Is Fibre Really Good For You?

Well, if you believe the marketing hype from some our favourite Internet Service Providers (ISP) it is, because these days everything appears to be fibre,  even when it blatantly isn’t.

It seems as if some adverts go so far as to suggest that our industry is managing to get light out of a copper wire now!

I can hear someone, somewhere, with a Scottish accent saying, “you cannae change the laws of physics, Captain”. Well apparently, in marketing you can.

So, what’s the harm in a little marketing misdirection? Does it matter if a copper cable is suggested to be capable of carrying light?

My view is, yes it does matter.  So, what’s the fuss about?

It’s all about broadband speed limitations. When it comes to predicting our future resource requirements we tend to drastically underestimate just how fast technology moves. Remember when Bill Gates apparently said, “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” (referring to the maximum amount of memory a personal computer would ever need). This statement is laughable now but at the time seemed reasonable.

From 7,680 × 4,320-pixel (8k) television to your fridge shopping on the internet for its own cheap power, if there’s one certainty – along with death and taxes – it’s that our need for more and more data to and from our homes and offices will only increase. A glass fibre all the way to your home router represents the best and most future-proof solution there is. There are no arguments, fibre is the undisputed king of solutions. Which is why the word fibre, rather than the technology, is freely bandied about in our industry. At the time of writing, fewer than 4% of UK homes have a true fibre to the home (FTTH) service.

Next time you are comparing Broadband products, ask for “full fibre” (FTTH) because if you ain’t got glass fibre coming into your home router, you ain’t got fibre! Don’t settle for less.

Finally, a word to our industry: Please, please, stop misleading customers with muddled marketing. The broadband market already has a bad reputation for unclear messages regarding the data speeds people can actually achieve. It’s time to stop misrepresenting the technologies.

DO’C July 2018