Glowing fibre optic cables in the dark

Fibre optics simply explained

How does the technology work and what are the advantages?

It is no longer possible to imagine our everyday life without the internet. Whether for work, leisure, communication with other people or even the household – we depend on our data being transmitted quickly and reliably. Fibre optic connections are playing an increasingly important role in this. In this blog post, we explain what fibre optic is, how the technology works and what advantages it offers.


What is fibre optic?

An optical fibre is a long, wafer-thin fibre made of quartz glass. Unlike copper cables, it transmits information in the form of light rather than electrical signals. This means that data in the form of light signals can be transmitted at lightning speed over long distances – without any loss of quality. Internet speed reaches completely new dimensions with fibre optic technology: Data rates in the giga- to terabit range are possible per second.


How does fibre optic technology work?

Fibre optic cables are optical waveguides (OWG). In a fibre optic cable, many optical fibres made of glass are bundled together. The cable consists of three components: An inner core that transports data as optical light signals, a jacket around the fibre optic core that prevents the light from escaping, and an outer jacket made of plastic that protects the sensitive fibre optic cable. Unlike copper cables, which transmit electrical signals, fibre optic cables transport data in the form of light. More precisely, light particles (photons) transport the data from a transmitter to a receiver.


What are the advantages of fibre optics compared to DSL?

The biggest advantage of fibre optics is the almost unlimited performance of the internet connection. Compared to copper lines, fibre optic cables enable significantly higher data transfer rates. This means that huge amounts of data can be uploaded and downloaded at breakneck speed via a fibre optic connection. With the increasing amount of data that needs to pass through the network, this is becoming more and more important. This is the case as digitalisation advances in many areas and the use of internet-based applications and services increases. New technologies such as the Internet of Things or artificial intelligence also generate large amounts of data that must be transmitted and processed. In addition, higher resolutions for videos and images lead to larger file sizes and thus to a higher data volume. Other advantages of fibre optics over copper are lower susceptibility to interference, scalability and climate friendliness. A positive side effect: fibre optic connections have a positive impact on the increase in the value of a property. Fibre optic technology conserves resources and consumes 17 times less energy for data transmission than a DSL or VDSL copper network. In this way, fibre optics contribute to reducing global CO2 emissions.


What does FTTX actually mean?

FTTX stands for “Fibre to the X“, where X stands for different endpoints or connection types, such as “H” for “home”, “B” for “building”, “C” for “curb” or “D” for “desk”.

Optimise customer service whitepaper is being read on a tablet.

Fibre to the X (FTTX)

In our FTTX Knowhow you will learn everything about Fiber to the X technology and its applications.
Optimise customer service whitepaper is being read on a tablet.

What are the differences between FTTC, FTTB and FTTH?

FTTC, FTTB and FTTH are abbreviations for different types of fibre connections, which differ mainly in the laying of the fibre cable. Here are the differences in detail:


Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)

With FTTC, the fibre-optic cable extends to the distribution box or cable junction at the edge of the road. From there, the data is forwarded via copper cable to the building and the flats. Since the last part of the data transmission takes place with copper cables, the network is slower, more susceptible to interference and less stable than with the other two connection types.


Fibre to the Building (FTTB)

Here, the fibre optic cable does not end at the distribution box, but inside the building. From there, the data is forwarded to the individual flats via copper cables. FTTB offers higher speeds compared to FTTC because the copper cable is shorter and causes less power loss.


Fibre to the Home (FTTH)

FTTH is the fastest and most future-proof fibre connection, where the fibre cable runs directly to the homes. As there are no obsolete copper cables to slow down performance, FTTH is the most stable and fastest connection type with possible transmission rates of over 1,000 Mbit per second.

Optimise customer service whitepaper is being read on a tablet.

Gigabit Strategy (DE)

Find out everything you need to know about the German gigabit strategy and its framework conditions in our Knowhow (DE).
Optimise customer service whitepaper is being read on a tablet.


Fibre optic cables are the future of internet connectivity. Fibre optic technology enables fast and reliable transmission of large amounts of data over long distances. Compared to conventional DSL connections, fibre optic connections offer higher transmission rates, are more stable and less susceptible to interference. However, the expansion is complex and expensive, so not all cities, municipalities or countries are currently fully equipped with them.

If customers have a fibre connection, the internet connection is either established via a built-in fibre modem or via an external ONT (Optical Network Termination). Our Self-Service Solution takes these connection options into account and provides appropriate help with the set-up.

Although fibre connections are the fastest way to bring Internet into the home network, the classic WiFi problems can still occur. Especially with gigabit connections, it is important to ensure a very good WiFi connection and coverage in the home. This is where Conntac’s Self-Service Solution comes in, which optimises technical customer service and provides support in independently troubleshooting the Internet connection. With Conntac’s solution, your customers can take full advantage of their fibre-optic connection and use their Internet at the speed of light.


Positive side effect! Researchers use fibre optic network as seismograph to monitor earthquakes

Researchers at Stanford University have made a groundbreaking discovery: they have built a “billion-sensor” earthquake observatory using fibre-optic cables that have already been laid! These cables are normally used for high-speed internet, but the researchers have turned them into low-cost seismic sensors to continuously monitor and study earthquakes, as well as more accurately detect their effects on buildings and bridges, and integrate them into the design of earthquake-resistant buildings (Source: Stanford | News Service).

Author: Johanna Kugler

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