Let us run you through some key facts worth noting before you decide which connection to buy.

Richard Weddle


Whether you’re a small, medium or large business, reliance on connectivity is higher than ever before. With the demand and competition in the connectivity market, shopping for a new internet connection should be nice and simple. However, with so many vendors offering different types of internet connectivity – and all calling them something completely different – purchasing a new connection is trickier than first thought.

One of the most common queries we get asked is “Do I need ADSL or FTTC?”. A simple enough question on the face of it. But, with every business being different and having its own use case for broadband, there is no out of the box answer. To aid your decision, you must first understand the differences between the two technologies. Whilst you don’t need an IT degree to understand the ins and outs, ADSL and FTTC aren’t common terms used in day to day conversation. Let us run you through some key facts worth noting before you decide why connection to buy.

What is ADSL?

ADSL stands for

Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line. Not a term that rolls off the tongue but luckily one you don’t need to remember. The Digital Subscriber Line element can be translated as internet line. Asynchronous denotes that the download speed is higher than the upload speed. If the speeds were the same, this would be synchronous. We used to see technology providing this in the form of SDSL but businesses requiring higher upload speeds are better off serviced with dedicated internet or private fibre connections.

ADSL is the type of connection you are used to at home. All you need a router plugged into your copper phone line and you can easily support a few devices carrying out day to day tasks. For small businesses, this is all you may need. In other businesses, we see ADSL used as a backup alternative for higher bandwidth, higher priced internet connections.

What is FTTC?

FTTC stands for Fibre To The Cabinet. Fibre cables enable a faster speed of broadband to be transferred between the telephone exchange and your local cabinet. From the cabinet, the same tech used for ADSL is used to deliver the broadband service to your home or business. FTTC uses existing broadband infrastructure – exchanges, street cabinets and copper wire – to deliver broadband to homes and properties.

Due to these fibre cables, you can receive a faster and more reliable connection. To handle the superior grade broadband, a higher spec router is often required.

How do they differ?

The most striking difference between ADSL and FTTC  is the speed. ADSL is generally capped around 24 mbps download where FTTC enables speeds of up to 80mbps. This means your business can benefit from more bandwidth available for more devices and higher pressure tasks like uploading heavy graphic images or streaming video.

With the associated increase in speed and bandwidth, there is a price difference between the two. When first introduced, FTTC was considerably more expensive than ADSL. However, thanks to rapid adoption – businesses wanting more bandwidth for daily consumption – there price hike from ADSL to FTTC is no longer as steep as it once was.

Which is right for me?

There is no definitive answer as to whether ADSL or FTTC is better suited for your business. Generally, market uptake leans towards FTTC as value for money is obvious if you are using all the bandwidth at your disposal. If you aren’t likely to utilise 80mbps in your business, there simply isn’t the business case for the higher spend.

Whether you need a backup line, dedicated service for your telecoms services or a catch all solution, we can help. Talk to our connectivity specialists for the best solution to suit your business needs on 0191 511 1000 or visit our connectivity pages to see if we have the right package for you.

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