RIP Copper – Gimme Fibre
The speed of your broadband connection largely depends on the journey the signal has to take to and from your router. There are two main technologies used in fibre-optic broadband: Fibre-to-the-cabinet, which still uses copper at some points in the network, and Fibre-to-the-home, with 100% fibre optic cables. But which is best? And which is a dying technology?
Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) connection
Currently the most used technology in Ireland, Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) generally delivers speeds of up to 100Mb/s. The downside is the last few feet between the telephone exchange cabinet on the street and the router in your house. All that fibre-optic, light-speed goodness is lost on the last stretch of copper wire used to connect your house to the exchange. Copper is good for old school landline calls, not so good for superfast broadband signals. It, literally, slows the signal right down.
Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connection
SIRO is a Fibre-to-the-Home connection. This means you never lose the speed of fibre-optics – delivering you speeds up to 1000Mbps. The fibre-optic cables run directly to your router inside your house with no loss of signal.
SIRO is bringing FTTH connections to regional communities all across the country. We’re on our way to providing 1Gb speed across Ireland through our retail partners: Vodafone, Digiweb, Airwire, Carnsore Broadband, Rocket Broadband, Westnet and Kerry Broadband. You can check if your home is SIRO-ready HERE.
To Beat the Bandwidth
Copper has low ‘bandwidth’ (read: the speed and power of your Internet connection), while fibre gives up to a massive 10 Gbps and beyond so you can connect as many devices to your broadband as you like and not slow down your connection.
Fibre is 1,000 times better than copper and the signal can travel much further along it. The longer the copper cable used, the more bandwith you lose. With fibre-optics, there’s no discernable loss over the distance from cabinet to router in your home.
Fibre-optic cable isn’t affected by environmental factors than can also weaken signals over copper cables. For example, the signal on a copper wire drops massively over just of two kilometres, whereas fibre-optic cable over the same distance is extremely reliable. And, unlike copper, things like temperature and weather don’t affect fibre.
Fibre-optic cables don’t carry electricity, so they don’t radiate signals that can be tapped. Copper uses electricity and so is open to be tapped, which can cause the entire system to fail. A broken or damaged fibre-optic cable can be identified very quickly. Copper cable can short completely or even go on fire if it’s damaged, old or worn.
Fibre-optic cables have become popular across the world. As they’re now virtually standard everywhere, improvements are being made almost daily in fibre connectivity and effectiveness. Soon, fibre-optics will completely replace copper cables in both long and short-haul networking – and copper will be truly dead. So why not check your address to see if your home is connectable to SIRO and future-proofed?