Fibre to the x (FTTx) explained

What is Fibre to the x? In telecommunication term, the x is a substitute for N (node/neighbourhood, FTTN), C (cabinet, FTTC), B (basement, FTTB), H (Home, FTTH) etc.

What is FTTx?

A schematic illustrating how FTTX architectures vary – with regard to the distance between the optical fiber and the end-user. The building on the left is the central office; the building on the right is one of the buildings served by the central office. Dotted rectangles represent separate living or office spaces within the same building. Credit to Wikipedia

FTTx is a generic term to differentiate the broadband network architecture according to the relative length of fibre optic and metallic (copper) cable.

Optical fibre is the most efficient way of transmitting data over long distance. But the “last miles” stretches between the telecom facilities and the end users is generally connected using copper wire.

FTTN: Fibre to the node or Fibre to the neighbourhood. Typically, the fibre optic terminate around 300m from the end users. Each node is serving hundred of users in the neighbourhood. The setup from the users end is no different from the ADSL. But the speed and throughput are much better as compared with ADSL.

FTTC: Fibre to the cabinet/curb. Architecturally, FTTC is identical to FTTN. The only differentiating factor is where the fibre optic terminates and the length of the metal cable for the final connection to the end users premise. Any connection with less than 300m copper wire is classified as FTTC.

FTTB: Fibre to the building/basement. In this type of fibre deployment, the fibre optic terminates inside the building. Maxis Fibre categorised this configuration as VDSL2. The fibre optic connection stop at the MDF room. The existing telephone backbone (copper) is used for the length between the MDF room to the end users unit. Maxis Fibre delivered the internet service to MDU (multi dwelling unit) using this type of architecture.

FTTH: Fibre to the Home. This term is generally used to encompass all fibre architecture that terminates inside the end users premise home or business). It is used interchangeably with FTTP (premise). FTTH is the only configuration of delivery to landed properties used by Maxis Fibre.
Maxis Fibre Installation Guide

What are the external factors that might affect your fibre internet speed?

Fibre optic cable for internet connection

Fibre optic cable for internet connection

Internet connection speed, we can never get enough of it. It is a case of faster is always better and we start tearing our hair out if the website does not load instantly.
But the fact is, there are multiple factors which are not within our control that are affecting the internet connection speed.
Some of those factors that are:

  1. Location of the website hosting server, the data is carried by light pulses through the fibre optic at light speed. But even the light need time to travel from one end of the globe to the other. The longer the distance between you and the actual hosting server, the slower the website will load. The difference might be in micro second but it is still noticeable.
  2. Some websites are hosted at servers with insufficient capacity to handle the sudden influx of traffic. The server is overloaded with the constant request for data and invariably, the response time will increase exponentially. In such event, congestion is very much expected.
  3. One or more networks are down because of technical faults or maintenance is in process. The internet traffic is then rerouted to the remaining network and causing congestion in the process.
  4. Too many devices and/or application are running at the same time. On average, in a single household there are at least 8 devices which are constantly connected to the internet. For instance, 3 smartphones, 1 tablet, 1 smart TV, 1 game console, 1 desktop PC and a laptop. The quality of the internet connection will deteriorate if too many data intensive activities such as HD video streaming and MMO online gaming are going on at teh same time.
  5. As a rule of thumb, the wired connection with Ethernet cable will return a higher speed than if the device is connected to the internet via WiFi.
  6. The network configuration of the computer or your mobile devices, if not setup properly will slow down the internet speed. Anti Virus program and the DNS configuration are the 2 most common items adversely affecting your internet experience.

Maxis Fibre is providing the service on a best effort basis. Anyway, your internet experience will be affected by but not limited to the factors listed above.

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Fibre Internet Explained.

This is a collection of articles that will give you a good idea how does the fibre internet works.

First off, what is FTTH or Fibre to the home?

Fiber-to-the-home broadband connections, or FTTH broadband connections, refer to fiber optic cable connections for individual residences. Such optics-based systems can deliver a multitude of digital information — telephone, video, data, et cetera — more efficiently than traditional copper coaxial cable for about the same price. FTTH premises depend on both active and passive optical networks to function.

A key benefit to FTTH — also called FTTP, for “fiber-to-the-premises” broadband — is that it provides for far faster connection speeds and carrying capacity than twisted pair conductors, DSL or coaxial cable. For example, a single copper pair conductor can carry six phone calls. A single fiber pair can carry more than 2.5 million phone calls simultaneously

The technology continues to grow worldwide, the FTTH Council reported. The number of countries where FTTH broadband connections were making big gains continued to grow in number. The report listed 14 countries in which more than 1 percent of households had FTTH connections, up from 11 the year before. The group reported that 2007 was the best year in terms of new FTTH subscribers worldwide. Japan, China and the United States led the way with almost 6 million new FTTH households between them.
As demand for broadband capacity continues to grow, it’s likely governments and private developers will do more to bring FTTH broadband connections to more homes.

Read more: How Fiber-to-the-home Broadband Works

Now, we take a macro view of what happen to the data or packet that you sent and received.

To understand the Internet, it helps to look at it as a system with two main components. The first of those components is hardware. That includes everything from the cables that carry terabits of information every second to the computer sitting in front of you.
Other types of hardware that support the Internet include routers, servers, cell phone towers, satellites, radios, smartphones and other devices. All these devices together create the network of networks. The Internet is a malleable system — it changes in little ways as elements join and leave networks around the world. Some of those elements may stay fairly static and make up the backbone of the Internet. Others are more peripheral.
These elements are connections. Some are end points — the computer, smartphone or other device you’re using to read this may count as one. We call those end points clients. Machines that store the information we seek on the Internet are servers. Other elements are nodes which serve as a connecting point along a route of traffic. And then there are the transmission lines which can be physical, as in the case of cables and fiber optics, or they can be wireless signals from satellites, cell phone or 4G towers, or radios.

Two of the most important protocols are the transmission control protocol (TCP) and the Internet protocol (IP). We often group the two together — in most discussions about Internet protocols you’ll see them listed as TCP/IP.
What do these protocols do? At their most basic level, these protocols establish the rules for how information passes through the Internet. Without these rules, you would need direct connections to other computers to access the information they hold. You’d also need both your computer and the target computer to understand a common language.
You’ve probably heard of IP addresses. These addresses follow the Internet protocol. Each device connected to the Internet has an IP address. This is how one machine can find another through the massive network.

First, you open your Web browser and connect to our Web site. When you do this, your computer sends an electronic request over your Internet connection to your Internet service provider (ISP). The ISP routes the request to a server further up the chain on the Internet. Eventually, the request will hit a domain name server (DNS).
This server will look for a match for the domain name you’ve typed in (such as If it finds a match, it will direct your request to the proper server’s IP address. If it doesn’t find a match, it will send the request further up the chain to a server that has more information.
The request will eventually come to our Web server. Our server will respond by sending the requested file in a series of packets. Packets are parts of a file that range between 1,000 and 1,500 bytes. Packets have headers and footers that tell computers what’s in the packet and how the information fits with other packets to create an entire file. Each packet travels back up the network and down to your computer. Packets don’t necessarily all take the same path — they’ll generally travel the path of least resistance.

Read more: How does the Internet work?

More in-depth technicality can be found here: How Internet Infrastructure Works

What is FTTH (Fibre to the Home)?

What is FTTH and what it can do for you. Simple explanation in little more than 2 minutes.

How Do Optical Fibers Work?

A simple and light hearted explanation on how optical fibers transmit data from one place to another.

What is optical fiber in one sentence or maybe two, according to Wikipedia:

An optical fiber (or optical fibre) is a flexible, transparent fiber made of high quality extruded glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than a human hair. It can function as a waveguide, or “light pipe”,[1] to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber