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.
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