What underlying technology does NOW Broadband use?

Your broadband signal uses different technology to travel from the exchange building to your home depending on what kind of NOW Broadband you have: 

  • NOW Brilliant Broadband uses Copper technology 
  • NOW Fab Fibre and Super Fibre both use Part Fibre technology. 

Good to knowThese NOW Broadband products are no longer available for new members to buy. They’ve been replaced by NOW Powered by Sky broadband, which uses Full Fibre technology.

Copper broadband 

Copper broadband connects from a local telephone exchange usually to a street cabinet box, which is normally only a few hundred metres from your home. It then travels to your home via a traditional copper phone line. 

Copper broadband uses copper to connect from the exchange to the local street cabinet and from the cabinet to your home

With copper broadband, the speed you get can decrease the further your home is from the exchange.  

The service can also be affected by poor weather conditions and can be more prone to faults.  

Copper broadband may not be fast enough for a household where lots of people are using the internet heavily at the same time.

Good to knowCopper technology is being phased out by broadband providers as part of the UK-wide upgrade to fibre connections.


Part Fibre or Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) 

Part Fibre or FTTC has a fibre optic connection, made up of a bundle of thin glass ‘fibre’ threads, from the local telephone exchange to the street cabinet.  

The final connection from the street cabinet to your home is usually over a copper wire telephone line. 

Part fibre broadband uses a fibre optic broadband cable from the exchange to the local street cabinet and then copper from the cabinet to your home

This means that the broadband speed you get can decrease the further your home is from the street cabinet. 

Part Fibre can be faster than Copper broadband, but slower than a Full Fibre connection. 



Full Fibre (FTTP or Fibre-to-the-Premises) broadband bypasses the street cabinet and connects your home directly to the exchange using fibre optic cables. This is the underlying technology that NOW Powered by Sky broadband uses.

Full Fibre broadband

Part Fibre (also referred to as FTTC or just ‘Fibre’) broadband uses fibre cables from the exchange to your street cabinet, then older copper cables to connect from there to your home. Copper cables are an older technology and less reliable than fibre cables. This is the underlying technology used by NOW Broadband Fab Fibre and Super Fibre.

Work is underway to replace the UK’s traditional fibre network with more reliable Full Fibre broadband. Check if Full Fibre is available at your address. If it’s not available yet, keep an eye out, as Full Fibre technology is being rolled out to more places every day.

If Full Fibre is available in your area, you can get it by switching to NOW Powered by Sky broadband. Find out more about NOW Powered by Sky broadband.

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