Most of us do not care about all the nerdy stuff in technology, but it is always to one’s advantage to know what’s going on. For example, we have heard about fiber optics but do you know what FTTX means?
FTTX means Fiber To The X and is a cumulative term to describe the numerous broadband network conveyance topologies from a telecom company to the customers. It is classified according to where the fiber cable terminates.
Metal cables (usually copper) were popularly used to transmit data in the 20th century but fiber optic cables have replaced it since then. To know what FTTX means, we should also know that it is arranged into two categories: FTTP/FTTH/FTTB (which stands for premises, homes, building) and FTTC/N (fiber laid to the cabinet/node which is completed by a copper wire connection).
Here are the most common terms used by the telecommunications industry today:
FTTP (fiber-to-the-promises): FTTP is used as a blanket term for both FTTH and FTTB or anywhere where the fiber network both includes homes and small businesses
FTTH (fiber-to-the-home): Mostly used interchangeably with FTTP but if you want to be specific about it, it is when the fiber optic cables reach the boundary of living places individually.
FTTB (fiber-to-the-building): Also called fiber to the business or basement, this type of installation is when a fiber optic installation reaches the boundary of a building, like a basement, with the last connection brought to the individual living spaces.
FTTD (fiber-to-the-desk): It is the connection installed from the central computer room near the user’s table or desk.
FTTO (fiber-to-the-office): Originating in Germany at the early 1980’s, the fiber connection is installed from the central computer room to an FTTO switch placed service points or workstations.
FTTF (fiber-to-the-frontage): Quite similar to FTTB, this is when each fiber node serves one single subscriber. An XG-Fast technology could be installed using FTTF.
FTTdp (fiber-to-the-distribution-point): The technology is somewhere between FTTN and FTTP but promises to be cheaper than the latter and faster than the former. FTTdp aims to move the end of the fiber as close to the customer’s promises to a few meters allowing for near-gigabit speeds.
FTTN (fiber-to-the-node): The installation of an optic fiber connection through a common network or junction box called a node. This aims to serve a neighborhood (that’s why it is sometimes called fiber-to-the-neighborhood) within about a one-mile radius.
FTTC (fiber-to-the-curb): Designed to replace the plain old telephone service (POTS), it refers to the installment of optical fiber cable directly to the curbs near businesses homes.
Fiber-optic setups (as outlined in the types of FTTX connections above) ensures high speeds of transmission and bandwidth like other types of cable or ADSL. Moreover, the fiber-optic technology is considered “future proof” because the speed of data transfer is dependent not on the fiber but on the terminal equipment. Unless something new comes along, this is what we’ll be dealing with. And right now, as Internet consumers, it’s safe to say it’s for the best to at least know a little what FTTX means.
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