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What could full-fibre broadband mean for the UK?

Michael Snow

The government has unveiled plans to trial full-fibre broadband in a number of locations around the UK, but what could it potentially mean for the country?

Although only in its early planning stages, the trial will see the specific type of broadband rolled out in West Sussex, Aberdeenshire, Coventry, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Bristol. Full-fibre broadband utilises high speed cables that are run directly to homes, businesses and public institutions. In the past, the accepted approach was to run high speed cables to local street cabinets and then to connect customers to the local cabinet with a slower copper cabling. This reduced possible download speeds dramatically and has been proven to be far less stable than full-fibre connections.  

How could it benefit the UK?

Full-fibre connections will benefit the public, business and state services in a number of ways. With possible download speeds of 1Gbps, the ability to share data, consume media and communicate information would be greatly improved. Moreover, it will boost the technology sectors, who rely on such tools to stay ahead in a fiercely competitive international market. In addition, it will facilitate more effective integration of multimedia teaching into the classroom at schools, and enable the health services to share much higher quality images to assist in the diagnosis of injuries and illnesses.

Are there any disadvantages? 

While there are not any real disadvantages to rolling out full-fibre across the country, some have concerns about the cost and the technology’s ability to deliver the potential upgrades. It has been pointed out that although the technology is capable of increasing download speeds of 1Gbps, consumers will be unlikely to reach such speeds due to heavy use and internet traffic. However, it is generally accepted that full-fibre will be a vast improvement on the current internet infrastructure in place.

Full fibre may mean the UK stays ahead when it comes to tech

For a service economy like the United Kingdom’s, it’s essential that the development and progress of technology and infrastructure continues at a steady rate. Innovation depends on having the right tools to forge the technology of tomorrow and ultra-fast broadband is a logical step in providing businesses with better prospects – especially when IHS Markit research suggests that the UK lags behind most of Europe for slower fibre-to-the-premises connections. Full-fibre will therefore represent a considerable step-up when and where it is available.

Read our related article: Dynamics 365, the story so far

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