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Fiber to the X (FTTx)

In today's increasingly fast-paced, interconnected world, the need for high-speed broadband internet access and reliable wireless service is more acute than ever. The growth of fiber optic networks has allowed service providers to optimize FTTx — fiber-to-the-X, in which X can refer to various subscriber locations, including homes (H, as in FTTH) and buildings (B, as in FTTB) — with the most effective, cost-efficient connectivity and bandwidth capabilities.

Optical fiber solutions guarantee subscribers high-quality transmission of video, voice, and data while providing comprehensive end-to-end solutions for maximum return on investment (ROI). Fiber optics also allow subscribers to make use of recreational technologies such as HDTV, video on demand, and online gaming.
 

FTTx Solutions from OFS

OFS FTTx solutions can enable reliable triple play (video, voice and data) as well as quad play (including mobility services) to support current and next generation applications. OFS offers comprehensive end-to-end passive optical cabling systems that help service providers maximize return on investment (ROI).

At OFS, we understand customer pain points from our global experience with global service providers and solve them with innovative solutions. As a worldwide leader in fiber optics, OFS has several decades of experience designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art FTTx solutions passing and connecting millions of subscribers.

OFS, from its AT&T Bell Labs and subsequently Lucent Technologies heritage, was the first to produce and deploy a commercial fiber optic communications system, and then was first to introduce innovations used extensively today in FTTx networks including bend insensitive fiber, full spectrum fiber, ribbon cable, dry gel free cable, and the LC connector. In 2012 OFS was first to offer an invisible indoor fiber connectivity solution designed for discrete, intuitive fast installation and lower installed cost. Today, OFS continues to produce a wide range of industry-leading end to end Fiber to the X solutions, designed for intuitive fast installation, lower installed costs, in compact spaces and right of ways.

OFS outside plant (OSP) cables help speed installation using smaller, lighter designs that are easy to place and splice, and all feature OFS AllWave® ZWP fiber with lower bend loss and greater capacity than conventional SMF fibers. OFS Fiber Distribution Cabinets & Hubs feature intuitive, reliable subscriber provisioning and AllWave FLEX+ bend insensitive fiber.

To place fiber in buildings, the V-Linx™ Spool & Play Solutions reduce hardware costs and labor needs while speeding the installation process. The system uses flexible components such as the V-Linx™ Terminal to enable compact plug and play installation in the limited pathways inside buildings. A complete modular portfolio of SlimBox™ fiber terminals enables service providers to efficiently manage splitters, drop connections, and splices, for both indoor and outdoor applications.

To finally reach and connect subscribers, EZ-Bend® Optical Technology, including EZ-Bend Cables and Assemblies, and InvisiLight® Solutions, feature the world’s only commercial solid glass optical fiber bendable down to a 2.5-mm radius with practically zero loss. This innovative and patented technology provides a 500-fold improvement in bending loss over traditional approaches that use Single-Mode Fiber (SMF) type cables. The flexibility of EZ-Bend® technology based solutions simplifies and hides installations by conforming to building corners, with no concern for bending loss or service disruptions.

In addition to a complete suite of FTTx product solutions, OFS Professional Services, offered in the United States, designs, engineers, and installs turn-key passive FTTx networks to help service providers reach subscribers faster with minimum disruption to décor or landscape.
 

FTTx and Fiber Optic FAQs

To provide more background on these technologies, we’ve addressed some of the most common questions we receive about FTTx and fiber optic solutions.
 

What is fiber-to-the-x (FTTx)?

FTTx is a generic term used to refer to various types of broadband networks making use of fiber optic cables to deliver communications signals to subscribers at high speeds. These fiber optic cables are able to deliver more data across greater distances than traditional copper wires. Below, we’ll delve into some of the most common types of FTTx:

Fiber-to-the-home

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) involves the use of optical fiber to deliver a signal from operator’s equipment to an individual home or unit, greatly increasing connection speeds for broadband networks. Single-Family Units (SFUs), MDUs, and businesses can all benefit from FTTH, as internet, voice, and video services are able to operate with much higher speeds and efficiency.

Fiber-to-the-building

FTTB (fiber-to-the-building or basement) uses fiber cable to deliver communications signals to a central area in shared working or living properties. Other types of cabling, such as twisted pair, wireless, or coaxial, are then used to convey the signal to the individual SFUs, offices, or other spaces within the shared property.

Fiber-to-the-premises

The term FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) is used as a general way to refer to high-speed connectivity optical fiber run into a subscriber’s home from a central location. FTTP can be used to reference either FTTH or FTTB fiber optic connections.

Fiber-to-the-node

FTTN (fiber-to-the-node or neighborhood) makes use of a fiber cable carrying a shared connection to a common network box, or cabinet, in order to serve an entire neighborhood. This may be used to reach hundreds of different customers, usually within a mile radius, who then individually connect to the cabinet with other types of cabling, such as twisted pair wiring.

Fiber-to-the-curb

FTTC (fiber-to-the-curb or cabinet) refers to the process in which an optical fiber cable is installed directly at the “curb” — a general term that can be used to refer to any common platform, such as a communications shed — to reach multiple subscribers. The signal generally stops within 1,000 feet of each individual customer. FTTC provides faster broadband speeds than telephone lines can.

Fiber-to-the-telecom enclosure

FTTE (fiber-to-the-telecom enclosure), sometimes called fiber-to-the-zone (FTTZ), is a standards-compliant, extremely cost-effective cabling method used in common spaces; long link lengths of fiber cable are extended from main equipment rooms (ER) to telecommunications rooms (TR) without the need for splices.

Fiber-to-the-distribution point

Similar to FTTC and FTTN, FTTdp (fiber-to-the-distribution point) delivers fiber to a distribution point in a specified area and then uses existing copper connections to serve individual units without actually entering them. This allows for a much more cost-efficient solution than FTTP methods.

Fiber-to-the-antenna

Describes the process of using fiber to feed wireless services, such as various cellular distritubtion devices. As wireless speeds increase, fiber is increasingly needed to provide the bandwidth necessary for these devices.

What is optical fiber?

Optical fiber is a thin strand of glass that efficiently carries high-bandwidth signals over long distances by transmitting light pulses.

How does running fiber all the way to homes improve communications services?

Fiber optic cable improves bandwidth and eliminates the need for changes in installed fiber networks for future bandwidth increases.

What kinds of companies are providing FTTH services?

From large companies to local telephone providers, globally more than 2000 service providers of various types provide FTTH services.

Why are network operators upgrading to FTTH?

Technological demands are rapidly shifting and evolving, and FTTH provides much higher bandwidth speed and reliability.

What types of communications trends are driving the need for more bandwidth?

Video streaming services such as YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix are the primary drivers of the increasing need for more bandwidth, while smartphones, tablets, and devices like Roku and Apple TV are also increasing demand.


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