Superfast broadband is now taken to mean broadband speeds of 30+Mbps and ultrafast broadband speeds of 100+Mbps. However definitions do change over time.
Gigabit broadband means a broadband speed of 1+Gbps (i.e. 1000+Mbps).
With FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), the fibre-optic cable runs all the way into the premises, giving very fast speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps).
FTTP is also known as Full Fibre.
With FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), the fibre-optic cable runs as far as the green roadside cabinet and your copper telephone line is then used to deliver the last leg of the service. Speeds of up to 80Mbps are possible with this service.
With FTTC, your maximum speed will depend very much on the length of your copper telephone line from the cabinet. The vast majority of lines will support a maximum ‘superfast’ speed of 30Mbps. You can still upgrade your service if you are further away from the cabinet and get speeds of between 2-30Mbps. Although these are not ‘superfast’ speeds by the new definition, they will provide uplift in speeds for the vast majority of premises.
The term ‘fibre broadband’ is taken to include both superfast speeds of 30Mbps and slower speeds that can be delivered over the FTTC network of 2-30Mbps.
Please refer to the Getting Connected page.
This will depend on your particular service provider. There is some further guidance, including what happens to your existing phoneline and phone number, here.
Although you may get a very fast speed at your router, WiFi speeds will slow down, sometimes considerably, in other rooms. This isn’t just a particular problem in old stone buildings with thick walls, newer buildings may have foil lined walls to help with insulation causing speeds to suffer, and any larger property will notice a reduction in WiFi speeds as you move away from the main router.. The best way to overcome this is to extend the network throughout the building. This can be done in three main ways (i) ideally with Ethernet network cable from the main router, (ii) using powerline adaptors which can use the mains electricity circuit, or (iii) using WiFi extenders, which will pick up a weak WiFi signal and amplify it. Please see our Staying Superfast leaflet for more information.
A large number of Industrial Estates and Business Parks are covered by fibre broadband. Please see the list here for further information (corrected in 2022 no longer maintained).
If you can only get very slow speeds you can investigate alternative solutions including Starlink, wireless, satellite and mobile broadband over 4G network - please see our Alternative Solutions page for further information.
In some circumstances you may want to consider using a 4G (mobile) signal to provide you with broadband. Although this is not part of the Superfast Cornwall programme, the main mobile providers do have 4G services which at times provide coverage in areas beyond the fibre footprint. You can investigate coverage here
Weaker signals can be boosted by using an external antenna or a directional internal antenna/ 4G router.
Most mobile broadband packages have a data cap.
Fibre on Demand (FoD) or FTTP on Demand (FTTPoD) will allow some businesses connected to a fibre enabled cabinet to order a direct fibre to the premises (FTTP) connection. This is a premium service that will come with a significant connection charge.
You can check whether FTTPoD is available by using the BT Wholesale checker
FOD is a product that is available from Openreach to service providers. At present we are only aware of a few providers that are choosing to make this available to end users, the full list is here towards the end of the page.
If you are a business with less that 30Mbps broadband, this could be a solution to boost your speeds.
No, fibre broadband will not just automatically switch on. To get fibre broadband you'll need to first check your line and then place an order with your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP) – please see our 'Getting Connected' page.
The best thing to do initially is to run some speed tests using a checker like www.speedtest.net. You should try and do the tests by plugging into the router if possible, if you have to use WiFi then run the test in the same room as your wireless router. You should run several tests at different times of day, some at quieter times early morning and others at the busiest time of day in late afternoon and evening. Remember that broadband does not guarantee your fastest speed all the time, and will tend to slow down at the busiest times of day. There are some other useful tips on our Staying Superfast fact sheet that you can work through.
If it does look like your speeds are slow due to a fault with the connection, you will need to contact your service provider.
The telecoms industry is aiming to towards retiring the ‘analogue’ telephone lines (also known as PSTN) by end 2025. Your phone service would then be delivered as a digital service, which means it would be delivered over a broadband connection (sometimes referred to as an IP service).
A broadband connection doesn’t have to be that fast to support a digital voice service, so it can be delivered over copper-based broadband services as well as full fibre broadband.
One common concern is that a digital phone service would not work in a power cut, unless a battery back-up is available. Service providers should provide such a back-up for vulnerable customers, particularly in areas of poor mobile signal.
A good general source of further information is available at www.futureofvoice.co.uk
Mbps stands for Megabits per second, the way in which internet speeds are measured. One bit means one piece of basic information, and one Megabit is a million pieces of information.
Cloud computing is when software and data are no longer hosted on your computer, but remotely at a data centre, which means you can access the 'cloud' wherever and whenever you need it, and from any internet enabled device (laptops, tablets, phones etc.) Fibre broadband will allow more businesses and homes in Cornwall to take advantage of cloud computing, bringing cost and time-saving benefits, plus greater flexibility when it comes to how, when and where you access the internet.
You're probably using cloud computing already, without even realising it, through things like email accounts, Facebook, You Tube and Google Maps. Some cloud computing services are free and some are available as a pay-as you-go option.
For businesses in particular, cloud computing offers a lower cost solution, keeping technology-based capital expenditure down. Users can access the most sophisticated software and applications without having to purchase them outright.
There are a range of cloud computing services available, here are just a few examples:
- Amazon EC2 - virtual IT
- Google App Engine - application hosting
- Google Apps - software as a service
- Apple MobileMe - network storage
Other business specific applications, like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, are available from a number of suppliers.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network that enables remote offices or individual employees to get secure access to their organisation's network. This network uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure only authorised users can access the network and that data cannot be intercepted.
Companies and organisations use a VPN to communicate confidentiality over the internet, sending text, voice, video or other data to remote workers, offices or partners around the globe. Fibre broadband in Cornwall means businesses can utilise a VPN, enabling greater flexibility, including home working, which can bring many benefits, in terms of productivity, cost savings and work-life balance.