Fiber to the Home (FTTH) is one of the most rapid fiber optics deployment methods. FTTH networks are being built in more than 100 countries around the world, with at least 15 million homes now connected to FTTH networks. FTTH can provide data rates up to 1 Gbit/s and symmetrical bandwidth, making it suitable for future services such as Voice over IP (VoIP), video on demand (VoD), high-definition TV broadcasting, telemedicine, and distance education.
The FTTH deployment methods are a lot different than those used for other telecommunications networks. FTTH is deployed through the use of optical fiber cables, and these cables can be laid in two ways: overhead or underground. It is a fiber-optic data transmission that uses light pulses, or light waves, to transmit information at high speeds through optical fibers. Since it provides higher bandwidth, FTTH has been replacing DSL.
As a result, its popularity has increased, and FTTH has become more affordable to implement than other types of network infrastructure.
This blog post will discuss FTTH deployment methods including how they work, what they offer, and their benefits.
Factors to keep in Mind before Choosing the Right Cabling Technique for FTTH
There are several challenges that the designer of the fiber optic system may face. FTTH can be designed in different ways. FTTH is a term that refers to the deployment of optical fiber cables from the central office (CO), or hub, directly to homes and businesses within a service area.
Initially, FTTH services were primarily aimed at servicing business customers with high bandwidth needs, such as those who work from home or conduct video conferencing.
Hence, the fiber optic system has to be designed neatly, keeping in mind the specific building. The following are some factors to consider when choosing the cabling technique:
- type of the building – residential building, office building, etc.
- system applications,
- system topology, including the locations of cable shafts
- network utilization factor – connecting all outlets and forming subsequent connections for new users
What are the Robust FTTH Distribution Methods?
There are numerous FTTH deployment methods available that use different types of optical fiber cables or various combinations thereof. FTTH can be designed in different ways. FTTH is a term that refers to the deployment of optical fiber cables from the central office (CO), or hub, directly to homes and businesses within a service area.
Overhead FTTH deployment offers several advantages over the traditional FTTC deployment techniques, including shorter deployment times due to reduced civil works, as well as less onerous duct access requirements for installation. Since it uses optical fiber cables that are laid along the electric power lines or along with the telephone cables, FTTH deployment can be carried out quite easily.
The following are the most popular cabling techniques used by designers of the fiber optic system for deployment:
- Indoor “breakout” and subscriber cables
- Cabling based on easy access cables
- Cabling in a star topology, based on subscriber cables
- Cabling based on micro-tubes
Let’s discuss each technique briefly:
Breakout distribution is the most popular FTTH deployment technique used by designers of fiber optic systems. In this method, an indoor wall outlet terminates a “breakout” cable that runs from the central office along with telephone lines or electric power cables. This results in splitting off individual fibers within the optical fiber cable for each user at every home. Subscriber cables are then used to distribute optical signals from the breakout cable into individual homes. This technique is also called “home run” because each home requires a dedicated fiber that runs all the way back to the central office for every single user on premises.
Easy access cables
Easy access cables are an alternative to breakout distribution. In this method, a single cable is run from the central office all the way up to every home in one complete sweep. A passive optical splitter network is used at each home for splitting signals into individual fibers that terminate directly within each house. Since only two or three fibers are required per household, easy access cables are much less expensive than the breakout distribution method.
Star topology can be used with either breakout or easy access distribution methods. In this method, a central splitter is installed at the CO, and all optical signals are fed into it through cables that run from every home in one sweep to the hub location. However, the disadvantage is that this topology requires more complex installation than other distribution methods, and it also results in a lot of fiber being left behind at every home since not all users may require high bandwidth services.
Micro-tubes is a new FTTH deployment method that uses very small tubes, typically 0.08mm in diameter or less, to distribute optical signals from the central office all the way up to homes and businesses within an area. Compared to other distribution methods, micro-tubes result in far fewer fibers being left behind at every home.
The FTTH deployment method can vary based on several factors, including technology-specific characteristics and customer requirements. The breakout distribution technique is the most popular way of deploying FTTH because it offers shorter times for deployment as well as reduced civil works, while easy access cables are less expensive to deploy than the traditional techniques.