Full Fibre vs Broadband, What’s the Difference? .

Full fibre broadband is leaving traditional copper broadband in the dust. That’s why G.Network is building a brand-new full fibre broadband network to benefit Londoners today and for generations to come. But what is full fibre? Here’s our simple guide to the differences between full fibre and cable broadband (and why you should be making the switch).  

What is the difference between full fibre broadband and copper broadband?  

The main difference between full fibre and cable broadband is how it gets into your home or workplace. Copper broadband uses old-fashioned copper wires to connect your home to the nearby exchange, while full fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables that go all the way from the exchange to your home. These are much faster than the copper ones, carrying data over large distances at the speed of light. 

Copper is often shared amongst multiple homes or businesses too, causing even slower speeds when there is heavy usage involved. 

Different types of broadband explained 

Copper broadband - uses a traditional copper telephone line to connect from a local telephone exchange, onto a green street cabinet, and then to your home. With copper the broadband signal gets slower over distance - so if you live a long way from the nearest green cabinet - slower speeds are inevitable! 

Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) - fibre connections are different to copper because they use fibre-optic cables instead of traditional copper. Fibre cables are made up of a bundle of thin glass ‘fibre’ threads which can carry broadband signals quicker and more efficiently. Fibre to the cabinet broadband carries your connection from the local telephone exchange to the street cabinet. The final connection from the street cabinet to your home is usually over an older copper wire telephone line - this is sometimes known as ‘partial fibre’. 

Fibre to the premises (FTTP) - is commonly known as ‘full fibre’ broadband. A full fibre-optic broadband connection uses the newest technology fibre-optic cables to carry your broadband all the way from the local exchange to your home. Full-fibre offers the fastest speeds and the best reliability broadband. 

How do different broadband types compare 

File typeFile sizeCopper 14.5 Mb*FTTC 69.4 Mb*Gigafast 1 Gb
3-minute song3 Mb1sInstant (less than 1s) Instant (less than 1s) 
1hr TV episode (1080p)1.2 Gb11m 50s2m 28s11s
2hr film (4K) 14 Gb2h 18m 13s28m 52s2m 13s
Video game (example: Call of Duty Warzone 2)70 Gb11h 31m 8s2h 24m 24s11m 08s

*Average speeds based on data from 2023 Ofcom UK Home broadband performance data

Advantages of full fibre over copper broadband 


London’s average broadband speed is 77 Mb* (according to Ofcom). G.Network can offer up to Gigafast (1Gb+) speeds, which is 13x faster than the UK average. That’s how much faster full fibre broadband can be. 


Full fibre internet is not slowed down or impacted by bad weather like copper can be. Full fibre infrastructure also has a larger capacity for peak times - meaning your connection is less likely to be affected by others. The reliability of your speed is also more consistent, as it’s not dependent on the distance from the green street cabinet like copper is.  

Future proof / The new standard 

Full fibre optic cable connections are fast becoming the new standard for broadband in the UK. They are capable of increased capacity for future demand and capable of faster speeds to suit modern requirements such as streaming, gaming and working from home. 

  1. Virgin, BT and Sky, up to 7.9% price rises

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Full Fibre FAQs.

Does full fibre take longer to install?

There is usually no difference in the installation time of full fibre compared to copper. 

During the installation one of our engineers will need to drill a tiny hole to bring the fibre into the building. It’s only a few millimetres wide, and will be fully secured and covered, so you’ll hardly notice it. 

Is full fibre available everywhere?

We're building Gigafast connections across London - check whether G.Network is available in your area. 

What is better for me? Full fibre broadband or cable broadband? 

You might think that only businesses or hard-core gamers need the speeds that full fibre broadband can offer. But even if you work from home, or consider yourself a light user of the internet - watching catch-up TV or downloading a film can be a challenge for low broadband speeds. That means buffering and frustrations. Full fibre broadband removes these hiccups, making it the best stress-free option for all users!  

How can I get full fibre broadband?

Check out whether we are installing full fibre broadband in your area with our Broadband Area Checker. Then you can sign up with G.Network and start the process of switching to a whole new world of full fibre broadband.