Optical fibre, as its name suggests, uses light to carry a signal. Unlike electricity, it can carry high amount information (or bandwidth in techno-speak) over long distances without degradation. Copper, which is used in the current telecommunication network, can also carry high bandwidth. But it can only do so for a few hundred meters before the signal begins to degrade and bandwidth drops. Fibre optics, as optical fibre is also called, has been used in communications networks for more than 30 years, mostly to carry computer data traffic from country to country.
Advantages of Fibre Optics
- Lower costs. Optic fibre cable can be produced cheaper than same lengths of copper wire. Signals in optic fibres do not degrade as fast as copper wires, as such, lower power-transmitters can be used. This allows you and content providers (cable TV, Internet, etc.) to save money!
- Higher capacity. As optic fibres are much thinner than copper wires, more fibres can be bundled into the same cable diameter than copper wires. As such, more phone lines can pass through the same cable, or imagine this: you would be able to receive more channels through the same TV Box cable.
- Clearer signal. Optic fibres transmit signals much better without compared to copper wires. Copper wires which use electric signals, and can interfere with other signals within the cable. On the other hand, optical fibres transmit using light. With virtually no interference, this means clearer phone conversations and TV reception.
- Safer cabling. Optic fibres do not transmit electricity, as copper wires do. As such, there would be no risk of optic fibres causing a nasty electrical shock or a fire to break out.
- Core – Thin glass center of the fibre where the light travels
- Cladding – Outer optical material surrounding the core that reflects the light back into the core
- Buffer coating – Plastic coating that protects the fibre from damage and moisture
Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) is the delivery of a communications signal over optical fibre from the operator’s switching equipment all the way to a home or business, thereby replacing existing copper infrastructure such as telephone wires and coaxial cable. Fibre-to-the-home is a relatively new and fast-growing growing method of providing vastly higher bandwidth to consumers, and thereby enabling more robust video, internet and voice services.
Connecting homes directly to fibre optic cable enables enormous improvements in the bandwidth that can be provided to consumers. While DSL and cable modems generally provide transmission speeds of up to 100Mbps on the download (and are generally slower when uploading), current fibre optic technology can provide two-way transmission speeds of up to 1Gbps. Ongoing improvements in fibre optic equipment are constantly increasing available bandwidth without having the change the fibre. That’s why fibre networks are said to be “future proof”. You do not even require a fixed telephone line or cable line to enjoy FTTH. Your current telephone line and cable line will be remained status quo. There is also no contractual period for FTTH. This would be a one-time installation for fibre termination. For more information on FTTH/FTTB, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_to_the_x.
Benefits of Fibre-to-the-home/Building
If all you want to do is surf web pages, download a few songs, send and receive some photographs, or watch streaming video at current picture quality levels, then the bandwidth provided by today’s cable modems and DSL lines is probably good enough. But the world is moving toward vastly higher bandwidth applications. More people are looking to upload their own home movies into emails or web pages. Consumer electronics companies are pushing devices that connect televisions to the Internet. High-definition videos are fast becoming the state-of-the-art – and one high definition movie takes up as much bandwidth as 35,000 web pages. This trend will continue into high-definition videos, telemedicine, distance learning, telecommuting and many other broadband applications that have thus far been limited only by the amount of high-bandwidth connections into people’s homes. All of these applications – and many others we haven’t even dreamed of yet — are going to require much greater bandwidth than what is generally available today.
Terms You’ll Hear in the Fibre Optics World
It means that Fibre has been deployed to the telecommunication equipment room or main distribution frame room in the building.
It means Fibre has been deployed up to the distribution point of each floor for Residential High-rise buildings, or to the nearest manhole for Residential Landed units.
It means that Fibre has been deployed to the First Termination Point in the Residential Premises. These are the household units where entry rights have been given by Home Owners to provision the Fibre into the housing unit and terminated at the First Termination Point.
First Termination Point (1st TP)
It means the network point within an end user premise, at which the Network is terminated, that is nearest to the point of entry of that end user premise.
Fibre Distribution Point (FDP)
It means the distribution point at each floor for high rise building or at the manhole serving the landed premise. When fibre reached the FDP, it has completed the Home Passed stage