Tech | Internet | Connectivity

03.28.2008

How FTTH (Fiber-to-the-home) Works

The pressure for better connectivity is one of the main reasons providers and users are looking at fiber-to-the-home broadband connections as a potential solution.

More large files are moving across the cyberspace network these days, and experts expect that trend will only increase. A January 2008 study by the Discovery Institute estimates new technologies will drive Internet traffic up by 50 times its current rate within the next 10 years.

Fiber-to-the-home broadband connections, or FTTH broadband connections, refer to fiber optic cable connections for individual residences. Such optics-based systems can deliver a multitude of digital information -- telephone, video, data, et cetera -- more efficiently than traditional copper coaxial cable for about the same price. FTTH premises depend on both active and passive optical networks to function.

A key benefit to FTTH -- also called FTTP, for "fiber-to-the-premises" broadband -- is that it provides for far faster connection speeds and carrying capacity than twisted pair conductors, DSL or coaxial cable. For example, a single copper pair conductor can carry six phone calls. A single fiber pair can carry more than 2.5 million phone calls simultaneously [source: Federal Communications Commission].

Experts at the FTTH Council say fiber-to-the-home connections are the only technology with enough bandwidth to handle projected consumer demands during the next decade reliably and cost effectively. The technology is already, affordable, as businesses around the world are demonstrating by getting into the business as they speculate on consumer demand.

Fiber has a virtually unlimited bandwidth coupled with a long reach, making it "future safe," or a standard medium that will be in place for a long time to come [source: ICT Regulation Toolkit].

Tim Crosby "How Fiber-to-the-home Broadband Works"
28 March 2008.
HowStuffWorks.com