While some worry about the UK’s current rush for gigabit broadband, there is likely to be overbuilding in major metropolitan areas and underdevelopment in traditionally underserved broadband locations, Air Broadband is bringing its full fiber broadband service to homes and businesses in parts of Norwich, while Colchester is the latest town to get fiber connectivity via an FTTX system from Prysmian.
Building on CityFibre’s newly installed fiber optic infrastructure in the area, Air Broadband said it will provide Norwich residents with internet speeds 10 times faster than the UK average, meaning homes and businesses in the city will benefit from a reliable and affordable full fiber connection. connectivity to work from home and get online better than ever. Additionally, with Norwich households having an average of 20 connected devices, it has never been more important to connect to an infrastructure that can meet these current and future needs.
“To be successful working from home, video calls and fast file transfers are crucial,” said Air Broadband Marketing and Business Development Manager, Joshua Greedy. “Only fiber broadband… can give you enough download speeds to transfer video files. Copper connections like the 60-70 Mbps you might have can only give you download speed, not upload.
“[We provide] symmetrical download and upload speeds, for example, 200 Mbps upstream and downstream, which means your video calls are crisp, clear and trouble-free,” he said. “There is enormous bandwidth and super-fast speeds available, which means your home or business can run faster, more reliably and never drop out. The ability to have broadband service in a major city in your home or business means remote or hybrid working in Norwich is now a very possible option, unlike the ranking mentioned above.
In Essex, Prysmian promises to connect Colchester with super-dense fiber cable for super-fast connectivity, making the quaint town one of the best-connected places in the UK. The new, highly reliable broadband service is designed to provide customers with speeds of up to 1 Gbps, both upstream and downstream: levels of consistency that no traditional connectivity service is capable of.
“The challenge was that we had to find a way to move the existing 20+ year old cable infrastructure forward, in a way that wouldn’t be obsolete for a very, very long time – if ever,” said Colm Coyle, Managing Director of local solidify Rio IT and plant designer.
“The goal was to reach 7,000 people with a new high-speed fiber system, inserted into the existing duct system, which was built primarily to operate the CCTV cameras in the area. They only require a relative handful of fibers. For this task, we were going to need to squeeze about 500 individual fibers into a 16mm diameter conduit, meaning we actually only had 9-11mm of space inside the tube. I feel like I searched the planet for the right cable; I needed the densest fiber optic cable possible to be able to get a great result on this project. Finally I found Prysmian – especially their 552 Sirocco HD fiber cable, which was the only solution. It’s a wonderful find.”
Colm specified 26 kilometers of 552 Sirocco HD fiber cable for the project, supplied by Fusion Utilities, to be installed by Scotech in a ring around the city. The cable is made up of 552 individual G657A2 fibers, with a fiber density of up to 10.5 fibers per mm2. It uses Prysmian’s BendBright-A2 200µm (ITU-T G.657.A2) single-mode bend-insensitive fiber, which allows it to retain enough flexibility to be bent in tight bends without being damaged.
“This was a significant project for Prysmian as it required the use of a brand new product, which was successfully installed without any issues,” said Adrian Austin, UK Sales Manager for telecommunications at Prysmian Group UK.
“On top of that, Colchester is now only the second area in the UK to have this system installed, and Colchester City Council, who commissioned the project, are delighted.”