Is FTTP Better Than FTTC?

If you’re looking into a new connection for your business, you’ve probably come across FTTP and FTTC. What you might not know is which of the two is the best option for businesses that have both available in their area.

Is FTTP better than FTTC? FTTP is better than FTTC. An FTTP connection provides greater speeds, reliability and a service level agreement, which FTTC doesn’t have.

In numerous ways, FTTP is the better connection for businesses. In this blog post, I will compare the two on several important points to give you all the information that you need to decide between the two.

FTTP v FTTC: Comparison

To get a good idea of how these two popular business-grade connections compare, I will consider several important factors:

  • Price
  • Speeds
  • Lead Time
  • Availability
  • SLA

FTTP v FTTC: Price

Most businesses will consider price before anything else when choosing an internet connection for their business. This is typically a bad way to go about choosing an internet connection for your business, because you really get what you pay for. However, let’s start of this comparison with a look at how much both services cost per month.

A comparison of FTTP and FTTC pricing. Speeds are displayed as 40:10 and so on.

The figures in the image above are average prices based on quotes from 4 UK-based suppliers. The monthly costs above are what you would pay on a 3 year contract. With most suppliers, 1, 3, and 5 year contracts are available. For the sake of this blog post, I got quotes from suppliers for 3 year contracts. If you went for a shorter contract, the cost would be slightly greater. Similarly, if you went for a 5 year contract, the monthly cost would be lower.

So let’s have a closer look at the figures. An FTTP service with speeds of up to 40 downstream and 10 upstream will cost £42 per month. This may or may not include equipment depending on the supplier that you choose. On the other hand, an FTTC service with speeds of up to 40 downstream and 10 upstream will cost you £35 per month, a difference of £7.

We can see that FTTC is always a little bit cheaper, even on packages with the same ‘up to’ speeds. However, the price of FTTP will usually include a robust service level agreement, which I’ll cover in greater deal soon. In addition to that, you’re more likely to get good speeds on an FTTP service than you are on an FTTC service. Again, I will explain why later in this post.

If you choose your broadband considering price alone, FTTC will usually always be the cheaper option.

FTTP v FTTC: Speeds

Another important consideration when choosing an internet connection is bandwidth. A fast internet connection can boost productivity, improve how quickly you can do tasks and enable your business to make the most of cloud-based services.

With an FTTP service, speeds of up to 1 gigabits per second downstream and 220 megabits per second upstream are possible. An FTTP connection is a full fibre connection between your property and the local exchange. Fibre cabling can carry data much faster than copper can, which is why FTTP services can be much faster than FTTC services.

Providers normally offer several FTTP packages, so you can choose the speeds that would best suit your business. Here are the packages normally offered by providers:

  • 40Mbps Downstream:10Mbps Upstream
  • 80Mbps Downstream:20Mbps Upstream
  • 160Mbps Downstream:30Mbps Upstream
  • 330Mbps Downstream:50Mbps Upstream
  • 500Mbps Downstream:165Mbps Upstream
  • 1Gbps Downstream:220Mbps Upstream

FTTP connections don’t have the same problems associated with FTTC connections that impact speeds. For example, distance doesn’t impact FTTP in the same way it does FTTC. The biggest determiner of the speeds you get will be the time of day and number of other properties using FTTP in the area. At peak times, you will notice you have less bandwidth available. For example, during standard opening hours for businesses or 6pm – 10pm for domestic properties.

On a standard FTTC connection, the maximum speeds available are 80 megabits per second downstream and 20 megabits per second upstream. FTTC packages are usually sold at several different levels:

  • 40Mbps Downstream:10Mbps Upstream
  • 80Mbps Downstream:20Mbps Upstream

If you go for the variant of FTTC, much greater speeds are available. FTTC can offer speeds of:

  • 160Mbps Downstream:30Mbps Upstream
  • 330Mbps Downstream:50Mbps Upstream

It’s worth noting, however, that these speeds are not guaranteed. The speeds that you actually have are extremely dependent on your distance from the roadside cabinet. While FTTC is considered a super fast business-grade connection, providers do not offer an SLA or speed guarantees with their FTTC packages. It’s important that you consider this when choosing your connection, because you may not end up getting the advertised speeds.

FTTP v FTTC: Lead Time

If you’re currently struggling on a slow internet connection, you probably want to upgrade to a faster connection sooner rather than later. So what’s the lead time for FTTP and FTTC? In other words, which can you have installed the quickest?

According to BT Business, the lead time for FTTP can be anywhere from 3 working days to 40 working days. This is because the lead time really differs on several factors, such as whether an Optical Network Termination unit already exists at your property. The lead time will also differ depending on the provider that you go with, as well as engineer availability.

If a survey and external works are required, lead times can be significantly longer. For example, if cabling needs to be ran a great distance to reach your property, this will possibly require planning permission and can take a long time.

So the lead time really comes down to the infrastructure already in place in and around your property. As the first step of installing a connection, a provider will find out what connections are available in your area and survey if needed. This will provide you a better idea of what the lead time would be for a FTTP connection in your area.

The lead time of any connection really comes down to the infrastructure already in place in and around your premises.

The lead time for an FTTC connection is usually around 10 working days. This all depends on whether FTTC connections are available in your area already, as well as engineer availability. As with FTTP, lead time will differ from provider to provider.

FTTC connections use the phone line that most businesses already have running into their property. Because of this, a connection can normally be set up and configured quickly when compared with FTTP where time-consuming installation might be required.

FTTP v FTTC: Availability

While you might be convinced that you want a certain type of connection, you need to know whether or not it is actually available in your area. If the connection you want isn’t available, you face costly installation and a long wait. So how does the availability of FTTP and FTTC compare?

According to the latest information, FTTP service is currently available to 2.5 million UK premises. This figure includes both commercial and domestic premises. Evidently, availability is rather limited at the minute, although Openreach plans to make FTTP available to 15 million properties within the next 5 years.

With the rapid roll-out of FTTP across the United Kingdom, FTTP may already be available to your business. If it isn’t already, it might be within the next few years. It really comes down to where your business is based. If your business premises is in or around a city, FTTP is likely soon to be available if it isn’t already.

FTTP will be available to approximately 15 million UK properties within the next 5 years.

FTTC is currently available to approximately 96% of properties in the UK. Despite the heavy focus on the roll-out of FTTP, FTTC is still being rolled out in rural and remote areas. With FTTC available to such a large number of properties (nearly 30 million), chances are it is available to your business.

As I said, fibre to the cabinet coverage is still expanding. Openreach is constantly growing its network in the UK, so coverage will comfortably hit 99% within the next few years.


If your business relies on its internet connection to operate, having a connection with a service level agreement is really important. Unfortunately, many businesses do not realise how important their internet connection is until it’s gone. That’s why choosing a connection with an SLA is so important; because it means providers will have your connection restored within a certain period of time.

All FTTP connections come with a business level service level agreement. This guarantees uptime, as well as fix times should your connection fail. For example, most FTTP packages will come with an SLA of 99% uptime as well as a target fix time of 5 – 8 hours depending on provider.

If your business is reliant on its internet connection, you need broadband that is backed by an SLA. While SLA-backed broadband costs more, it offers inherent assurances that your connection will function as intended the vast majority of the time. And when it doesn’t, your connection will be restored in a matter of hours.

If your connection isn’t backed by a service level agreement, you should get a second connection installed as backup. After all, your main connection could be down for days if it takes that long to fix the issue.

FTTC connections are not backed by a service level agreement. As long as your internet connection is functioning correctly, this isn’t going to be a problem. However, what happens when your connection falls?

If you choose a connection without an SLA, such as FTTC, your connection will be down for as long as it takes to fix the problem. In some cases, this could be a matter of hours. However, fixing a problem could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. For that time, you will be without an internet connection, because you have a connection that isn’t backed by an SLA.

If you’re in the unfortunate position of only having FTTC available in your area, you obviously have no choice but to go for a connection that isn’t backed by an SLA. If this is the case, I would always advise getting a backup connection into your property. This offers a bit of protection should your main connection drops, as you can continue to operate on your backup connection.

If you have both FTTC and FTTP available in your area, it’s clear that you should go for FTTP. While it might cost you a little more, the benefits of FTTP over FTTC cannot be disputed.

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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