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What is cable broadband?

Think cable broadband is the same thing as fibre? Think again. Read on to learn more about what cable broadband is and how it's different from fibre.

Although both fibre broadband and cable broadband boast fast speeds, they're not quite the same thing.

To understand the difference, you first have to know about the different types of fibre broadband connections.

Types of fibre-optic connections

The speed of your fibre broadband connection can vary depending on the technology used to connect your home.

  • FTTH (fibre to the home): With FTTH connections, the cables run directly into your home, providing the fastest possible connection speeds.

  • FTTB (fibre to the building/basement): FTTB connections have cables that run to your building but not directly to your living space. This provides a very fast connection and is most common in flats.

  • FTTC (fibre to the cabinet): In this type of connection, cables run to the local junction box, which can be a few hundred metres away, and the rest of the distance from the cabinet to your home is covered by copper wires. Thanks to the distance and copper, these connections are a bit slower than FTTH or FTTB. This is currently the most widely available connection.

  • FTTN (fibre to the node): With FTTN connections, the cables run to a junction box further from your home. This can be up to a few kilometres away which slows the connection speed significantly.

fibre optic cable

What is cable broadband?

Similar to FTTC or FTTN, cable broadband connects your home to a fibre cabinet in your area. But instead of using copper wires, cable broadband uses coaxial cables to connect to the cabinet, giving you a much faster internet connection than traditional copper phone line cables.

The nation’s cable broadband infrastructure is dominated by Virgin Media. You can find out more about Virgin Media at our dedicated Virgin Media page.

Cable broadband speeds

Cable connections can provide speeds ranging from 38Mb to over 300Mb.

To find out more about internet connection speeds and download times, check out our guide to broadband download times to see what you can expect with that level of speed.

The benefits of cable broadband

In summary, cable broadband has some big pros for users:

  • Cable broadband is incredibly fast thanks to fibre-optic and coaxial cable technology.
  • You can receive fantastic packages including cable TV, phone and internet-ready technology.
  • Super-fast connection speeds of up to 300Mbps.

Compare all our fibre deals at our dedicated fibre-optic broadband page.