How can Full Fibre broadband cut through the UK’s digital divide?


There are many lines that divide the UK, and you might be surprised to discover that broadband speed is one of them. Despite the internet being one of the world’s great equalisers, being enjoyed by rich and poor alike, some areas of the country have much better access to it than others.


Consumer magazine Which? carried out a study in 2019 which found the town of Broxbourne has the fastest internet in the UK, with a median download speed of 32.5Mbps. Conversely, the Orkney Islands were found to have the slowest internet connection, with a median download speed of just 3Mbps!


These kinds of studies are usually met with jokes about people in slow-speed areas struggling to stream the latest TV shows, but sub-par internet speeds can have a serious detrimental impact on people who wish to study or work from home, not to mention impacting property values in the area.


So how can this problem of internet inequality be addressed? Some say the advent of Full Fibre and the rolling out of new, fast and reliable broadband networks may be the answer. Here’s how.


A new network


Traditional internet networks rely on old copper telephone cables to work. Some of these are nearly 100 years old, and many remote areas of the UK aren’t even connected to this network. Full Fibre broadband requires new fibre optic cables to be laid to connect homes to the network. As this is an entirely new network being created, and not relying on an existing one, homes that previously have struggled to join the copper cable network can easily be connected to the new Full Fibre one.


Faster speeds


Providers such as Swish that offer Full Fibre broadband (as opposed to Fake Fibre broadband that still relies on the old copper cables to complete the network) can guarantee a far more reliable and much faster internet connection. This means that even areas which previously suffered from slower internet speeds can benefit from an upgrade in speeds as soon as they join the network.


No longer having to reply on copper cables that regularly need to be replaced and can be affected by issues such as weather, Full Fibre broadband can ensure everyone has access to fast internet, regardless of where they live or the kind of elements they have to battle!


More users = better prices


Full Fibre broadband is like any product – the more people who adopt it, the cheaper it becomes. The UK Government is getting ready to switch off the old copper networks in 2023, meaning every home in the country will need to be part of a fibre broadband network to stay connected to the internet. Lightning-fast broadband has, in the past, been seen as a luxury, but this is set to change.


With tenants and homeowners now seeing fibre broadband as a necessity, more packages will become available so that lower-income homes can still join Full Fibre networks. This in turn will reduce the divide between homes that have fibre broadband and those who go without.