We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies

All you need to know about fibre broadband

All you need to know about fibre broadband

Thursday 07 September 2017

fibre broadband

Known for excellent internet speeds, fibre broadband or more precisely fibre-optic broadband is the type of broadband everyone wants to have. Fibre-to-the-home allows for up to 1,000 Mb download speeds, a dream come true for everyone who appreciates a fast internet connection.

But there’s more to know about fibre broadband than great broadband speeds. We uncover what’s hidden behind the dazzling speeds:

How does it work?

Fibre broadband cables consist of fibre optics, which are tiny reflective tubes about as thick as a human hair. When information or data is transferred through the tubes, flashes of light bounce of the inner walls, travelling along the cable at the speed of light. These flashes of light are interpreted by the equipment at the receiving end of the cable.

Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC)

If you get fibre broadband, it might not be fibre all the way to your house. Fibre-to-the-cabinet means your broadband connection to the street cabinet near your house is fibre optic and then uses the usual copper landline to get the internet to your house.

Virgin Media gets broadband from the cabinet to your house in a different way. They use a coaxial cable that can send data faster than standard phone lines.

fibre to the cabinet FTTC

Speeds may vary depending on the distance between the street cabinet and your house. The table below can give you an idea of the speeds you can expect, if you know the distance between the street cabinet and your house:

Distance to cabinet (metres) Estimated downstream connection speed Estimated upstream connection speed Cumulative percentage of premises at this distance
100m 100 Mbps 25 Mbps 5%
150m 80 Mbps 20 Mbps 10%
200m 65 Mbps 18 Mbps 20%
300m 45 Mbps 17 Mbps 30%
400m 42 Mbps 16 Mbps 45%
500m 38 Mbps 15 Mbps 60%
600m 35 Mbps 14 Mbps 70%
700m 32 Mbps 11 Mbps 75%
800m 28 Mbps 10 Mbps 80%
900m 25 Mbps 9 Mbps 85%
1000m 24 Mbps 8 Mbps 90%
1250m 17 Mbps 5 Mbps 95%
1500m 15 Mbps 4 Mbps 98%


Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH)

Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) also known as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) or fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) is a fibre-optic line that runs from the exchange over the street cabinet right into your home. FTTH is a rare type of connection and only a few providers offer this in certain areas. In Ireland, Virgin Media, eir and Pure Telecom provide fibre-to-the-home broadband.

fibre to the home FTTH

When we recommend getting fibre broadband

Here are a few questions that can help you determine if you should get fibre broadband. If you can answer one or more of these questions with yes, you might want to check if fibre is available in your area:

  • Are you a family household or do you live in a house share with three or more people going online every day?
  • Do you have a lot of devices connected to the internet like smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and game consoles?
  • Are you streaming and downloading a considerable number of movies?
  • Do you enjoy online gaming?
  • Are you working from home and do you need to download important files or connect to a VPN?

How can I get fibre-optic broadband?

Virgin Media, Sky, eir and Pure Telecom offer fibre broadband bundles. You can check if fibre is available in your area via our comparison service. Simply enter your county and nearest town and check your options for fibre bundles:

compare fibre broadband bundles