FTTX networks bring the fast fiber optic line into the house or apartment, thus providing high-speed broadband Internet. What has been the traditional medium for long-distance data transmission for some time is increasingly finding its way into homes and apartments: fiber optics. The technology promises significantly higher transmission rates than the well-known copper cable. But how does the transmission of data by light signal work? What expansion work is necessary? Where is the added value for the customer? And what are the cryptic terms FTTX, FTTB, FTTH, and FTTC? We’ll show you.
What The Optical Fiber Is, And How It Works
Data travels through light pulses conveyed by glass fiber cables and plastic polymers in fiber infrastructures. Thanks to the characteristics of the wires, the signals propagate rapidly over long distances, exploiting a significantly higher frequency band than that of ADSL connections. With fiber, it is possible to transmit large amounts of data quickly, reaching potentially very high speeds (up to 1024 Mbps). The connection speed of fiber in India generally ranges from 30 to 100 Mbps, but in some cities, it even reaches 300 Mbps. It all depends on the network architecture and the type of cables used.
Technical Basics And Components Of A Fiber Optic Network
When they hear the terms fiber optics or FTTH or FTTB, FTTH, and FTTC, many people first think of large data centers or connections for companies. Contact via fiber optics. Optical fiber as a medium is used for data transport via light signals. A fiber optic cable consists of several individual fibers. Each thread is approximately 9 microns thick and is surrounded by an opaque protective layer that keeps the light signals inside the fiber. Although a small part of the light is lost, this isn’t very important. This means that the fiber optics achieve far lower line attenuation values than a copper cable, which is troubled by the line resistance that increases with length. Each fiber can achieve very high transmission rates.
You can also find out everything about the advantages of fiber optics over copper cabling and the beginning of the superstructure of the existing telephone network with fiber optics. FTTX has established itself as the generic term for fiber optic networks to the end customer. The “X” is just a placeholder. A distinction is made between different variants: FTTC (Fiber to the Curb – fiber optics to the curb), FTTB (Fiber to the Building – fiber optics to the building), and FTTH (Fiber to the Home – fiber optics to the flat). The technical effort for the providers increases from FTTC to FTTB to FTTH. The length of the copper cable is thus minimized, which makes the higher bandwidth possible. The variant with the least effort, FTTC, is now commonly known as VDSL and is sold by several providers.
FTTH, FTTS, And FTTC: Differences And Performances
Network connections consist of a cable, usually buried, which connects a housing unit to a cabinet (or control unit proximity) connected to a control panel. Performance changes depending on the presence of the copper pair: the less you use it, the more efficient the network is. Based on the quality of the connections, we can have links:
- FTTH (Fiber To The Home): it is the most performing technology that allows you to fully exploit the network’s potential by traveling up to 300 Mbps, as in Milan and Bologna with Vodafone. Another example of an FTTH connection is the Fastweb network in Milan, which covers almost the entire city.
- FTTS (Fiber To The Street): occurs when the fiber covers only the section between the control unit and a mini-distributor (DSLAM) near the cabinet, while the connection to the house, less than a kilometer, is entrusted to copper. It is the link used by Fastweb and Vodafone in several municipalities and has a reduced speed compared to connections made entirely of fiber. It can allow you to reach 100 Mbps in download. Still, since the distance from the cabinet affects the dispersion of the signal, it is necessary to check the availability of the service precisely. It is essential because, within a street, the coverage can be ensured to a street number and not to the next.
- FTTC (Fiber To The Cabinet): as in the FTTS connection, the fiber only partially covers the network. The section from the cabinet to the house, usually not exceeding 300 meters, is instead entrusted to copper, with consequent limitations regarding speed and navigation stability.