with demand from the number of people using them, and also the technology we are increasingly using in our daily lives. Fibre is scalable and can accommodate HUGE amounts of demand. It’s fully future-proof.

It’s a much more secure network

Fibre is more secure network because it doesn’t give off electromagnetic signals that can be intercepted. This makes fibre-optic connections less susceptible to hacking and unauthorised access.

Ever heard of latency?

Well, the lower the better and fibre optic networks deliver low latency. This makes them ideal for real-time applications, and Gamers will benefit hugely from reduced lag and a more responsive online gaming experience.

So, if you’re interested in finding out if you can access full fibre services on our network, check availability to your home, here.

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