What is FTTP and what are its benefits over other broadband options?
- Credit: Upp
A new £1 billion fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network is being created across Norfolk delivering ultrafast, fibre optic broadband to those living in the area.
Drew Ritchie, CEO of Upp, explains more about the technology and how it will benefit those in under-served corners of the country.
Q: What is FTTP?
FTTP means fibre-to-the-premise broadband. It is also called FTTH, or fibre-to-the-home. FTTP is where a fibre optic cable runs from the exchange right into the WIFI unit or router in your home or business premise. Fibre optic technology transmits information as light pulses along a glass fibre, which ensures your internet speed is guaranteed.
Q: What are the advantages of FTTP?
It is much faster than the very old copper telephone lines which are due to be replaced across the UK by 2025. Our broadband offers symmetrical upload and download speeds of 300 Mbps on our Step Upp package, and 900 Mbps on Power Upp. For businesses we are already offering speeds of 1 Gbps, and our line is futureproofed for speeds up to 10 Gbps.
This means much faster uploading and downloading, especially when you have several people online at the same time. There is no throttling or buffering.
It gives you improved movie and TV streaming, as well as video watching. You can send and receive emails with big attachments and work with pictures much more easily. It’s better for video calling loved ones and for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) gaming.
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It is also much more reliable for business and innovation, teleworking and e-commerce, hotels and tourism, as well as tele-education, e-exams and telemedicine – all these things can be instantaneous.
Q: Are there any other benefits?
Yes. Fibre-optic broadband offers higher security because of the way it transmits data. Not only does the data move at high speeds, but its signals are much harder for hackers to intercept.
Faster and reliable broadband enables more people to work from home. By reducing the number of people commuting to and from work, this helps individuals to reduce their carbon footprint and the number of cars on the road. Moreover, the technologies used to provide broadband over FTTP are more efficient than those used for copper and cable networks. There is lower energy consumption, which should mean lower household energy bills.
Q: How is Upp’s network serving the people of Thetford and beyond?
Upp is bringing Thetford and the surrounding area internet speeds of at least 300 megabits per second. The company was launched in January 2021, with the aim of building and operating an FTTP broadband network across Lincolnshire and Norfolk.
Once complete, Upp will move into the surrounding counties. We have already built our own network from Diss to Thetford and are now building from there to Downham Market and up towards Kings Lynn.
Q: Why are you investing in these areas?
The reason we homed in on these places is because they are poorly served with broadband. In fact, Norfolk and Lincolnshire have upload and download speeds that are among the worst in the UK according to government data.
This means that the region has potentially been ‘held back’ in terms of inward investment – job creation is stymied and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not had the opportunity to grow. Homeworking and home schooling have been very difficult especially when more people are in the house or office.
So far, our investment in broadband has created over 104 new jobs in 11 months. Our contractors have created another 50 jobs locally, with approximately 10 per cent of our employees being ex-forces. Our aim is to have 430 staff by the end of 2023. Approximately £12 million of the money we raised for this investment has been invested in local businesses in Diss and Thetford and many more.
We have already sponsored local sports teams, charities and projects and will continue to help each local community we serve.
Q: How much does FTTP cost?
Upp.com has the latest information about the best broadband deals on its webpages, but at the moment we are offering free set-up and installation and a free three-month trial. There is then a monthly charge, which at the moment is discounted. By investing in FTTP now, people are future-proofing their homes and their work situations. Copper will be switched off by the end of December 2025, so by creating this resilient, secure, long-term network now, we are helping people in the Thetford area to be ready.
For more information or to check your availability, visit upp.com.