What Does the Future of Fibre Look Like?
Developers need to ensure their telecommunications infrastructure is future-proofed to keep up with technology advances and digital connectivity needs, according to fibre-to-the-home provider the Local Broadband Network Company (LBNCo).
What do you need to know when making infrastructure decisions for your development?
What is a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON)?
A Passive Optical Network (PON) is fibre-optic telecommunications technology that only uses fibre and passive components like splitters and combiners rather than active components like amplifiers, repeaters, or shaping circuits, to deliver broadband network access to end-customers.
Passive optical networks cost significantly less than those using active components.
A gigabit passive optical network (GPON) are currently the leading form of passive optical networks.
A gigabit passive optical network is a point-to-multipoint access network and uses passive splitters in the fibre distribution network, enabling one single fibre connection to serve multiple end users.
It achieves this with a passive optical splitter in a junction box, usually in the pavement/road manhole.
Once it reaches the development or estate, where a cluster of end customers reside, a splitter is connected.
From here, multiple fibre cables fan-out of the splitter connecting to homes via an Optical Network Unit (ONU).
Encryption is used to keep each user’s data secured and private from other users.
Why use GPON technology?
Fibre optic technology is the leading technology that supports the demand for higher speeds as well as distance within networks.
Fibre optic cables have another advantage over metal cables, such as copper, in that they are less susceptible to interference.
Gigabit passive optical networks are the perfect solution for environments with multiple separated nodes/points or buildings because the technology reduces costs and infrastructure while increasing bandwidth.
A gigabit passive optical network has a downstream capacity of 2.488 Gb/s and an upstream capacity of 1.244 Gbp/s that is shared among users.
Gigabit passive optical networks offer up to a 1:64 ratio on a single fibre, and are 95 per cent more energy efficient than copper wire networks.
In addition to efficiency, a gigabit passive optical network provides a low-cost solution to support multiple users through splitters.
This makes a gigabit passive optical network desirable for high density areas such as high rise and master planned communities by reducing equipment, consolidating multiple services onto a single fibre transport network, and providing triple play services, voice, data and IP video.
What is FTTP/FTTH?
Fibre to the home (FTTH), also known as fibre to the premises (FTTP) refers to fibre-optic cables made from glass or plastic and use pulses of light to transmit data.
A full-fibre FTTH/FTTP connection (GPON), with no copper, offers much faster average speeds of one gigabit (1,000Mbps) per second (Gbps).
Full-fibre can also deliver very low latency: that means less delay between sending a request and getting a response. That is not just important for video gamers.
Low latency connections promise new opportunities for remote work, especially in fast-paced industries that cannot afford delays.
Fibre vs 5G
There is a misconception that 5G technology will replace fibre.
While wireless connections can be a useful way to connect remotely, 5G is not the answer for every situation.
Future 5G networks can operate on several different frequencies, but the higher frequencies do not penetrate buildings and trees as well as the lower frequencies.
Fibre optics are also much cheaper to run than a 5G network. In fact, it’s estimated that the operational expenditure of 5G broadband could be five times that of fixed.
Experts also caution that 5G wireless signals would not be as stable as a fixed-line connection and could lead to drop outs.
The reality is that 5G wireless networks and fibre optic networks will complement each other, both offering a cohesive internet experience, no matter the location.
OCCOM—Optical Communication Expert
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