What is real fibre connectivity?

Addressing Fibre Optic Advertising

Over the last few years, it’s become more and more common to see adverts for fibre broadband connectivity, with major ISPs pushing the service as a major improvement to previously available options for connectivity. That’s all very true. However, in many cases, when ISPs talk about fibre, they don’t actually mean fibre.

At the moment, it’s legal for ISPs to advertise copper-based Internet connectivity as fibre-based (provided that there’s fibre involved somewhere in their network), a decision which allows some ISPs to intentionally misrepresent their products, advertising lower-quality services as being on par with far more effective connectivity options.

This is a big problem for customers - they’re essentially being misled about the services that they’re being sold, with some ISPs seemingly seeing fibre connectivity as a branding point rather than an actual technology. It also poses a problem for ISPs providing actual fibre services - it’s going to become increasingly difficult to explain the very real advantages that fibre connectivity offers if people see inferior services advertised as fibre.

As such, our partners at CityFibre have recently filed for a judicial review of the process which led to the Advertising Standards Authority deciding that advertising copper connectivity as fibre services was acceptable, a move we’re fully behind.

CityFibre’s Chief Executive, Greg Mesch, explained the obvious issue with the ASA’s decision - ‘You could hardly expect an automotive manufacturer to get away with advertising an “electric car” when the most electric part of the car was its windows’. While this analogy is absolutely correct in how it frames the advertising, it’s worth considering the fact that actual fibre isn’t just an alternative to copper-based services - it’s a significantly more powerful, effective service:

The real advantages of fibre connectivity

Compared to copper-based connectivity, fibre Internet services bring in a huge range of advantages. Most obviously, fibre is able to deliver much faster speeds, with many providers (including ourselves) offering gigabit-level connectivity, and a nearly limitless upper ceiling, with some recent tests demonstrating multi-terabit transfer through fibre. Needless to say, copper connections simply can’t support this level of performance.

While most people don’t need these high levels of service, the speeds possible via real fibre networks can make a genuine difference, minimising the problem of contention for residential connectivity, improving the speeds that users receive at peak times and around the day (not just the ‘up to’ speeds that many ISPs advertise). Fibre networks also add an additional level of reliability for users - one of the most commonly seen complaints about fake fibre-providing ISPs.

Simply put, real fibre optic connectivity is a major step above standard connectivity on practically every level.

Discovering Advanced Fibre Service

Of course, not all fibre services are equal. Different ISPs are able to supply different levels of fibre connectivity. Most fibre connectivity options are GPON-based, which means that, while they deliver excellent performance, they’re contended, with multiple users sharing bandwidth. This can result in some slowdown at peak times, as seen with standard broadband connectivity - though ultrafast speeds mean that this is often less of a problem.

At Exa, while we offer high-quality GPON connectivity through our Gigabit Basic service, we’re also proud to be the exclusive provider of DarkLight, the single most advanced option for Internet connectivity on the market. Put simply, DarkLight is designed to be the last Internet connection any business or school will ever need.

Every DarkLight line supports fully symmetrical 10 Gbps performance, with speeds starting off at an ultrafast 300 Mbps, packed up with high Service Level Agreements and completely uncontended performance. At the same time, DarkLight is designed to make ultrafast connectivity more accessible than ever, with surprisingly low costs designed to help businesses and schools minimise their costs while getting an even better level of service.