How does it work?

Much of the current copper network is being replaced by fibre. Fibre can carry much more information as pulses of light over far longer distances, in a shorter time, in without any reduction in quality.

The network that delivers today’s phones and broadband is an all-copper infrastructure. But that means the further from the exchange you are, the slower your broadband speed. That’s because copper was designed to carry the human voice — not big chunks of data.

Openreach’s Big Build video explains how the new fibre network will be built across Cambridgeshire.


In most areas, fibre broadband is being delivered via Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) although Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology may be used in some areas.


What is Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)?

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) provides a fibre connection between your nearest green roadside cabinet and the exchange. The final leg uses the existing copper telephone line network between your home and the green roadside cabinet. This will still deliver much faster speeds than are available over standard broadband connections.

What is Fibre to the Premise (FTTP)?

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) is a pure fibre connection from your home to the exchange which can deliver download speeds of up to 330Mbps.

FTTP, which is sometimes referred to as Fibre to the Home (FTTH), is a relatively new technology being rolled out in parts of the Connecting Cambridgeshire intervention area.

The fibre optic cables can be installed underground in ducts, or as overhead lines using new and existing telegraph poles.

FTTP installation requires a broadband engineer to bring the fibre cables all the way into the home or business, which may take a few days to install.

For a more technical explanation of the process, watch the Openreach FTTP video below:

For information on how to upgrade to FTTP visit our FAQs page.

Our Jargon Buster may help explain some of the technical terminology

Broadband Guide

Cambridgeshire is one of the ‘best connected’ counties in the country in terms of the availability of high-speed fibre broadband. However, for businesses and consumers alike, the topic of broadband can be highly confusing. It is difficult to find clear and independent advice on which broadband services are available and which services to go for, particularly if there are so many different services on offer in your location.

Connecting Cambridgeshire has produced a broadband guide to explain:

• the benefits of high-speed broadband to small and medium-sized businesses, and consumers
• what broadband is, how it works and what speeds can be achieved
• the types of high-speed broadband that may be available to you
• how to choose a broadband provider and package to best meet your needs.

You can view the full guide here.