Optic Fiber: What is it, what types are there, and how fast can this connection be?

Optic fiber is a type of technological data transmission that generates pulses of light through a very thin wire of transparent material that can be glass or plastic. It is widely used today and its main advantage is the speed at which these pulses of light travel, generating a very fast Internet connection.

It is one of the most important advances in technology that have occurred in the last decade. With this system the signals they emit can travel long distances and can transmit data along their way. Its fibres can be single-mode or multimode.

Through our study of this topic we want to teach you all the aspects that you have to take into account when choosing this technology for your Internet communication.

What are the main advantages of FTTH over other Internet connections and is it the best?

The FTTH (from English “Fiber To The Home“) is a technology that is based on the use of optical fiber cable and systems adapted for this technology that contribute to the distribution of advanced services. Triple play, for example, is nothing more than high-speed broadband Internet with fixed-line telephony and television on the same cable.

These features allow for very high browsing speeds without interruption or variation resulting in a seamless multimedia service.

Another point we can highlight as a great advantage of fiber optics is that several electronic devices can be used at the same time without losing the intensity and quality of the signal from the Internet or other service provided by the provider.

If we compare it with another Internet system we will realize that its installation is much easier, it has a direct connection to the provider’s headquarters, the fiber optic cable is thinner than coaxial cable and they provide 24-hour service without congestion.

Many people choose this technology because video and sound are more in real time, it has a great compatibility with real technology and it has a high resistance to heat, cold and corrosion.

Based on all these advantages it offers, we can say that the technology by optical fiber is the most suitable for all people who wish to work from their homes and for those companies in which a connection without variations is needed.

Types of optical fiber What rates can be contracted and how do they differ?

It is essential that you know the different types of fibre, as each has its own particularity. We explain some technical details below:

Symmetrical fiber

It is that technology in which the upload and download speeds are equalised predicting these two parameters will always have the same data download and upload speed.

Many people think that symmetrical fibre is faster, but in reality it has nothing to do with one thing over another, often depending on the cable operator, and they give more speed because they have a marketing interest and not because of a technical limitation.

We always have to analyze this situation according to the real needs we have in our homes or in the company where we use a similar technology.

Asymmetric fiber

This fiber optic technology also refers to each of the upstream and downstream data transmission connections, with the download speed being higher than the upload speed.

This type of service provided by providers has a major difficulty since they are often slower than symmetrical fiber optics.

Dark Fiber

The term dark refers to those optical fibres in which the whole that was unfolded is not being used, i.e. the part that is not illuminated.

It is estimated that in Spain there are around 2.5 million km of fibre deployed throughout the country, with approximately 30% being dark.

Fiber prices

Once we have analyzed each type of optical fiber that exists, we want to mention the best prices of symmetrical fiber that we have found in the market so that you can decide which one is the most convenient for you (in the table above we show you the average speed that Spain has with respect to other countries).

As a clarification we want to tell you that we did not mention or analyze the asymmetrical type since it would not suit you economically. Take a look at the following list of approximate prices:

  • “MÁSMÓVIL” offers a speed of 600 Mb with unlimited calls at a price of 29,99 ? during the first three months.
  • The company “Yoigo” offers a speed of 100Mb at 32 Euros per month including fixed telephony.
  • While the company “Jazztel” has among its wide range of products a fiber optic service of 50 Mb plus fixed telephony for 40 euros during the first three months.
  • Another offer that is interesting is that of “Orange”, offering for 30,95 ? a 100 Mb fiber optic speed, but if you want more speed it can offer you its 500 Mb product at only 45,10 ? per month.
  • “Movistar” has a 100 Mb service for 32.30 euros per month.
  • The company “Vodafone” provides a service from 100 MB to 32.50 Euro per month, including telephony.

FTTH Connectors What types are there and how much do they influence the performance of the connection?

The connectors of an optical fiber emerged with the need to connect and uncouple quickly and efficiently the cables as if they had been made with a splice. I have a great advantage that is that it does not lose quality of data transmission service.

There are four types of connectors that can be found on the market. Below we will tell you about each of them:

Subscriber Connector

Commonly called SC, it is mainly directed to single-mode optical fiber and has a push-pull coupling, providing greater advantages for those analog CATV, GBIC and GPON cables.

Lucent Connector

You will find this type of push-pull connector with the name of LC, this element has a small format and is used with a 1.25 mm splint, which is half the size of the one mentioned above. It is very required to those connections in which a high density is needed.

Straight Tip

This type of connector refers to the so-called ST connectors in the technological elements market. It can be confused with the FC (which we will talk about next) but it has a bayonet mount that is used instead of a thread.

Ferrule Connector

Known as FC, it is similar to ST, it is used for single mode optical fiber maintaining polarization, a screw type appearance with a 2.5 mm splint, it can be used with ceramic splints.

The importance of the description of these connectors is necessary to be able to distinguish them and thus place the correct one so as not to have problems in the future with variations of the Internet connection.

What is a “polish” on fiber optic connectors and how many are there?

The polishing of the installation process of an optical fiber is necessary as a requirement for a good performance in the data transmission trying that the insertion loss is as small as possible. To evaluate the quality that exists in the connection of the optical fiber it is necessary to measure the parameters once the polishing has been done.

There are four types of polishing that are done on the fiber optic connectors they are

Flat polishing

Which is done manually and is used in multimode fibers. Its connection is based on a flat surface and when they are confronted with each other a small air space is formed which presents small imperfections generating return losses, with this kind of polishing we avoid the smallest imperfect surface.

Polished PC

Its name refers to Phisical Contact is used for both single-mode and multimode fibres. The ferrule comes with a concave spherical pre-polish, the most common connection to the PC connector which finds the two fibers the same as the flat way but the surface will be slightly polished in the curves thus eliminating air space.

Polished UPC

This ultra PC polishing has the same characteristics as PC but is used for single mode fibres where the surfaces are polished to a better finish.

APC polishing

This kind of polishing comes from the abbreviation of angled physical contact in which the surfaces with the connector are curved and also have an angle of 8°, in this way they make the reflections that the transition of the light has not return to the nucleus that has the fiber. Then the loss of return increases to values higher than 60 db. For this kind of polishing, it is necessary to work with those fibers where their core is small.

FTTH Cables: What types are there and how do they influence the performance of the connection?

Although so far we’ve been talking about two kinds of cables, the single-mode and multimode. We can add one more variety, the plastic optical fiber (POF) but we will not discuss it in this article.

Below are the most important specifications of each of the first two cables:

Single-mode cable

This type of cable is a fiberglass cable that has a diameter of 8.3 to 10 microns providing a single mode of transmission. It generally has a narrow diameter which propagates 1310 or 1550 nm.

While its load is greater multimode fiber but requires a light source that has a narrower width is crazy about its spectral aspect. Data is generally sent as multi-frequency.

Multimode Cable

The multimode fiber optic cable has a broadband with more than 10 to 100 Mb of speed. The light waves that have the transmission are scattered through several paths or what we call mode travel normally at 850 or 1300 nm.

List of the main fibre-to-the-home operators in Spain and their tariffs

Movistar

The Internet provider par excellence offers its services for 32.30 euros per month for fixed telephony and 100Mb of transmission.

Orange

If you want to pay for a good service that does not collapse at any time, Orange presents you with 2 alternatives so that you can choose the one you like best. One of its alternatives is 30.95 euros for a fibre optic service of 100 Mb per month and if this amount of Mb is not enough for you they have to offer you 500Mb at only 45.10 euros per month.

Jazztel

Jazztel came out to the communications market with really good Internet and fixed telephony service products, offering 50Mb for 40 ?.

Vodafone

This company has one of the best features of Internet for the home, offering 100 Mb at 32,50 ?.

MoreMobile

Its service of 32,30 ? per month during the first three months from your registration you will be able to get an Internet of 600 Mb and a fixed telephony that are very searched and accepted among the users.

Yoigo

It came to break the market, has 100 Mb at only 32 euros per month, also offers one of the best customer care.

How do I measure the speed of my asymmetric fiber? How fast can it be?

In order to measure our data upload and download speeds, there are many ways and applications that are in the stores, but none really provide detailed and accurate information.

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

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