Since taking office, Boris Johnson has made some pretty big promises, one of which is his commitment to the UK-wide, full-fibre pledge by 2025 – bringing forward the Government’s former target of 2033 quite significantly by eight years. This is certainly something that has brought the issue forward, but can it be achieved?
Whether you’re a Boris fan or not, our new PM quite rightly pointed out that it was a “disgrace” that rural communities did not yet have access to superfast broadband. According to Ofcom, currently only eight per cent of UK households and businesses have access to full fibre broadband. Compare this to the rest of Europe where 80 per cent have access, and it means we are seriously late to the party.
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Full fibre is one hundred times faster than standard broadband and offers guaranteed speeds rather than variable ones. With speeds of 1000mbps (megabits per second), customers can download an HD film in just seven seconds, compared with 25 minutes on a standard connection.
Now, you may not think that this issue applies to you too much. But have a think about how much of our lives are now connected to the internet.
Online banking and digital payment systems like Apple Pay mean you can leave the house without your wallet; you can consult online GPs; travel passes are loaded onto our phones; music and TV streaming are all connected online; and the future is likely to see us voting online. We are hugely reliant on connectivity.
Working from home has had a massive surge in popularity over the past few years too. Over 1.5 million of us now work from home in some capacity, according to the Office of National Statistics, a healthy increase of 78 per cent since 2008. In this age of digital dependence, it has been said that by 2023 the average UK household will have 50 connected devices.
Fibre is the fourth utility we’ve all been waiting for. Life would be made very difficult if our gas, electricity or water was to experience downtime and the same principle now applies to a super-fast internet connection.
Whether we like it or not, a reliance on technology is ever present in today’s society. Leeds is leading the Yorkshire region, with an expanding hub of tech, finance, business services and creative agencies, making the city’s economy worth £21.3bn per annum.
So, how do we support this driving digital economy? The future lies with full fibre connections.
Full fibre connections are much more reliable and less prone to faults than standard copper technology. While copper lines can be impacted by poor weather and deteriorate over time, fibre networks are longer-lasting, meaning a more reliable connection for consumers.
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The way we see it, full fibre is an investment in the future and sets a benchmark in the direction we are moving in the digital age.
There is also the myth that fibre is more expensive than copper connections – which is simply not true. When considering the entire structure, in the long term, fibre ends up being cheaper than copper. Fibre networks need less equipment which consumes less power and means lower costs long term. Maintenance costs are also lower as fibre doesn’t degrade like copper.
FibreNation was proudly behind the UK’s first Gigabit City in York. This is the most extensive city-wide fibre infrastructure currently available in the UK, which as a result has put York on the map as the hotspot for Britain’s fastest broadband connection. FibreNation’s mission is simple – to roll out faster, more reliable broadband to three million homes and businesses over the next decade.
FibreNation is currently committed to the Yorkshire region, successfully rolling out full fibre broadband in York and soon to reach Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough, with big expansion plans across the rest of Yorkshire.
It’s certainly exciting to be a part of such a fast-growing technology movement and something that we know will benefit so many of us for years to come. FibreNation is 100 per cent committed to building a full fibre broadband network to help bridge the gap between the UK’s current fibre connectivity and to get back up to speed with our neighbours in Europe.
Full fibre is more than just a quick internet connection, it connects us to our community
and how we run our lives day to day. It encourages business growth and builds a stronger, smarter society.
Fibre is the future and we must embrace it now to future proof our economy and take advantage of all the opportunities a fibre-connected future can provide.