How is it built?
Superfast Broadband – what is it?
Our project aims to increase the Superfast Broadband coverage to at least 95% of Hampshire, but what does that actually mean? What is Superfast Broadband?
BDUK defines Superfast Broadband as having a potential headline access speed of at least 24Mbps, with no upper limit.
Standard Broadband (ADSL)
Standard broadband is delivered to the property over copper wires from the local BT exchange. Copper wires run from the exchange to cabinets in the street before routing to a property. In some locations the copper wire runs directly from the exchange to a property without passing through a roadside cabinet; these are known as Exchange Only lines.
BT Openreach is installing new mini exchanges at the roadside called DSLAMs to bring superfast broadband to properties across the country. This technology is called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC).
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
A part-fibre, part-copper solution, capable of delivering download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. With FTTC, we overlay fibre on the copper infrastructure running from an exchange to cabinets in the street. Copper will still be the final link (i.e. from the cabinet to your home or business).
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
This is when fibre optic cable runs directly from the telephone exchange right into your premises. Fibre to premises can deliver download speeds of up to a 330Mbps. More information can be found here
Exchange Only Lines
EO lines are connected directly to the local telephone exchange and do not pass through a green cabinet so there is no aggregation point to which we can connect the fibre cabinet (DSLAM). In this situation BT has to re-route the copper connections and install two new cabinets. This means it is more expensive to bring superfast broadband to these areas.
Some villages are served by a combination of exchange only lines and lines from roadside cabinets. Sometimes we have to upgrade cabinets first and return at a later date to complete the more expensive and more complex Exchange Only Line upgrades.
Due to the complex nature of EO installation, it is not until the exchange only lines have been connected to the new cabinets that we will know which properties will be able to benefit from the superfast broadband service. This creates challenges for us in terms of letting people know that the service is available.