Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is optimised fibre access deployment for home broadband, connecting directly to the end-user’s premises. Unlike FTTC, which is wired to a cabinet in the local area, FTTP wires directly to the home.
FTTP compared to FTTC is much faster. It’s actually the fastest fibre available because it uses all fibre optic and bonded broadband cables and can reach 1000Mbps. For those streaming in 4k regularly or for online gamers who need that extra speed, it is sometimes the best option.
As the connection doesn’t rely on a shared cabinet, this is a more reliable option with fewer risks of damage or outages. While no broadband is entirely unsusceptible to the occasional outage, FTTP is definitely the more reliable choice.
There are, however, very few providers offering FTTP packages in the UK. Those that do will only consider customers who are eligible and will charge much more than the standard FTTC.
Only about 1 million UK households are eligible for FTTP and, unlike FTTC, which can be switched easily, this requires an in-home installation.
Now, FTTP on Demand is being introduced nationwide. This will allow property owners in previously ineligible areas to have FTTP installed. This will make the ultrafast broadband service available to everyone, regardless of native deployment.
Although, it will come with massive civil engineering costs for the end-user. Some areas could cost up to tens of thousands, making it a less suitable option for residential properties and more so for small businesses.
What are the challenges and costs of installing FTTP on Demand?
FTTP is only offered to homeowners in specific areas who fit certain specifications for a reason. Installation is difficult to set up because it requires a custom build-out of the existing FTTP network to your location.
For small businesses and properties based in rural areas far from reliable FTTC connections, FTTP on Demand is tempting because it does promise stable connections for customers and staff. However, depending on location, this can require several kilometres of new fibre cables to be installed across the area.
Terrain can also cause a major challenge for installing FTTP on Demand. Properties may be inaccessible, bound by ring roads, surrounded by rivers or forests, or any number of difficult to cross landmarks. Civil engineering work needs to ensure the fibre cabling can accommodate, bypass, and cover these terrain challenges. This can take a lot of time and liaising with the local council or environmental protection body.
Because of this, FTTP on Demand can take anywhere between 6 and 18 months to fully install.
Why is FTTP on Demand so expensive?
The time and labour intensity of the job is significantly greater than installing FTTP in an already eligible and fibre-accessible area, meaning FTTP on Demand is much more expensive.
The installation costs must cover a full survey, ground assessment, equipment and technician costs, on top of the time and work it will take to install fibre cables in hard-to-reach areas.
This is the reason why FTTP on Demand is typically offered as more of a commercial package – businesses are likely to see considerably better returns than residential properties.
FTTP Vs FTTP on Demand
FTTP offers the same ultrafast speeds as FTTP on Demand for a fraction of the price. But it is also unavailable to much of the UK.
For residential properties, the choice is FTTP in eligible areas for a more cost-effective outcome.
FTTP on Demand is able to deliver these ultrafast speeds to previously inaccessible areas, offering the best in broadband technology to businesses operating in remote locations.
For small businesses considering FTTP on Demand, it will depend on the location and complexity of installation. Consider consulting an FTTP on Demand provider for a consultation or survey.
Is it worth getting FTTP on Demand?
For residential properties, it is probably not a good investment unless you earn profit from your use of broadband connection (for streaming or uploading content).
If you are a small business based in an area with unreliable business broadband connections or leased lines and need to offer stable Wi-Fi to customers and staff, then FTTP on Demand is a tempting option. It can help you grow as a business by giving your customers the experience they expect from modern businesses.
Overall, FTTP on Demand may seem a steep cost, but it should be something to evaluate carefully as you plan for the future.