How the network is built

The scale of the build

By March 2019, it is expected that the programme will have delivered:

  • 598 new roadside fibre cabinets, installed across 74 different exchange areas
  • the installation of over a million metres of fibre optic cable
  • provided fibre connections to over 80,000 Nottinghamshire premises 

The technology

To achieve the most efficient infrastructure implementation for the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme, BT has applied the same principles as used for its commercial roll-out:

  • Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). This is the most widely used infrastructure in the UK and it uses a mixture of fibre optic and copper cabling, making it the most cost effective solution for deploying broadband services in the majority of situations. Copper cable connects a home or business premises to a street ‘cabinet’ (a green box located in the area) which is then connected to another new street cabinet. The new cabinet is connected to a ‘fibre spine’ which is connected to a ‘head-end’ (a major exchange which is connected to the UK’s network ‘backbone’). FTTC, quite literally, brings a fibre optic connection to a street cabinet. Telecommunication services travel more quickly over fibre cable and they don’t slow down over distance (as they do when copper cable is used).
  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). A fibre link is used to connect a home or business premises directly to the head-end. Small clusters or groups of users (usually 16-32) are served via a ‘splitter’ which allows the individual fibres to home and business premises to be concentrated onto a much lower number of fibres back to the head-end. FTTP is the most up to date broadband provision currently available and is capable of delivering speeds up to 330 mbps. The fibre to the premise (FTTP) solution doesn’t involve the existing copper network, so speeds available are far more certain, with none of the variation in speed that occurs with a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) solution.

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