What is FTTx?

This page explains some of the terminology and architecture commonly associated with FTTx. We hope that you find it useful.

FTTx / Fibre-to-the-x 

A generic term for any broadband network architecture that uses optical fibre to replace all or part of the usual metal local loop used for the last mile.

The x can be substituted by another letter determined by the architecture it refers to e.g. FTTN, FTTC, FTTB, FTTH.

FTTx architectures vary with regard to the distance between the optical fibre and the end-user.

FTTN / Fibre-to-the-node

Also can be fibre-to-the-neighbourhood or fibre-to-the-cabinet

Fibre is terminated in a street cabinet up to several kilometers away from the customer premises, with the final 'last mile' connection being copper coaxial or twisted pair infrastructure.

Fibre to the node allows delivery of broadband services such as high speed internet. High speed communications protocols such as broadband cable access or some form of DSL are used between the cabinet and the customers. The data rates vary according to the exact protocol used and according to how close the customer is to the cabinet.

FTTC / Fibre-to-the-cabinet or fibre-to-the-curb

Very similar to FTTN, but the street cabinet is closer to the user's premises; typically within 300m.

FTTB / Fibre-to-the-building or fibre-to-the-basement

Fibre 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.

FTTH / Fibre-to-the-home

Fibre reaches the boundary of the living space, such as a box on the outside wall of a home.

Once at the subscriber's living or working space, the signal may be conveyed throughout the space using any means, including twisted pair, coaxial cable, wireless, power line communication, or optical fibre.

An FTTH network constitutes a fibre-based access network, connecting a large number of end users to a central point known as an access node or point of presence (POP).  Each access node is served by a larger metropolitan or urban fibre network, which connect all the access nodes throughout a large municipality or region.