Types of Optical Fiber

13 October, 2020

Fiber is currently the best asset for operators to attract and retain their customers. Therefore, they are striving for its deployment and reconfiguration. However, what types of optical fiber installations are there?

Types are often defined by the number of connections or needs of the users who are going to use this fiber network. That’s why not all installations are the same.

There are many types of fiber, but in this article, we will talk about the four most widespread models. We will take as a reference how far the fiber reaches, listing them from those that provide a faster connection to those that provide the lowest one. It is clear that the infrastructure’s cost for operators is higher or lower depending on the installation.

Types of Optical Fiber

FTTH (fiber to the home).

This type of installation offers the best quality and highest cost and allows speeds of Gigabytes. This connection directly links the operator’s headquarters with the client, that is, there is no interferences or blockages.

FTTO (fiber to the office).

The same as above, but it only reaches an office or company. The main difference with FTTH is that its configuration is designed for IP telephony, videoconference, etc.

FTTB (fiber to the building).

This type of fiber connection reaches a building’s switchboard and from there it is distributed to the network points through a copper pair or Gigabit Ethernet over twisted pair.

FTTC (fiber to the cabinet).

In this case, unlike in the case above, the connection does not directly reach the client nor any of their properties, but a headquarters or cabinet theoretically located no more than half a kilometre away from its final destination. This allows operators to reduce installation costs. The performance of these connections in terms of speed is somewhat lower but not too much.

Which is the best fiber connection?

Although some of the fiber connections mentioned above tend to disappear due to the renewal of the operators’ installations, the best type of fiber connection will be the one that covers user’ needs concerning speed and resources, including the economic factor, i.e. with the best value for money. To sum up, the type of technology used by operators would remain in the background or wouldn’t be relevant.


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