Fiber connections have been installed in over 120 countries worldwide. They are becoming the most wanted source for high speed internet. Fiber to the Home (FTTH) connections are a luxury that only only a small percentage of the population is enjoying. While many companies and governments alike are carrying out projects to increase the fiber optic system availability to the mass population, there are still a vast majority that relationships on other means of communication for accessing the internet.
These include wireless technologies like WiFi and WiMAX, satellite connections, cable connections, and copper wire connections. Each has its own benefits and shortcomings, however fiber optics has emerged as the superior technology among all its benefits outweighing any shortcomings by a large margin.
The accessible potential of optical fiber depends on the migration point. This is the point where the fiber optic cables end and the system is switched to the other technology. Thereafter the fiber structures are referred to as fiber to the X, where X denotes the migration point. In different architectures, X can be the node or the neighborhood (FTTN), premises (FTTP or FTTB / FTTH Ie fiber to the building or fiber to the home), desktop (FTTD), and cabinet or kerb (FTTC or FTTK).
Optical fibers offer very high bandwidth and reliability. Copper wires can also carry high bandwidths but only for a few hundred meters, after which the signal distorts and bandwidth must be decreed. Optical fibers, on the other hand, offer very small distortion or loss of power (attenuation) even for long distances, enabling them to support high bandwidths without much problem. For this reason, fiber optic cables have been the primary means to exchange of large amounts of data over large distances (such as between cities) for over 25 years approx.
WiFi and WiMAX systems are quite favorable because they avoid the hassle of installing a wire network in order to access the internet. However, the availability of high bandwidth depends heavily on the area and spectrum utilization within the region. The spectrum may cost very high to reserve and therefore raises the price for higher bandwidths.
Optical fiber, like good copper networks, also offer multiple services within the same connection. However, copper wires can only support high bandwidth if the user resides near the service provider Ie within the short range. Services like HDTV, Voice on Demand (VoD), and much more can be accessed within the same fiber connection without any significant load on the internet bandwidth. Satellite connections can also be used to access TV but normally only one way communication is possible. Wireless technologies, on the other hand, are unable to support HDTV.