Close-up of fibre optic cables used for fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is a type of high-speed broadband. It uses fibre optic cables, which are better at transferring data than standard copper cables. And by data, we're talking online gaming and streaming movies and music. Basically, you can do all the things you love on the internet faster.

So is fibre broadband good? How fast is it? And what are the different types of fibre broadband?

Take a look at our guide below.

Do I need fibre broadband?

Does fibre broadband make a difference? Well, if you're in a shared house or have a family, you're probably using more than one device to connect to the internet. Now imagine the same thing happening in homes across the country at specific times of the day. Connecting to your home broadband at peak times could mean slower download speeds.

Frustrating, right? Imagine if you're in the middle of downloading some critical files for work and your connection is slow. And if you're streaming, you might feel you're falling behind all your friends who've seen the latest must-see TV.

If this sounds familiar, then fibre broadband might be right for you.

How does fibre broadband work?

It uses a network of fibre optic cables to deliver high-speed data over greater distances. The data travels down the cables literally at the speed of light. This means you're more likely to get faster download speeds and a more reliable connection to the internet.

According to Ofcom, most homes in the UK still have ADSL broadband, which uses standard copper phone lines. But you don't need to worry about what ADSL is if you have fibre broadband.

There are two types of fibre broadband connection: FTTC and FTTP.

Diagram of fttc showing copper cable running between a telephone exchange and a roadside cabinet, and fibre optic cable from there to the home

What is FTTC broadband?

FTTC stands for Fibre To The Cabinet. It's also known as superfast broadband. Fibre optic cables run between the telephone exchange and the phone cabinet on your street. Standard copper cables then connect this cabinet to your home. It’s the way we deliver your fibre broadband.

What is FTTP broadband?

FTTP stands for Fibre To The Premises. It's sometimes known as FTTH (Fibre To The Home), or ultrafast broadband. With FTTP, fibre optic cables run right into your home. This means much faster fibre broadband. But FTTP is not currently available everywhere in the UK.

How fast is fibre broadband?

Ultrafast FTTP connections offer minimum download speeds of 300Mbps, according to Ofcom. But most fibre connections in the UK are superfast FTTC, and they offer download speeds of at least 30Mbps.

That said, the actual speed you'll get can depend on how far your home is from the street cabinet or telephone exchange.

Other things can also affect fibre broadband speed, including:

  • Speed of your device
  • Internal wiring in your home
  • Number of people using the network
  • Time of day

We currently offer two fibre broadband packages.

Our Unlimited Fibre broadband has an average download speed of 35Mbps, and our Unlimited Fibre Plus broadband offers an average download speed of 63Mbps.

We've made it easy to compare our broadband packages and sign up for the one that suits you best.

What are the benefits of fibre broadband?

Internet speed

Fibre broadband uses actual beams of light to transport more data in less time.

So with fibre broadband you can do everything faster than with ADSL broadband:

  • Stream catch-up TV
  • Download music or movies
  • Play online games
  • Browse websites
  • Shop online
  • Use social media
  • Work from home and keep in touch with colleagues

Connection

Fibre optic cables are stronger than standard copper phone lines. This makes them more resistant to electrical interference and cold weather – conditions that can make your broadband connection worse.

Signal strength

The further you are away from the phone exchange, the more your signal strength drops. Fibre optic cables can transport larger amounts of data over greater distances compared to copper phone lines. So fibre broadband usually has a stronger signal strength.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data you can transfer in a certain time. If your bandwidth is low, your internet is slow, especially if your household uses several devices online at once.

The copper lines used in ADSL broadband were not designed for data transfer. The further they run from the telephone exchange, the more they lose bandwidth. As fibre broadband with an FTTC connection only uses copper cabling from the street cabinet, it loses far less bandwidth than ADSL.

Can I get fibre?

Now you know more about it, the next step is to see if you can get fibre broadband in your area. You'll just need to enter your postcode and our fibre broadband availability checker will tell you if fibre is available where you live.

Switch to SSE phone and broadband

  • Zero price hikes during your 18-month contract

  • Leave for free with our 60-Day Happiness Guarantee

  • Unlimited downloads

  • No upfront broadband charges

Here's what Frustration-Free Broadband means for you

Price promise

Zero price hikes during your 18-month contract.

Our price promise is to keep Broadband & Phone package prices fixed for the duration of the contract from your package start date. The only exception will be any increases to VAT or any other relevant tax/levy. The monthly package price includes your monthly broadband, line rental and selected call package.

Happiness Guarantee

If you’re not completely satisfied with our service, you can leave for free within the first 60 days.

Our Happiness Guarantee is for customers signing up for an SSE fixed-term broadband and phone package bundle. They can leave their contract without early termination charges within the first 60 days, if they’re not happy with any aspect of the service they have received, and we have been unable to fix the problem.

Unlimited downloads

Stream, download or play to your heart’s content with unlimited internet usage.

This is subject to our Broadband Traffic Management and Acceptable Use policies.

No upfront broadband charges

No broadband connection charge, and no postage or delivery charges. The only exception will be if you don’t have an active BT/Openreach phone line, we’ll arrange for an engineer to install one. This will cost £60 and we’ll add this charge to your first bill.