We have taken the lead since 2016 in attracting public and private sector investment in the deployment of full-fibre networks in Colchester. The footprint of our network has grown rapidly, now stretching from the A12 to Shrub End, and from Stanway to the University. We operate a busy datacentre with its own dedicated connections to Telehouse, the UK’s main internet exchange in London, and have a growing business and residential customer base across Colchester. Additionally, we operate key parts of the Council’s wide area network and Colchester’s CCTV system (which we also upgraded to a fully digital platform during 2020-21).
Fibre – or fibre optics – is a technology for information transmission via flexible glass or plastic threads, slightly thicker than a strand of human hair. This technology allows data to travel at the speed of light and serves as a future-proof solution for internet connectivity as the speed and capacity of a fibre connection is almost unlimited. The term “fibre” is often misused. What is often branded as “fibre broadband” actually involves copper cable. This technology is known as “Fibre-to-the-Cabinet” (FTTC) but it relies on a final leg of copper wire, from the roadside cabinet into the customer premises. This causes a bottleneck, resulting in slow and lost connections especially at “peak times” of the day. “Fibre-to-the-Premises” (FTTP), also known as “Full Fibre”, replaces the old copper wires with the latest technology in fibre optic cabling all the way to the actual premises, providing gigabit-capable connectivity and bandwidth. Full fibre brings many benefits, from symmetrical speed, high bandwidth and greater capacity to ultra-low latency, superior resilience and reliability. Every part of your connection, from Telehouse in London to your home, is full fibre.
One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you (and/or your business) into the future. Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections – meaning upload and download speeds are the same, with upload and download speeds far higher than the UK national average. Although it is frequently reported that the UK now has more than 96% coverage for superfast broadband with speeds of 24 megabits per second or higher – this is not good enough. Most superfast connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, a full fibre connection is required.
Speed describes how fast your internet is – it is the performance of an internet connection, which is based on the number of bytes per second that data travels from the user’s device to the internet (upload) and from the internet (download). Depending on the type of connection, the speed differs dramatically. For most households, download speeds are what people are familiar with. That’s what we use for activities such as streaming TV, downloading music and browsing social media. Upload speeds come into play with things like video conferencing and uploading large files to a server or cloud. A full fibre connection (FTTP) – with no copper – can offer much faster average speeds of one gigabit or more per second (Gbps) – that’s 1,000 Mbps, both download and upload.
Latency describes how long it takes data to travel between its source and destination. It’s a useful measure of the time (delay in milliseconds: 1000ms = 1 second) that it takes for a packet of data to travel from your router to a remote server and then back again (ping). A lower number (shortest time = faster) is better for e.g., video conferencing or multiplayer games, where a low ping will result in smoother play. Full fibre enables significant reductions in network delay (“latency”), if not eradicated, down to just 1 millisecond for many applications. This will significantly improve the experience on time-sensitive applications such as streaming, video calls or video games. Low latency is particularly important for applications that do not benefit from buffered data and instead require real-time control.
Whilst long-awaited gigabit internet speeds are finally coming to you, are you and your devices ready to upgrade to gigabit internet? To benefit from Gigabit speeds, you should ensure that you and your devices are able to take advantage of the new potential speeds. To ensure you get the best benefits of gigabit internet, you need the right wired connections. It’s particularly important to sort out the wired connection from our SDD to your router. The Service Demarcation Device (SDD) is our custom-made network equipment – a fibre converter that ensures your connectivity to the wider network. As most of you will be connecting to gigabit services through a wireless router, you should check that your devices support the latest standards to benefit from the promised speed. Our chosen customer router is of the 802.11ax standard (or Wi-Fi 6). If you wish to use your own router – and you are welcome to do so – you need a Wi-Fi 6 model to ensure you can make the most of your new connection. To achieve the highest level of speeds possible, we recommend you connect devices using ethernet cables wherever possible.
A gigabit connection will future-proof your home or business. Using the latest technology in fibre-optic cabling, we will bring you the best digital connectivity available:
Future proof with full fibre – where a fibre optic cable comes all the way into homes and businesses rather than stopping at a cabinet in the street. Our solution replaces the old copper wires used by traditional broadband networks with the latest technology in fibre-optic cabling. With Gigabit symmetrical speed, meaning that upload speeds are exactly the same as download speeds, only with a full fibre connection can you harness the true benefits of fibre optics.
Your own dedicated connection, no sharing – whilst other full fibre companies connect multiple homes/premises using a shared fibre optic cable, we always fit a dedicated point-to-point connection. Nothing is shared, neither broadband speed nor bandwidth capacity.
Register your interest so that we can keep you up to date on progress in your area with updates. We’ll get in touch as soon as connection is ready for installation in your street. Once you have placed an order, we will be in touch with you to arrange a pre-installation survey to agree the scope of works for the installation itself.
The fibre will be installed from a connection point at the property boundary. If your home or business is located some distance from the street, the fibre is usually laid using narrow trenching unless on the rare occasion, other solutions are required. In all instances we will be installing a new duct and fibre cable with our SDD (Service Demarcation Device). The engineer will then fit the network equipment – SDD in your property – which is normally mounted on the inside of the wall facing the street (this would be ground floor level for a house). This is a fibre converter and will ensure your connectivity to our network. Your router is installed and a speed test is carried out to check everything is working normally.
Yes, or your representative, provided they are 18 years or older.
If the engineer is not able to gain access to your property, we reserve the right to charge a £30 “No-Show Penalty” and you will have to reschedule installation for a later date.
You can change or cancel, in good time, by calling us. If you decide to cancel or reschedule within 2 working days* of your scheduled appointment – we reserve the right to charge £30 (*Working days: Monday to Friday, not including public holidays).
In the vast majority of cases, no. Standard Installations are no extra charge. In the rare event that we discover your property doesn’t qualify for a standard installation, we will notify you immediately and quote for any additional costs. If you do not wish to accept the non-standard installation cost, you can cancel your full fibre order free of charge.
If you do not own your property, you will need permission from your landlord. As set out in our T&Cs, you will need to obtain all necessary consents and permissions prior to installation taking place and provide us with these consents and permissions on request.
You can cancel your contract within the cooling-off period (14 days after installation). If you cancel after this date, you will be liable to pay the remaining balance of the service for the full term.
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We provide a public IP address as standard.
In order to diagnose any speed issues, it is required initially to conduct a speed test with a computer and an ethernet cable connected directly to any of the LAN ports on the SDD. There are dozens of speed test sites, many of which can give spurious test results. For the most accurate assessment of your connection, we recommend that you install the Ookla desktop Speedtest app and use that.
There are a lot of factors playing into the functionality and reach of WiFi connectivity, such as: wall material, wall thickness, floor and roof material, floor and roof thickness. WiFi connections can never reach the speed attainable over ethernet cables.
Yes, as long as it can be configured to connect to our network. Please contact us directly if you wish to discuss using your own equipment.
There are a lot of factors that play into the functionality and reach of WiFi. Ensure your router is placed high up in the centre of your home for maximum coverage. Consider using a wired connection or moving closer to the router if you are working on WiFi. If you still experience fluctuating speeds due to physical obstruction or distance from the router, we can advise on WiFi boosters or a “mesh” system. We are also happy to quote for customers wanting internal hard-wired network sockets or network extensions.