fiber to the x (FTTx)

Fiber to the x (FTTx) is a collective term for various optical fiber delivery topologies that are categorized according to where the fiber terminates

Fiber to the x (FTTx) is a collective term for various optical fiber delivery topologies that are categorized according to where the fiber terminates.

Optical fiber is already used for long-distance parts of the network, but metal cabling has traditionally been used for the stretches from the telecom facilities to the customer. FTTx deployments cover varying amounts of that last distance.

  • In an FTTN (fiber to the node or fiber to the neighbourhood) deployment, the optical fiber terminates in a cabinet which may be as much as a few miles from the customer premises. The cabling from the street cabinet to customer premises is usually copper.
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  • In an FTTC (fiber to the curb or fiber to the cabinet) deployment, optical cabling usually terminates within 300 yards of the customer premises.
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  • In an FTTB (fiber to the building or fiber to the basement) deployment, optical cabling terminates at the building, which is typically multi-unit. Delivery of service to individual units from the terminus may be through any of a number of methods.
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  • In an FTTH (fiber to the home) deployment, optical cabling terminates at the individual home or business.
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  • FTTP (fiber to the premises) is used to encompass both FTTH and FTTB deployments or is sometimes used to indicate that a particular fiber network includes both homes and businesses.

The FTTH Councils of Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific have agreed upon definitions for FTTH and FTTB. Standard definitions of the other terms have not yet been established.

The table below provides a graphical comparison of the most common FTTx topologies:


The table above was created by Wikipedia user Riick and is published under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

This was first published in October 2010

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