What is FTTx?

July 1, 2015

What is FTTx?

Fiber to the x (FTTX) is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to provide all or part of the local loop used for last mile telecommunications. As fiber optic cables are able to carry much more data than copper cables, especially over long distances, copper telephone networks built in the last century are being replaced by fiber.

The terms in most widespread use today are:

FTTH (fiber-to-the-home): Fiber reaches the boundary of the living space, such as a box on the outside wall of a home. Passive optical networks andpoint-to-point Ethernet are architectures that deliver triple-play services over FTTH networks directly from an operator’s central office.

FTTB (fiber-to-the-building, -business, or -basement): Fiber reaches the boundary of the building, such as the basement in a multi-dwelling unit, with the final connection to the individual living space being made via alternative means, similar to the curb or pole technologies.

FTTN (fiber-to-the-node): Fiber is terminated in a street cabinet, possibly miles away from the customer premises, with the final connections being copper. FTTN is often an interim step toward full FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) and is typically used to deliver ‘advanced’ triple-play telecommunications services

FTTC(fiber-to-the-curb): This is very similar to FTTN, but the street cabinet or pole is closer to the user’s premises, typically within 1,000 feet (300 m), within range for high-bandwidth copper technologies such as wired ethernet or IEEE 1901 power line networking and wireless Wi-Fi technology. FTTC is occasionally ambiguously called FTTP (fiber-to-the-pole), leading to confusion with the distinct fiber-to-the-premises system.

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