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Fiber Optics As a Main Telecommunications Transport Medium

by:TBT     2020-08-28
Fiber optic networks are becoming increasingly popular among service providers. These networks also known as Fiber to the Home, Fiber to the Premise, PON (Passive Only Networks) are closed system networks. The transference of data is not transmitted through the air; it is sealed within optical cables and related network components. As with any telecommunications network it begins at a Head-end or Central Office. This is where Incoming signals of voice, video and data from satellite, microwave and off-air sources are gathered. The information is then processed, turned into light and sent through laser transmitters into the optical network cables. These cables carry the data great distances at light speed throughout the network. The light does not have to be converted until it reaches its final destination at a home or business. The conversion of light to RF and light to electrical impulse is necessary for electronic devices such as television sets, telephones and computers to understand the information. This conversion is accomplished through a small device at the home or business known as an NIU (Network Interface Unit) or sometimes called an ONT (Optical Network Terminal.)
Advantages--The fiber network is capable of all voice, video and data services. The Service Provider will offer very competitively priced bundled services to the consumer. The network is very reliable when compared to coaxial networks due to the elimination of coax and the resultant number of electronic devices. Fiber cable is immune to electrostatic interference. Telephone reliability, TV picture clarity and internet speeds are near un-rivaled in a purely optical system. The bandwidth capability is huge in optical networks. This allows great potential for future growth in terms of increased internet speeds, channel capacity and other enhanced services. Fiber optic systems are not generally affected by high volume internet traffic. Set top boxes for each television are not required in these networks other than for premium or expanded type services.
Disadvantages--Similar to the HFC network, the fiber cables are constructed on existing utility poles and or underground within Public Utility Easements. As with HFC, damages due to weather can result in outages and or physical damage to the network cables. For these reasons the fiber network can also experience a degradation or temporary loss of service. Recovery time can be lengthy or short dependent upon the nature of the damage and complexity of repairing the network at a specific location.
The Fiber Optic Network is an excellent choice for broadband services for home or business. It is becoming increasingly popular and more readily available in many urban and rural areas. It should be noted that many Cable Television and Telephone Service Providers in North America are enhancing their existing plant with, or converting over to the Fiber Optic Network.
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