What is Fibre to the Home?
Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is an access network method that delivers the highest possible speed of Internet connection by using optical fibre that runs directly into the home, building or office.
FTTH is unique, because it removes all the bottlenecks that slow the performance of other types of network. With FTTH, you can download files at least 10 times faster than with, for example, ADSL networks. You can upload files, such as family photos, at almost the same speed as downloading.
FTTH gives consumers access to a large choice of interactive applications, such as video communication with friends, family and colleagues, gaming, video-on-demand, teleworking and eHealth.
It is not just about technology, or about accessing the Internet faster. FTTH opens the door to a whole range of new services, delivered right to the home or office.
You are still feeling a bit lost in the FTTH environment? Check out our guide "FTTH - What is it?" to learn more about the basics of FTTH technology!
Why do we need fibre?
FTTH is the only type of fixed-line access network solution that is truly proofed against all future developments and eventualities, therefore the only one that it makes sense to invest in where a new network is being deployed.
FTTH offers vastly higher bandwidth and better access to new types of service than other access options, and is the only network option suited to deliver the future economic growth that our information-led economies and communities demand. It is furthermore more reliable and cheaper to operate than alternatives.
There are pressing environmental reasons why fibre access matters too. The reduced energy needed to build and run fibre networks, and the new services fibre makes possible, such as allowing more people to work from home, mean a lower carbon footprint as well.
Network operators can also upgrade the network and increase bandwidth simply, enabling them to deploy such a network without fear of having to rip it up and start again in a few years.
The impact of FTTH on society and the environment
If economic success is to be achieved and progress realised, then we must all be sensitive to environmental and social as well as commercial demands.
Fibre optic connections to the home help lay their part here, by improving people’s lives at the same time as enabling green economic development. FTTH contributes greatly to regional economic growth wherever it goes, and it has a part to play in reducing our consumption of energy.
FTTH enables a range of value-added services to be delivered straight to the end user, and improving and enriching their quality of life by connecting them to the world at high speed.
Persons living in a rural area, for example, can save themselves a long drive twice a day by working from home instead of using their car to get to the office. Broadband over fibre has the power to bring all the work resources they need into their home office. Top quality medical advice can be delivered online right into the home, saving an unnecessary trip to hospital in the event of a minor illness.
Broadband technologies ranking
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s habits as well as their broadband requirements. Many stakeholders in the broadband industry have considered different technologies in their aim to ensure universal access to broadband services. Meeting the demands created by these new digital behaviours in a timely fashion will require all of the tools at our disposal, with fibre broadband networks and fibre extension options complementing each other to bring better broadband to more people, faster.
To better detail our position in favour of full-fibre, compared to alternative broadband technologies, the FTTH Counci Europe's Deployment & Operations Committee has recently produced a white paper, on the results of a survey run among its members in order to compare a range of fibre or fibre-extension-based broadband technologies that can help Service Providers, Investors, Municipalities and Government entities provide broadband connections to communities.
We only promote Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB), because we believe that only these solutions offer the bandwidth and symmetry necessary to allow the development of services and applications that make a difference to the way we live and work.
The FTTH Council Global Alliance (FTTH Council Europe, FTTH Council Africa, FTTH Council Americas, FTTH Council Americas LATAM Chapter, FTTH Council Asia Pacific and FTTH Council Middle East and North Africa) has agreed on a common set of definitions. This allows us to compare the situation in various countries, and particularly to produce the Global FTTH Ranking, which classifies countries according to the penetration of their households with FTTH/B.