Fibre optic cables are made from strands of glass, thinner than a human hair, encased in a plastic protective coating. They allow data to be transmitted at the speed of light over vast distances. Unlike copper cables – a Victorian invention still widely used for internet connections in the UK – they were designed specifically for delivering huge amounts of data from one place to another at the maximum physically possible speeds.
On the Colchester Fibre network, it takes less than two-thousandths of a second for data to move from our network facility in Telehouse (Docklands, London, the UK’s main internet exchange) to our city centre datacentre and distribution facility. We provision most of our connections at gigabit speeds (1000Mbps), but fibre is capable of still higher speeds, to provide connectivity to the most data-hungry residential and business customers.
For a customer, this means the ability to use the internet, high-quality streaming and video conferencing, as well as cloud storage, in ways that were not previously possible. A fibre connection can connect a practically unlimited number of end devices, with no slowing down or lag. Buffering becomes a thing of the past. The fibre to your home or business will last for decades.
Replacing the old copper telephone networks with fibre, is a massive undertaking, costly, and requires the construction of whole new networks and technical facilities. The Colchester Fibre network, built since 2017, is now within reach of 12,500 premises across the city. It stretches from the A12 to Friday Wood, and from Stanway to the University.