An introductory handbook on FTTX (fiber to the whatever) infrastructure is being prepared by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (Cenelec)/TC86A. The goal is to have it published later this year. The purpose of the handbook is to make it easier for operators, communities, energy companies, installers and others to plan and install uniform, high-quality, cost-effective FTTX networks.
For many years, FTTX has been regarded as the most future-proof technique for transmitting broadband multimedia applications. But the construction of such networks has previously been prevented by their high costs. However, new investigations show that the cost to install a 100-Mbit/sec network is about the same using either fiber or copper. Furthermore, FTTX networks are widely accepted as the only structure that can satisfy the needs that future broadband services will require. Another advantage is that such networks enable cost savings through efficient operation and maintenance.
Previously, fiber-to-the-end-user networks had been called FTTH (fiber to the home). But the strategy described in the handbook shows how fiber networks can reach anywhere (hence the “X”). The end users can be homes, farms, offices, and optoelectronic transitions for alarms, surveillance, monitoring devices, etc.
The handbook will present requirements and expected lifetimes for various types of installations. As a target, the minimum capacity is set to 1 Gbit/sec for distances up to 10 km. For applications such as apartments, condominiums, or multitenant offices, a shorter distance can be targeted, e.g., 500 to 2,000 m.
Although the handbook is being written for a general audience, it will have special appeal to those involved in private and public enterprises responsible for making broadband infrastructure decisions regarding planning and installations.
Bertil Arvidsson is Ericsson Expert in fiber technology and transmission (www.ericsson.com). He is active in Cenelec/TC86A, IEC/SC86A WG 1 and 3, and ITU/SG15 and 6. He is the editor of the handbook described here and can be reached at email@example.com.