Why Is Fibre Broadband Better?

From ADSL to cable to fibre, the various internet connections on offer can be confusing. So we’ve put together this useful guide to the different types of broadband you can get — and why fibre broadband is the best of the bunch.

What Are the Types of Internet Connections?

There are three main types of home broadband available in the UK:

ADSL (and ADSL2+)

One of the oldest (and slowest) types of internet connection, ADSL is one step up from the original dial-up telephone network. It uses existing telephone lines made from copper wire to transmit electronic signals.

ADSL2+ is also used in some areas. This is an improved version of ADSL that offers twice the bandwidth (and therefore faster internet speeds).


Also known as “Coaxial Cable” or “Hybrid Coaxial”, the cable network is built using hybrid cables that implement both copper wire and fibre optics. This is the same network used for cable TV.

While it’s faster than ADSL, cable broadband still can’t achieve the fastest internet speeds thanks to its copper wiring.

Fibre Broadband

The fastest internet connection available, full-fibre broadband uses fibre optics cables instead of copper wire or hybrid. These cables use light instead of electricity to transmit signals.

Since light travels much faster than electricity (the speed of light, in fact!), fibre optic cables can provide ultrafast broadband connections.

Available Speeds for Different Internet Connections

Here are the average speeds for ADSL, cable, and fibre broadband.

Internet Connection Type
Average Speed
ADSL 8 Mbps
ADSL2+ 24 Mbps
Cable (Hybrid Coaxial) 100 Mbps
Full Fibre Broadband
300 Mbps – 1 Gbps

Why Is Fibre Broadband Better Than the Others?

Fibre broadband is better, quite simply, because it’s faster. Here are the main benefits:

  • Light travels faster — As we mentioned before, fibre optics use light instead of electronic signals. This allows you to send and receive data over the internet much more quickly than you can with a copper or hybrid network.
  • Less interference — Fibre optics maintain signal strength over much longer distances, meaning you get less downtime for your connection. Copper wires are also susceptible to electronic interference (and even sabotage or surveillance) in a way that fibre broadband isn’t.
  • Higher frequencies — Fibre optic signals operate at higher frequencies. In simple terms, this allows the cable to offer much higher bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the cable’s capacity to transmit data; the more you get, the more you can do online without slowdowns.

Do I Need Fibre Broadband?

ADSL and cable work okay for the most basic tasks (like checking emails or browsing the internet). But, these days, most modern homes need internet that’s capable of much more. Here are some activities that require fibre broadband:

  • Streaming — Whether you download or directly stream TV and movies, you need fast internet. For example, the average 4k movie file is around 20GB. With ADSL, that would take you 6 hours to download. With a 300 Mbps fibre broadband connection, it would take just under 10 minutes. Full-fibre also allows you to stream and watch live TV without buffering.
  • Gaming — For latency-free online games, you need speeds of at least 100 Mbps (and more if other people in your household are using the internet at the same time).
  • Video calls — Full-fibre broadband allows you to video chat without annoying lags.
  • Working from home — If you use video conferencing and regularly upload and download files from cloud services, you may need fibre broadband for business.

Do I Need Special Equipment for Fibre Broadband?

There are two types of fibre broadband: FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) and FTTP (fibre to the premises). The former connects fibre optics to your local cabinet but uses existing copper wiring from the cabinet to your property. The latter brings full-fibre broadband directly into your home. This makes it much faster but also means it requires a more in-depth installation process.

The good news is that Box Broadband does all the hard work for you. Our smooth setup service takes you from getting started with your account to easy installation — including any work necessary (like cable laying) and setting up your new router.

How Do I Set Up My Fibre Broadband?

If you’re interested in the superfast internet speeds that come with FTTP fibre broadband, all you have to do is contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.