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6 Benefits of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) Connectivity for SMEs

Published on 13 January 14
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Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband technology is extending its tendrils across the UK, enabling small and medium sized enterprises to access superfast connectivity at affordable prices. But what are the biggest benefits offered by this service and why should you upgrade sooner rather than later?
1 - Widespread Availability

The promise of fibre optic broadband has been on the horizon for some years, but while the rollout of full fibre to the premises (FTTP) stopped short of entering every area and community in the UK, FTTC is gradually approaching the level of ubiquity that makes it accessible to a diverse array of companies of all shapes and sizes. FTTC is increasingly common because the fibre optic cabling only needs to be laid to link street level cabinets to the nearest telephone exchange, preserving the copper connections for the last few metres of the service. This means that telecoms providers and local authorities do not need to invest as much money in the installation process, thus increasing the number of eligible areas.

Your business may already be able to access FTTC at its location, so check with your current broadband provider to see which type of service is available. If it is still on the way, then establishing when it is expected to arrive will allow you to plan ahead and put contingencies in place to get you through the interim period.
2 - Faster Speeds

Harnessing an FTTC service will let your SME receive significantly faster download and upload speeds than are available via standard ADSL broadband. A single FTTC connection can deliver up to 80Mbps on the downstream and around 20Mbps for uploads in ideal circumstances, easily outdoing older fixed line technologies. Faster speeds and a bigger chunk of bandwidth means that your internet connection will be able to support more simultaneous users, which will be necessary for any company that is undergoing a period of growth and needs to take on more members of staff.

In the past a superfast connection may have been too expensive for an SME to acquire, but with FTTC this cost is drastically reduced, and it helps to even the odds when you are attempting to compete with a bigger rival.
3 - Better Connection Consistency
6 Benefits of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) Connectivity for SMEs - Image 1
A fast connection is desirable, but it is useless unless it is able to deliver the advertised speed on a consistent basis. If it is subject to spikes and slumps in performance, or overburdened by traffic for extended periods of the day, then your company may be stifled by sluggish web access. Basic ADSL broadband can suffer from all sorts of fluctuations and limits, often failing to come close to hitting the theoretical maximum speed of the service and usually getting clogged up when traffic levels peak.

FTTC, on the other hand, is not only faster on paper but also capable of living up to expectations when it comes to consistency. This means your SME will not be left in the lurch on a regular basis, even if lots of other users are online at once.

Total broadband downtime is something to avoid, but it is also worth looking to alleviate issues with inconsistent connectivity, and FTTC gives you the power to do just that. You might even get a better contention ratio using this service, which means you will be sharing a portion of the bandwidth at your local exchange with fewer users, giving everyone more room to manoeuvre.
4 - Lower Latency

Speed and consistency are part and parcel of FTTC, but latency should also be on the list of assets for any SME that is thinking about adopting this form of broadband service. Latency is a complicated matter, but in essence the act of lowering it will improve the responsiveness of any apps and services which are critical to your business but hosted remotely, thus accessed via the internet connection.

Many smaller companies are choosing to migrate away from internal hosting for apps and data, which makes it necessary to pick a broadband package that will let you make the most of third party platforms without any lag or delay compromising the experience.
5 - Improved Access to Services

The lower speeds that were unavoidable with older broadband connections may have left some businesses struggling to adapt to changing times, and unable to even think about using web-based solutions for storage, apps and communication.

Today there is a lot of talk about the benefits of cloud computing, VoIP and unified communications. But of course if your company does not have an adequately quick internet connection, these are all unattainable and remote concepts. FTTC is fast enough to overcome such obstacles and allow SMEs to make use of whatever modern IT service they wish. In fact most of these solutions are not only advantageous from the point of view of productivity and practicality, but also when you look at the financial side of things.

The cloud lets smaller organisations avoid the expense associated with running everything on-site, with all the costs for installation, maintenance and eventual upgrades which this entails. With an FTTC broadband package you can use cloud apps, email platforms and storage to save money and expand your horizons.
6 - Better for Business

The simple fact of the matter is that FTTC is unquestionably better for businesses, whether they are single person operations involving someone working from home, start-ups looking for a boost, or more established companies with a few hundred employees that are expecting to keep expanding and prospering. The costs of FTTC are relatively low, as network providers are now encouraging customers to switch over to this service. And once you have calculated the savings you could make by using cloud computing, VoIP and video conferencing after the switch, it will become apparent that there are further fiscal boons to consider.

Make sure that when your company adopts FTTC, it is signing up to a package that is explicitly designed to cater to the needs of businesses. While there are consumer-oriented solutions in this market, most are going to lack the kind of enterprise-oriented features that will be helpful for organisations.

FTTC is also a future-proof form of broadband access, because speeds are expected to increase in the coming years and businesses in FTTC-enabled areas may also be able to request that a full FTTP line be installed at their location, enabling even quicker connectivity. So if you are keen to prepare your company to enter the digital marketplace and do so with the best chance of success, it is wise to seek out FTTC broadband, whatever the current scale of your operations.
This blog is listed under Networks & IT Infrastructure Community

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