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Proceedings Paper

Superficial view of fiber to the home (FTTH)
Author(s): Xiaolin Li
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Paper Abstract

For the past few years, telecom companies have been working diligently to provide us with pseudo-broadband Internet connections over copper (DSL) and cable (cable modem). I use the term "pseudo-broadband" because the existing telecom infrastructure can only provide speeds of up to 1.5 megabits per second. (In theory, cable modem can provide up to 2.5 megabits per second, but in reality nobody obtains these speeds because the shared aspects of cable modem results in lower speeds.) No doubt improvements will be made over the next few years to squeeze more out of copper and cable, but it doesn't matter, because fiber to the home is coming, and it will be here faster than most people predict. In case you're wondering, FTTH provides download speeds of up to 155 megabits per second -- that's 100 times faster than the pseudo-broadband DSL and cable modem connections. Can you say instantaneous data transfer? Can you say, video on demand? SBC and Bellsouth are two of the telecom giants pioneering FTTH. The initial markets are new residential construction, because you don't have to dig up streets in an existing neighborhood to lay the fiber optic cable. SBC plans to wire 6,000 homes in a community in San Francisco by late next year. Initial net connections will only be about 5 MB/second -- far from the theoretical maximum of 155 MB/second, but still blazingly fast compared to DSL and cable modem. BellSouth is also pioneering FTTH with a trial project involving more than 400 people in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody. These individuals have Internet connections of about 10 MB/second! No doubt there will be stumbles along the way to providing FTTH. No doubt there are challenges to making FTTH cost effective. No doubt it will take years before most residences in the world have true broadband Internet access.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5282, Network Architectures, Management, and Applications, (15 April 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.523154
Show Author Affiliations
Xiaolin Li, Fiberhome Telecommunication Technologies Co. Ltd. (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5282:
Network Architectures, Management, and Applications
S. J. Ben Yoo; Kwok-wai Cheung; Yun-Chur Chung; Guangcheng Li, Editor(s)

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