What is the Difference Between Superfast and Ultrafast Broadband?

With so many providers and packages available, it can be difficult to work out what kind of broadband you need. To make things worse, the packages seem to be trying to confuse you, using terms without explaining them! Superfast, ultrafast or even ‘hyperfast’. So, what’s the difference between superfast and ultrafast broadband? And why do you need to know? Read on as we take a closer look…

Superfast FTTC broadband

When it comes to superfast and ultrafast broadband, it might be easier to think of them by their technical acronyms rather than the marketing terms attached to them. Superfast broadband is also called FTTC, or ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’.

This is because superfast is a combination of fibre and cable technology. Fibres go to the ‘cabinet’ on your street, and from there, copper cables (as used in cable broadband) go to your house. This makes superfast broadband vastly more accessible, as the copper cables are mostly already installed to provide landlines. Currently, 90% of UK households can access superfast broadband.

According to Ofcom, superfast broadband will have download speeds of 30mbps or higher. To put that in context, it has around the same megabits per second as the 4G on your phone. For streaming, you only need about 1.5mbps or 2.8 for HD quality. Most everyday tasks only need a maximum of about 20mbps. Superfast broadband is also a more affordable option than ultrafast in most situations – unless you find a really good deal.

Ultrafast FTTP broadband

FTTP stands for ‘fibre to the premises’. This is because the fibres come directly to your house, which makes the connection much quicker. Ultrafast broadband has download speeds of more than 300mbps. 5G would come under this banner too, reaching up to 1gbps! This also means that if you don’t have a phone line, or if it stops working for some reason, your internet access will not be affected.

Typically, FTTP will have the same upload and download speeds. If you use a cloud-based storage system, where lots of data is regularly uploaded, this could be beneficial. As opposed to FTTC, which can have a much slower upload speed than its download capabilities – but even that is more reliable than satellite.

Suppose you’re accessing the internet a lot, and lots of people are trying to do lots of things at once. In that case, you may be better off with ultrafast broadband, as it can handle more simultaneous uploads and downloads.

What about hyperfast?

Sometimes, it can feel like companies want to confuse you. While looking at broadband, you may come across other terms such as ‘hyperfast’ and ‘gigafast’ – but these are just marketing terms and don’t really mean anything.

But that’s not the only marketing term you need to look out for – before 2015, Ofcom classified ultrafast as beginning at 100mbps, so some companies still market their services as ultrafast broadband despite offering speeds of less than 300mbps.

 

Advantages of ultrafast broadband

From not-for-profits with a national presence to community-oriented organisations like churches, colleges and care homes, communication is fundamental in the third sector. As operations grow many organisations find themselves in need of faster and more capable connectivity solutions. This is where ultrafast broadband steps up.

Ideal for small businesses, charities and other organisations that want to supercharge their communications, FTTP ultrafast broadband offers download speeds of up to 330Mbps and upload speeds as fast as 50Mbps. This is almost 20 times faster than regular ADSL and unlocks a myriad of benefits.

Here’s a closer look at what’s on the table when you upgrade to ultrafast broadband.

Utilise cloud-based productivity tools

Extra bandwidth allows you to take advantage of data-hungry digital tools and services. For example, instant messaging programs like Slack, file storage and sync platforms like Google Drive and task management apps like Evernote. Whatever cloud-based productivity tools your organisation uses, ultrafast broadband ensures they’ll run smoothly and without interruption.

Uninterrupted video conferencing

Video conferencing can chew up a huge amount of data and put serious pressure on internet connectivity. Many outdated networks simply can’t cope with the demands of video calls. Ultrafast broadband solves this issue with lightning-fast upload and download speeds.

Crystal clear VoIP communications

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is rapidly replacing traditional land-based telephony. While you don’t necessarily need ultrafast broadband to run a VoIP system, the technology will ensure crystal-clear voice quality and uninterrupted calls. 

Reliability

Ultrafast broadband uses fibre optic cables to deliver internet to your premises. This makes it a reliable solution for organisations that value connectivity.

Easy to scale up or down

Scalability is a top priority for growing businesses. Unlike outdated internet services, ultrafast broadband offers plenty of room to grow and expand. This makes it ideal for organisations looking to future-proof their internet connectivity and IT infrastructure.

Cost effective

Ultrafast broadband isn’t just for blue-chip giants. The best service providers offer solutions designed to meet the needs of small and medium sized clients, making ultrafast broadband a viable option for charities, not-for-profits and other third sector organisations.

How leased lines can help

Looking for a service that’s a step up from ultrafast broadband? Leased lines equip your organisation with a dedicated connection reserved exclusively for your data. The service is ideal for charities and other third sector organisations looking for the final word in speed, security and performance.

Access to your own private internet connection offers watertight security. This makes leased lines ideal for organisations handling sensitive data, such as customer credit card information or patient health records.

Unlike ultrafast broadband, upload and download speeds are symmetrical, which puts leased lines leagues ahead of traditional ADSL connections. If your organisation sends large amounts of data to the cloud leased lines are a worthwhile investment. Similarly, leased lines are ideal for organisations that offer virtual services via video conferencing. For example, clinics that offer online psychology and counselling appointments.

What’s best for you?

The difference between superfast and ultrafast broadband comes down to the way it’s installed and the speeds it can reach. While ultrafast is admittedly faster than superfast, it’s unnecessary for many organisations, where superfast broadband will provide ample bandwidth and speed.

As dedicated broadband providers for the voluntary and small business sector, VS Group will only ever recommend the solution that’s best for you. If you’re looking to switch broadband providers, don’t hesitate to contact our team at info@vsgcomms.com.

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